Watch Out, Lance….

…Molly G. is speeding up.

Following my recent post about the three tests I had to do for my trainer/coach Dorothy, I have now completed two of them–the bike 10mile time trial, and the swimming test. And, I’m going to tell you about them. The times, however, are between my coach and myself.  Maybe one day I will share them with others.

1. Time Trial: Pro Cyclists- be warned!

Lance Armstrong on a Time Trial during the TdF a couple years ago

 

The weather, thank goodness, was bearable–it seems like forever since I have ridden outside (have I mentioned I dislike riding on a trainer indoors? Does not even come close to being outside). It was chilly, but I kept bundled up, and did not have to worry about my water getting warm! I started off on route 308, just outside my house to the “fork in the road” (literally, there is a fork in the road in Milan) for my time trial. It was the first time I’ve done a time trial, other than my racing in duathlons, and first time I’ve gone out on a bike ride specifically to go as fast and push as hard as I could for ten miles.

Milan's Fork in the Road

It was painful, not going to lie. If I had aero bars, and a TT bike, and an aerodynamic helmet, I would have been faster (ok I’m done making up excuses for my poor time). It was windy. Bodily fluids were flowing from my nose and eyes with no plans on stopping. If you’ve ever run or biked or hiked or done any physical activity outside with me, you might have noticed that I carry wads of tissues with me. My nose just starts running whenever I do anything, and I am either constantly sniffling or blowing my nose. Really attractive, right? I’m a sad miserable mess in spandex when I ride– nothing attractive about it.

My best friend when doing anything active

At any rate, I did it. And after the ten miles, I decided to continue for a little further, because the weather was so nice. And, as a result of having issues with runny noses, I have mastered the art of removing gloves/blowing my nose/ applying chapstick all while steering clear of cars whilst riding–I’m pretty sure if you pass me while I’m in the midst of it, I look like a clown. And probably do. But those things are small accomplishments in my eyes.

2. Pool

I spent my third morning ever in Bard’s pool yesterday morning, doing test numero deux for my coach: a  2x 100yard fly  sprints. It is amazing how different the muscles used in swimming are. I know in running, you use your legs, as well as arms. And for road cycling, you have to have powerful legs (have you seen the the pro cyclists’s thighs? You can see their rectus femorii, vastus lateralii, and vastus medii–in non-medical terms, thigh muscles, with no problems. Pro cyclists are incredible incredible shape!) But I never realized how much you use your legs in swimming either. And, you use your upper body much more as well. You can sometimes tell if someone is a swimmer by looking at their upper body–they have muscular, broad shoulders. And, now I know why. Swimming is all about upper body, too.

Let me stop here just say, pro athletes in general are in amazing shape. Whether cycler, swimmer, sprinter, triathlete. You can look at them in spandex or swimsuits and say, “Wow, you are in amazing shape. And, attractive. And, can bike, swim, and run. Will you marry me?”

Sorry for that little side note. Back to my swimming. I went to the pool when it just opened for lap time at 0730 and shared a lane with a nice older lady. I warmed up with a couple slow laps (100 yards) and then did sprint numero uno. Holy cow. By my fourth lap of that 100yards (I swim in a 25yard pool), my legs were  burning like they do when I am riding up mountains, and I had to breathe for air with every upstroke. I am not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing when swimming (I know nothing about the sport, except for how to spot a swimmer, as I mentioned above). When I got to the wall, my heart rate was 188 (somewhat on the higher end of my heart rate training zone for my age) and the time was 2:10–other swimmers, please, no laughing. I could have been faster had I known how to do flip turns. This is the third time I’ve been in a pool for over 13 years, let alone doing laps.

I waited three minutes, as told by Dorothy, and then did the second sprint. She was right when she told me I would hate it. It was horrible. But I did the second one and completed it.

After the two sprints, I decided I needed to spend more time in the pool to get somewhat of a workout in, so I just did laps (total of 20x 100yards, so 2000yards) alternating sprinting and using kickboards. Yes, if you are a swimmer, or coach, or know what you are doing, you probably think I am doing my swim workouts all wrong. That’s why I have Dorothy.

At this time, I’m not too fond of swimming in a pool. Yes, you can stay warm when it is cold outside, and do not need to worry about blowing a flat in your tire (that story will come shortly). But, in a pool, I feel I am getting nowhere. On a bike, or on a run, I am going somewhere, getting close to some destination. But in the pool, you are swimming from one side to the other. Back and forth. Ohh boy, this training for the race in June will be fun fun fun.

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