Riding any bike requires control, but riding a road bike requires extra control. Speed, corners, learning to shift gears all take control. Learning to ride the road bike is my new challenge. It is lighter and moves faster than the hybrid. The shifting and braking system is also somewhat different. Hills are a challenge because I don’t have many hills to practice on where I ride most of the time. I already have the hang of standing on the road bike. This was a pleasant surprise because I have found standing on the hybrid difficult. I am not sure why it is easier on the road bike.
Knowing where others are on the road, where cars are on the road and watching for hazards also requires control. I need to be able to handle my bike for my own safety and for the safety of others. I have friends who have had nasty accidents because other people were not in control of their bikes. I need to pay attention to what bikers in front of me are doing as much as I need to pay attention to drivers when I am in my car. So far I have done fine with all of this.
The other issue of control I have been considering is with food. Portion control is obviously an important aspect of what I have done over the past year. Once in a while I get cravings that I just need to address. This weekend it was for a cheeseburger. I have been wanting a hamburger for a while but Sam and I were talking about hamburgers for some reason. I can’t remember how it came up. We mentioned Mugshots. They have great burgers. They are huge. I know I can’t eat one anymore. I finally went to Five Guys and ordered a little cheeseburger, which is not very little. I didn’t order fries. It was all I wanted and now I’m fine. I adjusted some of my other eating so I didn’t gain weight this week because of one cheeseburger. Sometimes you just have to satisfy a craving.
Taking care of myself
One of the things that Therese talked about during the race orientation was the need to take care of yourself. In triathlon, racers cannot accept assistance from anyone outside the race. So Sam can’t stand on the sidelines and coach me during the race. I can’t take assistance from anyone if my bike breaks down, for example. If I really too blind to see the path from the swim to T1, I need to figure out where to stash my glasses or how to navigate.
Taking care of myself is important. It’s a skill I have cultivated over the years so I should be fine in triathlon, just like I am in other areas of my life. This also requires control. I have to have a certain degree of control over my environment so my needs are taken care of during the race. I need to plan my transition area, know what I need and have it with me. If I forget something, there isn’t much I can do about it once I am in transition. Planning ahead and thinking things through are both as important as the actual race.
My next triathlon is Sunday at Callaway Gardens. I have to decide which bike I will use. I’ll do that in the next day or two. I have already set goals for the race. I’ll need to re-check my transition bag to make sure I have everything and pack up my car. I’ll be ready, in contol and be able to take care of myself.