This week has been eventful. In addition to my commutes, I've been on three organized rides.
The Lake Lanier Islands Triathlon - Sunday, 2 October
This race was my last for the year, both for financial and physical reasons. Financially, tris are too expensive to do very often (one a month is a bit extreme). Physically, tris are a LOT of fun, but this one had us huddled like emperor penguins on the beach before the wave start, at the crack of dawn, in 40 degree heat... er, cold. It was very cold. And, while it was wetsuit legal (water in the 70s), I neither own a wetsuit nor thought it would be worthwhile using one in a sprint when the act of stripping off the suit would make my transition time about as long as my swim time. AND, 70F water with an ambient temperature of 40 feels like a freaking jacuzzi. It was amazing. Because of the wave start, there were 50+ other women in the water with me, so while I had entered the race determined to crawl most of the way, I had to go to breaststroke a bit because of feet in my face (and my feet in others' faces). That said, because of the crowding in the water (and my general poor swimming), my pace for the swim was UNCHANGED from the PTC in August.
Getting out of the water was.... not so great. We had to run maybe a tenth of a mile UPhill to the transition area, soaking wet and, oh, it was still in the 40s. And windy. I wisely used some time to dry off my legs and change out of the tank and into a long-sleeved jersey, which I wore for the remainder of the race.
The bike course was hilly (not steep, but enough hills to slow down regular triathletes) and windy and, of course, not closed. There is only one road on/off the island and so there were cars along it. As it's only one lane in each direction (and not necessarily wide lanes at that), I was stuck behind a truck immediately because it couldn't pass the slower rider in front of it. A lot of the bike leg was like this. Still, I felt good, if a little chilly and a lot frustrated, on the bike.
The run course was, naturally, also hilly, but wind is less of a factor when running. I made it a goal to run the whole thing unless I cramped, and except for walking to eat a shot blok and to drink some water, I ran the whole way. This made for a sizable improvement in my official pace.
400m Swim: 0.11.12, a 2:48 pace: 41/52 in age group
13mi Bike: 0.44.50, a 17.4mph pace: 7/52 in age group
5k run: 0.30.28, a 9:49 pace
Total time: 1.32.09
So, no improvement on swim or bike, but a PR for the run! Woohoo!
Buckhead Hills - Tuesday, 4 October
Tuesday saw the return of J to the bike (as far as I'm concerned) after his broken clavicle a few weeks ago in Brookhaven. He, G, and I went up to the hills of Buckhead for the first time since June. I wasn't fast (I didn't expect to be), but it was nice to do a different, though familiar, route with the boys. I need to work more on the hills (I guess). Having ridden to school that morning, I already had 8 miles under my belt, but there's no taking it easy with these two. Fortunately (for me), J's time off the roads meant that he ended up hanging back with me (he's still a fast SOB), but without my feeling *too* guilty about it.
Maximum speed: 35.5 mph
Average speed: 14.9 mph
Distance: 17.57 mi
Brookhaven Loops - Thursday, 6 October
This brings me to tonight. I again had already ridden to school this morning, but I had felt REALLY good after two days' of commuting and the hills. I did NOT feel quite as great tonight, but certainly felt much better than I have the last few weeks up there. I rode most of the time with E and S, who are fun to hang around with.
Maximum speed: 29.0 mph
Average speed: 15.1 mph
Distance: 20.56 mi
Both Tuesday and tonight's rides were getting dark by the end, despite the 6:00 start times. In addition, thanks to having gotten inappropriately yelled at the last two Thursdays, I think I'm over this ride for the season. As Dr. S has suggested, I could easily get in extra miles in the mornings by going out to Stone Mtn before heading in to school, for a ~42mi day. That's much more appealing, at this juncture.