Monday, February 16, 2009

A Weekend in Transition

The weekend started with my 45-mile ride from Sylmar into Santa Clarita and back. I wasn't going to try and go faster than my last time on this route but based on my recent rides I figured I end up going a bit faster. I took a couple of fueling/stripping breaks but none due to "I can't make it up that hill" this time. I felt good and came in twenty minutes faster than last time. Next time on this route I will try and go faster since I'm a bit more used to the route. Hit 37mph on one of the downhills. 32mph used to be my freak-out limit so I'm making some kind of weird progress.

On Sunday I went for an easy 10-mile ride to get some of Saturday's ride out of my legs. Before I started my ride, though, I played around with hopping on my bike with the shoes already clipped in to the pedals. I have seen videos of people doing that where the shoes are not secured with rubber bands. I have decided that those people did not have size 13 shoes. I am definitely using rubber bands (which I need to get a good supply of). When I ran out of rubber bands I headed out on my ride without socks (nothing new on race day, right?). On a whim I detoured on top of Hansen Dam to get my first preview of this summer's triathlon route. Nice ride. After I came down off the dam I went into one of the park's parking lots and practiced the rest of my transitions.

The first time I practiced bike transitions I thought that they were really hard and wondered if I had enough time to get competent at them. After I figured out my system, though, I have to say I got pretty good at them. Pedal on the shoes, slip my feet into the shoes and strap in, then pop my feet out of the shoes. If it goes well at UCLA I might even make a video of doing it because the transition videos I've seen aren't very good or detailed enough.

Today I wanted to take advantage of the three-day weekend and get in a run but the weather was pretty miserable. That wouldn't deter me from a bike ride but I'm a bit skittish about my running right now so I waited to see if the weather would get better. It didn't. Then my family and I went out to the movies. When we came out of the theater the weather looked better so I decided to race sundown when we got home. It was just a three-mile run but the calves mostly held up. I did take a planned break halfway but things went well. The front of my calves started getting a bit tight towards the end but not nearly as bad as last weekend. We'll see.

Next weekend is a two-hour ride before I head out to be a Course Marshall at the Amgen Tour of California. On Sunday, after a run, I will head over to UCLA and preview the bike part of the triathlon course.

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