Monday, July 18, 2011

Eau de Plateau

After a less than stellar week, I jumped on what calls a "Category 5" climb to work some hill repeats on Saturday morning. They rate any climb "over 500 meters and with an average grade of 3%" with Category 5 being the easiest. I have to think that this is a flawed measurement though because the so-called Cat 5 that I was climbing had a listed average grade of 2.4%.

The other flaw in the plan was that I decided to go out at about 6:30 in the morning in order to avoid traffic. The flaw was the location. The primary street is only 1/4-mile from a golf course which meant all of those crazies trying to make their tee time were whizzing past me.

Yes, I know I called the golfers, "crazies," but don't hate on me. You see, my father was a more than avid golf nut who practiced year 'round in Chicago. He even set up a tee and screen in the garage to practice in sub-zero weather. Somewhere in an old scrap book is a picture of him on the driving range in the middle of a snowy winter. A local photographer caught him and it was printed in the paper. He was practicing for a tourney called, "The Eskimo Open." My husband is a golfer as well. I know these people and I know how they drive when the greens are calling.

I was worried that I might be in over my head on this climb when I saw a local race club going down the hill and they nodded, smiled, and waved at me... a sign of respect? Now I'm nervous.

No need for nerves. The climb wasn't any harder than the repeat I did a couple of weeks ago, just longer. There was one short section that let me practice my climbing-while-standing skills. The descent was actually more unnerving as my glasses kept fogging and clearing at 25mph. Fogged glasses, tee times... oh, those weren't in the plan. I made it back and forth three times and then rode home and did a 30-minute walk/run interval session.

Sunday brought an easy 50-mile bike ride. I know that I'm supposed to rest after a hill repeat workout but it was Sunday... SUNDAY!!
I turned it into a recovery ride, knowing that Monday was bringing the threat of thunderstorms (that means rain for those that may not remember that weather phenomenon) and I would treat that as a rest/errand day. That it was an easier ride than the 35 miles I did earlier in the week means I'm either breaking past the plateau I've been riding at lately or the humidity is the real enemy during these hotter rides. I'm thinking it's a little of both because I have no tightness the day after these two exercises but did feel it immediately after the ride which is my personal signal for dehydration even though I was taking in electrolytes every 10 minutes.

Today (Monday) at work also brought a comment from my friend/swim coach (who, besides earning a living as a swim instructor, is also a triathlete coach, an Ironman finisher and former Team-in-Training coach). She mentioned that she did a half-mile swim at the beach in Hopkinton over the weekend. Knowing that she held an open-water swim clinic at that same beach, that's what I affectionately call a, "gauntlet soft-toss."

We are planning a swim/ride brick some time in the next two weeks in preparation for the Title 9 triathlon in Hopkinton in September. She is bound and determined that I will finish the swim/tri this year. I am bound and determined to finish just so I don't ruin her stellar reputation. She's a great coach, I'm just a lousy student so I have to adjust my schedule to fit in some more swim time to be sure and make her proud... and get out of the water so I can kick her butt on the bike.


  1. You can and will finish that tri. Id come out and bandit that thing to be right beside you the whole way, but im guessing a 300# dude would stand out in a chicks-only race

  2. @Ben - Haven't they made movies about such things? While I certainly appreciate your encouragement, I do believe that my race is on 9/11 - the same day as your Rev3 Ironman. Let's just keep battling our demons and finish these races by hook or by crook, okay?

  3. Last weekend I assisted at the Lake Nasworthy Tri. People try to talk me into doing it. But when you dog pedal, bike off the back, and dog trot, it is hard to strut around afterwards. Besides, events can't operate without volunteers so I play my part. Hats off to you.

    I will try your mapmytri. Mapmyride always tells me the elevation is not available so we don't know if we are doing a Cat 5 or 10.

  4. I love the volunteers! I try and say thanks to every volunteer I can. If I ever get my act together, I'd like to try and volunteer at least once every season.
    I think MapMyTri runs on the same API as MapMyRide. Of course, they don't rate headwinds.