Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Quick post but I can't resist...

So I managed to get my arse out of bed at 5:40 a.m., even though the radio had been going for about 20 minutes. I spent those 20 minutes contemplating the idea of just swimming or just cycling and sleeping for a little while longer. But when the reporter began talking about the day's forecast - "dry with some sunshine, highs maybe creeping up to 60!" - oh, I knew what I had to do. I had to make it my mission, despite how much my biceps and triceps ached, to don my bike clothes, pack my swimsuit and cap and goggles, and get on that bike and get over to that pool.

Finally left my house at about 6:08 a.m., and was at the pool at 6:20. Workout technically starts at 6:15 a.m., but that's when the 10 minute warmup begins, and the actual written workout starts at 6:25 a.m. I had just enough time to change into my suit and get out to the pool deck. Upon walking out to the deck as I was putting my swim cap on, I noticed that the 1:25 lane was filled with people...but they happened to be the familiar faces of the 1:20 lane, not the 1:25 lane. I scanned the other lanes. "Hmmm...where is everybody?" I thought. I realized that nobody from the 1:25 lane was in attendance, and there happened to be about ten 1:20 people, so they split the lane up (since I had not yet arrived). Clearly, I was not about to swim 1:20, so I hopped in with 1:30. This turned out to be a good thing, because I had a difficult time even keeping up with them. My arms were KILLING ME. I mentioned this to Kevin, who had a great response: "Pain is the weakness leaving your body!!!!" Well if that's the case, there must be a whole bucket load of weakness leaving my body. Good lord.

I couldn't stand it anymore. We were doing a long set of 2000 yards, all freestyle, broken up into lines of 400 - i.e one line would be 100 + 200 + 100; the next would be 100 + 300; 3rd was 200 + 200; 4th was 300 + 100; 5th was 100 + 200 + 100. Oh my goodness my guinness. I had to put fins on halfway through. The arms were just not having it. Burning, fatigue, moving slowly even though you're moving as fast as you can - that's what it all felt like at the same time.

After workout, I rinsed off, got my bike clothes on, and headed out to conquer Tunnel Road. Tunnel Road winds its way up past the Claremont Hotel and goes up, up, up the hill above Hwy 24, and this morning I was able to look down and see all of the bottlenecking that goes on each morning as cars have to go from four lanes to two to get through the Caldecott Tunnel. I smiled and thought about how happy I was not to be in that. As I made my way up to where the climb really begins, I could feel my legs hating me and begging me to turn the bike around, go back down the hill to where I came from, and park the bike in front of Peet's coffee for a nice coffee break. As tempting as it sounded, I decided my legs needed to shut up and quit whining, and that I was on a mission. One guy started passing me as we made our way up to where Old Tunnel Road starts, and I thought "I can't have this. This is bullpuckey." Yeah, yeah, that's my competitive nature coming out. And I wonder how I got to win a race. Uh huh.

But as we got onto the road, I started spinning more and going faster than him, so I nodded and he said "have a good one!" (We had been conversing about the nice weather). I really love the Tunnel Road climb. There are few cars, the grade isn't bad, and it really is a good one for maintaining a certain heart rate and not getting totally exhausted. Did I mention the view yet? I found this picture on the web (link is here - crediting Dr. 'Skip' Morgan of Colorado who took the photo I've put to the right). Granted, this morning was kind of gray outside, but sometimes, it is just truly the most breathtaking sight you'll ever see. I feel so privileged to be able to see this on a regular basis. It is truly stunning. Here's what it's like on a nice day near sunset time: ------->

Once I was up atop Grizzly Peak, it was smooth riding from there. Lots of fast turns, lots of downhill, and I managed to maintain my speed through turns pretty well (still working on that), though I got stuck behind a car at one point.

The whole ride took about an hour and five minutes, and since I live on a hill, there was one last little uphill to conquer as I made a turn at the Rose Garden. My legs really hated me then. Still, I succeeded, and while I felt pretty tired, I also ended up being *really* happy that I got out of bed.

I must say, though, my body feels really tight and I think I should take a good 40 minutes tonight to do some serious stretching. Onward!

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