As a storyteller I know that there is something about the number three. There are three brothers, three pigs, three bears, three wishes, etc. Three is sometimes referred to as a “magic” number. Today was the third time I rode Sanders Ferry. It was the day that I made it up the hill coming back in through Country Club Estates. It felt like magic.
I felt like this was a big accomplishment. The first time I had to walk up the hill with my bike. On Sunday I made it almost to the top before I couldn’t get the rest of the way. Today, with excellent coaching from my friend Laurie, I made it all the way to the top. It will get easier, I’m sure. There are several reasons that today clicked. Laurie helped me understand more about when to shift gears and which gears to shift into to get up the hills. She also encouraged me *not* to brake going down the hills since I lose momentum when I do. Not braking was also a big step. Even though I want to increase my speed on my bike, speed still scares me. I’m just getting back on the bike after several years of not biking and I have never really faced many hills. I have been recalling a crash on a hill going down Kiesel Street to Fisher Street when I was a child that was pretty bad. And I was on a one speed bike with brakes that were on the pedals then. So, I need to get used to the speed too. Out on the flat roads we got up to 16.4 mph. That is probably the fastest I have gone so far.
Laurie also helped me with other things today – pedaling more efficiently, the right position to be in when I stand, and how to coast and grab my water without falling over. It’s good to have friends who are experienced bikers. I’m lucky to know several people who are and who are willing to help those of us who are new on the roads.
This week’s challenges
This has been a week full of challenges. They have all been good and have helped me progress towards the triathlon next weekend.
Monday. After a 200 warm-up, I swam 6 x100’s to work on speed and form. I’m still dropping my front arm too soon when I breathe but I’m getting there. It will improve with more practice.
This was spring break week so I was able to work with Sam three times. On Tuesday we worked on transitions. It was pretty cold to be out in my swimsuit in the lower parking lot. I learned how to set up my transition area though and we went through transitions a few times. I cut about 30 seconds off my time as we progressed.
Wednesday. I’m not sure how to describe Wednesday. There were several new things and several old things. It was a great and challenging workout that included 123 lunges up and down the long hallway at the Rec Center. There was a time not very long ago when I could not do one lunge.
On Thursday we did some burpees and push-ups inside before we headed out to the hill by the tennis court. (Do you see a theme here? Hills are my new nemisis.) Sam did the hills with me – sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 for a total of 30 times up and down the hill. Then we headed back inside for a few more rounds of lat pull downs.
I bought bike shoes this week because I was tired of sliding around on the pedals in my running shoes. I knew I was going to do this eventually but I didn’t really plan on it this week. I had the pedals put on Tuesday and started to practice. First, I put my bike in a doorway in the house like they suggested at VeloCity. Then I headed outside to ride up and down the side of my house so I had something to lean on. On Wednesday and Thursday I progressed to rides around my neighborhood. I was already feeling the difference the pedals and bike shoes were making in my riding. Then today I headed out on the Sanders Ferry ride with Laurie.
I need to get a little more riding in before next weekend so I will need to figure out when I am going to do that. Tomorrow I am running a 5K around campus with, you guessed it, a hill near the end.
And thanks to David Glover for helping me with the new banner.
I also want to add a photo of my favorite coffee cup. It captures another theme in my life these days.