Monday, June 27, 2011

In Which I Lose my Head on my First Paceline and Run a PR in the 5K

To Do This Week: 

I'll be setting up donation portals, among other things, to figure out how to make it easy to help you help me benefit two fabulous causes, Concerns of Police Survivors and Episcopal Relief and Development.  I have one person already who has some frequent flyer miles, and a place to stay some of the time in DC.  I'd love to stay in a race hotel (to get the shuttle) the night before the race, if that's possible.  But now my big thing:  figuring out how to get my Beloved Bike from here to there, and get it tuned up.

I think I might go full one-piece trisuit this year, and perhaps sleeveless wetsuit.  I liked my trisuit from last year, but I am almost ready to try the bibs concept.  I was sold by the guy who mentioned that bibs eliminate muffin rolls and I am extremely vain.

The Weather in Eugene

The most confusing part about moving to the Pacific Northwest so far has been the weather.  Oh, sure, I'm usually used to the weatherpeople on TV not quite getting it right.  I mean, one of my uncles is a weatherman, and he's able to tell me exactly why weatherpeople are not infallible.  Something about weather constantly changing.

But Eugene is extra odd.  Sometimes, in the morning, I wake up to this and go riding in weather so thick that the local turtles are practically swimming in mid-air.
This is the same bike path as from a few weeks ago, when I could see the Sisters.

And three hours later, it's glorious and blue and clear and sunny and everything is sparkly.

Same day, same bike path, just a little later.  Insane, right?

I'm not quite used to the morning being quite so devious.


This week, I learned how to paceline, on a tri club ride on Mackenzie View.  That's right, I rode my very first ever paceline.  This is a cyclist term where a bunch of people ride together to make it easier to ride into wind.  It's actually illegal in tri, but we were just on a fun ride.  Pacelining is very cool and snazzy, and only really hot cyclists get to do it.

J in front of me had been "pulling", which is what cool people call it when the person in front takes the full force of the wind and makes it easy on the rest of us.  She waved me on with the cyclists' secret gesture and I got ready to take over.  The idea is that the person pulling goes to the side and the rest of us pass her and she gets back on at the end of the line, while a new person pulls.

So I took over the front.  And there I was, at the front of the paceline, for the first time ever, cutting the wind for everyone and bravely leading my team.

Naturally, I buckled under the pressure and went into a full-out sprint.  I pedaled like they were trying to rob me.  "Fast!" thought I, "Fast is fun!  Everyone loves fast! Must... prove... myself... to ... team..... Fast!  Faster, or my true identity as a ruthless sandbagger will be revealed!"

A few miles later, we hit our planned rendevous point, and had a nice chat about pacing and not running away from the team.  We like paces.  I like paces, too.

They actually let me lead again later.  I behaved myself, then.


Crossfit had a 5K this week.  I'm finding Crossfit to be a blessing and a curse.  I'm skipping heavy lifting days and bargaining down the adding of extra weights, and adding on extra running whenever I can.  The sprints seem to really be helping me, but I can't do the heavy lifting and still maintain form on runs and bikes.  I'm looking at subbing Crossfit Endurance workouts, but finding it a little confusing...

But when it came to 5K day, I was SO THERE.  The coaches were sitting in heaps at the couches, trying to tell me they just aren't good at the endurance work.  (Ahem.  I think they both turned in sub-30 minute 5Ks.  Good on you, guys.)  But most of the Crossfitters are 5K sprinters.  I wanted to try to maintain consistent pace, and finish strong enough to do more.  (Since an Olympic is a 10K, after all.)

I turned in a 31:49 5K, which is my new personal record and my time to beat forever more.  This was most respectable for me.  I think I might be getting a little better at the running.

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