Friday, September 4, 2009

You Look Racey

Last night I was up really late doing laundry (one of the dryers in the basement is broken, so it look twice as long as I thought it would to do 4 loads of laundry) and finishing the unpacking. I can't believe how great the apartment is looking now. I sort-of wish I had been wearing my heart rate monitor so that I could feel better about using this unpacking as alternative exercise!

This morning I was up early as usual. My dad and step-mom are nice enough to let me & Drew use some space in their basement for our stuff and they drove into the city this morning to pick up Drew's bed frame since we have decided to keep mine and to store his. They got to my apartment around 6:15 and the first thing my dad said to me was, "You look racey." I know, I know, it's misspelled. But that's really what he meant. I was all decked out in my biking gear as I knew I was going to head out for a quick ride after they left. For the record, Urban Dictionary defines "racey" as: Anything else that can get your heart going faster than normal. Fairly accurate, I think.

After we loaded up the bed frame into their car, I was off to the park. I will say that it was sort-of nice to be going to the park about an hour later than normal and to be able to ride in complete daylight. My plan for today wasn't speed. It was just to tackle the Harlem hill a few times in a row. I decided while I was biking up there that I wouldn't let myself use my granny gear at all - that I'd keep the bike in the middle chain ring (no sense in going into the big chain ring, that's just torture) the entire time and see how I did.

I didn't take my HR monitor as I'm still waiting on this weird chafing from Tuesday to go away before I wear it again, so I can't be positive that my HR was going faster than normal, but I think it's a fairly safe assumption considering the fact that on my first time up the hill I just was thinking to myself, "Why would you make yourself do this?". I don't think there is a rational answer to that question, but sometimes I think that there is something a tiny bit irrational about triathlons in general, and purposely riding your bicycle up hills is part of that irrationality.

I'm proud to say that I never once really considered going into the small chain ring. Once I had committed myself to staying in the middle, I was stuck there. I also did something that I've never done before. While riding down the hill (before the climb, near Lasker pool) I generally chicken out because I think I'm going too fast and I brake a little bit to make myself feel better. Mainly because at the bottom of that hill, you have to make a right turn and I'm always worried I'll be going too fast for the turn. Today, on my second and third trips down the hill, I didn't brake at all! The first time it happened, I didn't realize it until I was already past the point where I would normally brake. The second time, I had to really consciously think about not braking. After that, I just had to brake. It just feels natural and I'd rather loose a little speed than fall over.

Since I got a bit of a later start this morning, I only ended up riding for 54:52 and went 11.70 miles (12.8 MPH average). My weekend plans have now changed drastically (my friend is no longer coming to visit), so I'm hoping that means that I can get in a long bike ride to make up for the time I've spent out of the saddle recently.

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