Before I talk about me let me just first say that my 3 year-old son Liam entered a bike race today (Saturday). It started at 7:30 AM and he got up at 6:00 and went to the race and actually practiced beforehand. Again…he is 3. His bike has training wheels. When 7:30 came he lined up on the starting line with 8 other boys and girls under the age of 4. Some had training wheels, some had no pedals (they just walked their bikes around the course) and a few had legit bikes and were pedaling. Anyway, Liam finished, got a round of applause from the small crowd that had gathered at the finish line and was given his medal and T-shirt. After the race we learned he had finished 3rd in his age group (perhaps the 3 year-olds only, but who knows) and also received a gift certificate to the local bike shop. He was so excited. And so the story of a biking legend begins. See the picture below for Liam’s post-race press conference with medal.
This afternoon, after Liam’s race, Zinnia and I went to the beach and decided to do our own little dualathlon. We were going to swim in the ocean and then bike. I have really only swam in the ocean once for any considerable length, so I wondered how this would go. I was surprised that I wasn’t at all nervous. The tide was high so the water at San Luis Beach was plenty deep for a good swim. I ended up swimming for about 7 minutes and I figured that was about 250-300 meters. Hey! It’s a start. The race is still 2 months away and I want to now start swimming in the open water at least once a week. Seeing the fish didn’t bother me. Nor did the salty taste in my mouth. But, the saltwater really burned my nose. To the point that when I got out of the water I had to blow it constantly. Hopefully I will get used to that. Anyway, the water was a bit choppy but I swam through it. I need to get up to about 20-25 minutes of swimming without stopping in the open waters. That will likely be what my time will be during the race. If I can get to that point over the next two months I should be ready for the race. If not, heck, I may drown. No biggie. After the swim Zinnia and I put our biking clothes on and took off. We rode for 10 miles and it took 40 minutes exactly. We did pretty well. There were some pretty big hills we went up and those were killers after swimming (even if for only 7 minutes). We were fortunate that the sky was overcast and there was a breeze, because the temperature was 90 degrees and it was early afternoon and it could have been brutal. Still I had completely finished my water bottle by mile 7. I’ll need to make sure I have enough water when I do this again. So, I got a little used to the transition from swim to bike. Not bad. Amazing how quickly you dry off in the Guam sun after swimming? Of course then you just get wet again from sweat.
This week I trained more than any week over the past month. I went to the gym Monday and Wednesday mornings and lifted weights and did some mild cardio. Tuesday I actually gave my body a day off, but Thurdsday I biked 12 miles. This was the first time I had gone 12 miles and I did it in 44 minutes. I was by myself while Zinnia ran with her running group on the track at the Navy gym. I pushed myself pretty good and felt really good about the training. I pretty much do all my biking on the Navy base. They have nice bike lanes on the side of the road and I feel pretty safe riding there. Zinnia and I have developed a course that we follow that pretty much ends up being 10-12 miles. Maybe by July I will be doing the course twice (20 miles) to prepare for the triathlon. After the 12 miles I actually attempted to transition to the track and run with Zinnia. I hopped off the bike at the track, took my helmet off and started running right away. My legs felt like tree trunks. They were so heavy! But, I pushed through it and was hoping to be able to complete 1-2 miles. But, there was a problem. 1 lap in and my calfs, both of them, began to cramp. I was probably a bit dehydrated from the intense heat and not drinking enough water on the bike ride and my legs decided they weren’t keen on the whole “run-after-bike” thing I was attempting. So, I rested for a few minutes and ended up doing 2 more laps, but didn’t even complete a full mile. I did learn a nice lesson on hydration though.
Friday night I had a 5K on base and was hoping I could get my calfs and the rest of my body up for it. It was at 5:30 at night but the sun was just beating down on us with no clouds. Had to have been in the high 80s. And the course was hilly. Nothing dramatic, just was never really flat. Even a small hill becomes Everest when you are tired and hot. And this was after a full day of work. But I ended up finishing in 24:30. Considering the hills on the course I was OK with that. A few of the hills had runners stopping and walking. I stopped once on a hill for about 10 seconds but then quickly started again. I learned a few years ago that if you stop for too long it is almost impossible to start up again. So, I went at an 8:00 mile pace. I am sure my time during the triathlon (also a 5K but AFTER the swim and bike) will not be very strong given that my legs may be full of jelly, but I would hope I could do it in around 25:00. Below is a pic of me crossing the finish line at the 5 K last night. There were a lot more people behind me than in front of me, so I had that going for me.
Watching my diet pretty close too. No soft drinks this week (except for a few sips of diet coke after the race last night. No fast food. No cookies from Subway. No chocolate bars in the afternoon as snacks. Lots of water and protein bars for snacks. Fruit smoothies on weekends. Oatmeal as an after dinner snack if I am hungry. Trying to do the right things. Hoping the Cinco de Mayo-to- July 4th body transformation experiment pays off.