Sloth week served its purpose. Five days with just a short swim, a strange “ballet body” class, and a morning of learning how to ride up a small hill on my bike, plus gorgeous Bay Area weather that I’d mostly only seen from my car windows, had me itching to jump out of bed on Saturday morning and start this whole triathlon adventure. I didn’t even care that the alarm went off at 7 on a Saturday (or that that constituted “sleeping in”); it was sunny, and I was ready.
Weekend 1 of 10 of Wildflower group training started with me learning never to carry anything else out of the house when I’m holding the bike rack. Between 8:05 and 8:10 a.m., and between my apartment on the second floor and my car parked at the corner across the street, I managed to drop my keys twice, send a mini first aid kit and a packet of handi-wipes skittering down the stairs, and conk myself in the head (and apparently in the forearm, given the bruise I found there later) with various straps and arms of the rack.
Still, by 8:30, I had the rack on the car, and the bike on the rack, and all my gear in my gym bag, and I was off for group workout #1.
We started with the bike. Of course we started with the bike. Once I thought about it, though, I was totally fine starting with the bike, because I figured no matter how much of an ass I seemed to be on bike day, I could only look smarter and more skilled from there. The “workout” — a term used loosely, because we were told that it wasn’t about speed and it wasn’t about distance and it wasn’t about sweating, it was just about riding together as our group of 43 — was a loop along Marina Green, into a parking lot, and back, pause to regroup, then do it again, using the proper hand signals and group riding etiquette. Yeah, well. Signaling requires being able to steer with one hand on the bike, so I was the jerk sort of lifting a couple of left-hand fingers and hoping the person behind me figured out I was indicating a turn. But I practiced — one hand off the bike, then the other; one hand, then the other — and by loop #2, I could almost make a proper signal. Almost. Eh. I was also one of three people who didn’t clip in, but at least I didn’t fall over. Not that falling over would have been the worst thing; a couple of people did. But I would have been the only one falling over in sneakers.
Sunday, though. Sunday was better. Sunday we met at the shiny outdoor pool that’s going to make me very sad when I’m slumming it in the greenish goopy cave at 24-Hour Fitness the rest of the time. Sunday I accidentally got placed in one of the faster lanes and then didn’t get moved out of it. I’m not a fast swimmer, as my times from this workout greatly prove, and yet: I was faster than I thought I could be. I’m sure there were a few things going on there: a desire to perform well (even though I didn’t know I was in one of the faster lanes, I knew I didn’t want everyone in my lane passing me every 50), swimming in a 25-yard pool vs. my usual 20, and (much like my recent 5K) low-to-nonexistent expectations of how fast I could swim if I really tried. My regular pool has a 30-minute lap swim limit and I’m usually loath to do anything hard enough to require rest; that’s precious minutes off my limited time. But here, when I was told to swim 25 yards “puking fast” with a long rest at the other end of the pool, I could.
Then we ran. I found myself in a Goldilocks situation with no “just right” option: 2 miles seemed too short, 5 too long for my intended plan of running only and exactly as much as required until my leg situation is completely sorted. But the soft dirt trails at the start of the run and the chattiness of the group and — I’ll admit — my pride got the better of me and I did the full 5-mile loop (er, 4.75, as it turned out). It was a hilly, not-very-easy route, but I was able to keep my conversational pace until the final hill, at which point the girl next to me and I were reduced to grunting. I got a bit discouraged at how tired my legs were after just four miles, but then I remembered: Right. Swimming. That happened today, too. I was sore but not significantly worse for the wear afterwards, and with only three days of running on my schedule for the time being, I think I made the right call, or at least not a drastically stupid one.
And then my new tri buddy and I got burritos. So I can’t really call the first weekend anything but successful.
Stats: 6-ish miles biking, 4.75 miles running, somewhere on the order of 1400 yards swimming (but I messed up my watch early in the swim, so who knows, really), 1 giant burrito eaten, 1 extravagant piece of technology purchased on sale at Amazon, 2 adorable tiny bags procured for strapping various tools and food products onto my bike, 2 people who have the same Nuun water bottle I do (so I’d best Sharpie my name on mine right quick).