In the past week and a half since my last post, I rode my first 50 mile bike ride and then worked a lot at the running store. And finally, this week, I got some lazy summer days at the beach.
Last Monday I set out for my weekly long bike ride, intending to do a 40 miler. I was at the shore, so it was easy to figure the route -- head north on the island from my parents' house, turn around at the end, then back past the house and head to the south end, then back. Add some extra loops in there and an easy 40 is done. But then I got back to the house and realized I was actually at 41 miles, and decided that was a stupid number to end on so I headed back out for 9 more miles. According to my bike computer I finished with 50, according to my Garmin it was more like 51.5 miles. Something's off with my bike computer I guess, but as long as it's short, I'm fine with that.
On that ride, and often recently, I've begun to wonder how the heck to bike faster. It's like my legs suck or my bike sucks or they both suck. I get passed by people in races and just riding in general who fly by me while I'm riding at about 18mph and I wonder how the heck they do it! My race paces aren't terrible, but they aren't fast. I can't seem to make riding easier for me. I've been riding more, but I don't think I'm getting any faster. I do some interval stuff, a bunch of easy stuff, and more miles than ever. I suppose I'll get there, but it sort of boggles my mind.
So, a 50 miler done, the rest of that week was a bit easier on the legs. A little step-back week in the running and biking, but a solid swim on Thursday.
At the open water swim, I elected to swim without my wetsuit and had a plan to swim a warm-up lap and then a mile without stopping. Well, as I finished that first lap, I felt smooth and solid, so I just kept going. Lap after lap, in a groove and feeling good, I just kept going. At the end of 1.2 miles, I stopped. I was covered in gross, brown slime from the lake, but I felt accomplished. 1.2 miles without stopping, and I felt solid. I kept the pace at a place where my breathing was good and working, but not wearing me out. I looked at my watch -- which I hadn't stopped right away -- and figured it took me about 38 or 39 minutes to swim that. That's pretty good for me!