... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Friday, November 15, 2013

Darkness Falls: A Comedy of Errors

I have been bad. Very bad. it's been over a week and a half since I wrote, which is completely unacceptable. The good news is, much of this was because I didn't have time before or after work because I was doing workouts. I had started this post (minus this lovely little prelude) last week so I'm going to finish it and then write a new one for this week. So here goes.

My lovely running route
This past weekend we were having our house fumigated (termites be damned) and Saturday was almost completely taken up by getting all of our food and anything else we felt paranoid about packed up and out of the house. We wanted to go snorkeling afterward, but some strange weather left the ocean choppy and full of strange currents that did not look particularly inviting. This left Sunday, and we had big plans.

We drove down to Keauhou, where the triathlon is going to be held (IN UNDER THREE WEEKS!) ready to do the whole course, albeit in a slow and somewhat relaxed way. When I say relaxed, I am conveniently omitting the part about having to move our seats forward as much as possible to accommodate the two bikes in the back of my hatch back.

(Every time we go anywhere with the bikes, you see, we have a dilemma. Do we take Sean's truck, where we can put the bikes in the pickup bed and have plenty of room but if we have to do anything other than bike they are sitting out with no security? Or, do we take my Scion TC, which has plenty of room for one bike when the back seats are folded down, but fits two ony with dubious crowding, tangling gears, and both driver and passenger seat pushed as far forward as they can go?)

We chose my Scion, and thus made the entire drive to Kona with our knees by our chests and our faces practically pressed against the windshield. Comfy.

The problems began as soon as I checked the course information on the race website to see where we needed to go. The first portion (the swim), goes straight out to sea from the start point, reaching water that is 125 feet deep. In a large group of people like during the race, 125 feet depth sounds exciting but with just two people all by ourselves in the endless ocean, it sounds like the scariest thing ever. Oh well, we thought, we'll do the bike portion and the run and swim elsewhere.

Next, I looked up the run course. Clear as day, on the race website is the following sentence: "Please do not train on the golf course! We have permission to run on the course race day only! Well damn it all. Run course was out too.

I swear if these fit I would wear them for the race
Since the bike was our last option, we headed in the direction of the transition area. As we got closer, we realized that option three was not going to go our way either. At least a third of the course is shoulder-less, no space to ride off the very curvy road with cars whizzing by at 50mph--no conditions to be riding with just two people. Wow.

So, our plan to do the entire course turned into going to Sports Authority to try on goggles for me (since the mask-style ones were such a huge leaky failure), Bike Works Kona, getting my bike tweaked (yet again), getting some recommendations on tri shorts for Sean and saddles (see how I use the cool cyclist terminology?) for both of us, then getting our favorite Thai food and watching a movie. then going to Bike Works Waikoloa and getting Sean new pedals, cleats, and shoes so that he too can be "clipless" aka clipped in.  It was actually an enjoyable day, just not exactly what we had planned on.

Happy Halloween from Ballerinas Don't Run!
The other problem I ran into this week was that the seasons have finally caught up to my early morning swims. In order to be to work on time, I have to leave the house by 5:35AM, get to the beach by 6:05, be in the water by 6:15, back at my car by 6:55, and on my way to work by 7:10. Up until this point, it hasn't been a problem. After not being able to swim for a couple of weeks due to my stupid wisdom teeth, however, the days have reached that "winter" point where it doesn't get light until after 6:30AM, and no matter how brave I am I am not going in the ocean in the dark. Sean and I made it out of bed, got down to the beach, and realized that it wasn't even close to light yet, despite being 6:15. After sitting and waiting for fifteen minutes, we finally went in, but I could only do a half-mile swim before I had to go get ready for work. Even then, I was late.

The dark morning problem is one I haven't quite solved yet ... the good news is that I'm not too worried about the swim portion. Provided that my goggles don't un-seal and I don't get knocked out in the water by other flailing swimmers, I'm feeling pretty confident. If I can get three or four good swim workouts in the next week before the triathlon just to get comfortable again, I'll be fine, and since the running and cycling are tapering fairly dramatically this week, I should have plenty of time to swim.

The seasons change, and I guess my training has to change with it. It was a productive week if not quite in the way I was expecting, and the triathlon is getting close enough now that I'm starting to get excited!

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