Thursday, July 17, 2008

(my legs felt like) Bricks

Last night's workout was our official introduction to bricks. A "brick" in this case refers to training in two sports or disciplines during one workout. Specifically, last night we cycled and ran. Then cycled and ran. Then ran again.

It sounds easier than it actually is. The team met after work at Moraga Commons. We started on the bike, just like we would in a normal triathlon (not counting the swim part). That meant starting with a helmet, gloves, and cycling shoes. These shoes have a cleat on the bottom to connect to the fancy-schmancy pedal that helps you use your legs for the entire revolution instead of just the down stroke. The latest shoes have a rigid sole, lots of air holes and velcro for quick closure. We pedaled westward, towards and up the hill(s) leading ultimately to Oakland. I didn't make it too far; we rode out for 10 minutes, then turned around and came back. Since it was mostly uphill in the outward direction (if you're a slow rider), it was a nice downhill coming back. I was feeling good and pedaling my heart out.

Back at our transition areas we stripped off our shoes and helmets. I decided that it would be easier to leave on my gloves (which was a mistake, I didn't need the extra heat of even fingerless gloves), tied my shoes with only a single tie (I normally double tie them so they don't untie), pulled on my cap and started away. I could have skipped the cap part but I need it to keep the straggly hair out of my face and the sweat out of my eyes. Running was a challenge, both because my legs were wobbly and because my breathing wasn't optimal.

The run was along the Lafayette-Moraga Trail which I know well. Five minutes out and 5 minutes back and it felt like much more than that. I was just getting used to that movement when it was time to change again.

Off with the cap and helmet and running shoes and on with the helmet and cycling shoes. Hop on the bike and off westward ho! Only this time I took it easier. I knew the hill was ahead of me and didn't want to go back down the other side again. Also, the sun was setting right in our eyes. I couldn't see more than a few inches in front of me once we got out to the hill. It was pretty scary, avoiding other cyclists and trying not to get hit by cars (of which there were plenty, commuters cutting through the hills on their way home) and truely not seeing anything. Good thing I was going so slowly. I topped out the first hill and decided that although I was a couple of minutes short I'd just turn around. I really was scared of continuing on into the sun when I couldn't see.

Back to the park, strip off shoes and helmet and one glove (it was so hard removing the tight, damp glove that I left the other on). Put on the running shoes and cap and off we go again! The run this time was just as hard to start, but my breathing was a little easier once I'd run for a couple of minutes. Again it was 5 out and 5 back, a very short run.

Then one final time of taking off shoes and cap, replacing them with helmet and the other shoes (and the other glove), back on the bike. This was supposed to be a cool down/recovery ride and I made myself go slowly and easily. I didn't want to get to the turn where the sun was directly in my face. I leisurely rode out and back and my workout was done.

I was tired! My legs, particularly my quads, were definitely feeling the burn. I certainly felt like I'd been doing more than an hour's workout. The good news was that nothing really hurt, I was just overall sore. I mean, my knee and my back didn't hurt, although my shoulders and arms and legs were workout-sore. The type you know will go away. After some sleep. And some advil.

We have many more bricks to go before the tri. Makes me feel nostalgic for the "easy" run workouts!

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