Taking a Pull At the Front
This morning I met up with Patrick for a ride along River Road. All told, I did 60.9 miles followed by a 5.16 mile run.
It rained for the last 2:30 on the bike only to stop as I pulled into the garage. The run was pleasant — 64 degrees and drizzle — and surprisingly fast.
Thursday night, Noah lowered my stem. I proceeded to put an hour in on the trainer with no notice to my back, hamstrings or hip flexers. Today, it was nearly 3:30 in the saddle and no pain or discomfort. I think I guessed right about the increased flexibility to allow me to reach lower. If I feel it anywhere right now, it is in the hip flexers. We also switched out my bottle cage and the fancy new carbon cage worked without incident today.
Patrick was feeling a bit out of sorts and we weren’t quite on the same pace for most of the ride. We rode together for an hour and a half before he broke off to tackle a big hill that I’ll have to check out another time. He says that from MacArthur up Chain Bridge is a steady 7.5 minute climb that pitches up right at the end. Some days are like that — with all this training and racing you just have to hope that it is not race day when your legs are out of sorts. And, in Patrick’s case, it has only been a week since ran a blazing 3:04 marathon to qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon. I tend to think that will take a bite out of you no matter how fit you are.
All of this brings me the long way to my point. This whole Ironman process cannot be done alone. I’ve benefited tremendously from gifts of time and psychological support from Dana at home. There are financial sacrifices too. There is a great community in the Lake Placid forum on beginnertriathlete.com. I’ve taken advice from gear guys, colleagues who run a lot, friends with Ironman races under their belt and I’m sure others who I’m leaving out accidentally. I’ve been a guest multiple times at a pool near the office where I don’t have a membership. There are tips on stretching, neighbors who join me for conversation and an occasional workout.
Patrick made a point of thanking me today via Twitter for sitting in front during a big chunk of the ride. It is nice, but unnecessary. He’d do the same for me — in various ways so many people already have. Many people have taken a pull at the front and let me sit in behind.