A Solid Brick

The thing about training for a new race distance is you’re checking off new milestones all the time.

A few years ago, I (ballsily?) (dumbly?) jumped on a bike and agreed to ride 50 miles with a friend who was training for a metric century, despite the fact that I’d never rode more than 15-20 miles before. So yeah, you should just definitely jump in a bike in the OBX and ride for more than 4 hours midday. 

That aside, I’m going to be hitting lots of distance milestones with my biking and swimming, and every single long ride and swim make me more confident for the big day.

Although, yesterday I woke up, was reading triathlon recaps (as I’ve been doing obsessively lately and wondered just what I’d gotten myself in for. On a rational level, I do know I’ll be able to finish each of the distances and probably won’t even be the last person, but sometimes my emotions take over and sheer panic ensues.

(JK Mom, I’ve totally got this.)


I’m really really glad I know a few people also training for this race, including Former Coworker Abby. This morning, we met up at the Esplanade on the West Side Highway for a ride. In what may be a total duh moment, I saw her Garmin on her handlebars and asked if she’d used the bike mount, and she said that she just strapped it on. I did the same, and now looking at my time on my wrist and worrying about falling over is one less thing to worry about. Speaking of falling over, I’d clipped out with one foot at a light and went to lean over to the other side, completely forgetting it was clipped in. Luckily, I was able to clip right out, which made me feel a lot better about any potential actual spills.

We rode up to just south of the Little Red Lighthouse and turned around and headed back to the starting point. By the time I got back to my apartment, I was at a total of 25.9 miles. So clearly, I went around the block so I could get to an even 26.2.

I hung up my bike in the bike room, strapped on my drawstring bag (I ride over to Central Park or the West Side Highway in sneakers and then switch to my bike shoes there, because I am NOT ready to ride clipped in through the city) and helmet, and took right back off. My coach had running 15 minutes off the bike on my plan.

That made this the first time I’d done a run off the bike in training in a LONG time. Uh, maybe the second time ever. I’ve always had a good run in my triathlons, so I started off running feeling happy and strong, and continued to feel that way for the next 15 minutes.

I finished this workout so on top of the world.

But…there’s still a lot I need to work on. I did those 26.2 miles in 2:15. As in, slow as shit. (That does also include about 20-30 minutes total of getting over to the West Side Highway and back from my apartment.)  I’m still really nervous on the West Side Highway path. There are SO many people. Runners in the bike lane, CitiBikers meandering through the bike lane, real, scary cyclists whizzing past me and towards me. I am cautious as hell. Cautious also equals slow. Abby and I had originally loosely planned on WSH + Central Park but got caught up chatting and found ourselves up at 125th Street. I need to get off the WSH path and somewhere a bit less crowded, like the Palisades or Piermont in coming weeks.

I’ll be out in the Hamptons next weekend, and I’m really excited to ride out there and see somewhere new.

What workouts have you felt really solid about lately?

10 comments on “A Solid Brick

  1. Ash Bear

    Awesome job! I am definitely not fast on the bike either but every ride is making me feel a bit better. However, I’m still not great at unclipping. My knees and right calf prove that I continue to fall over one time on every ride. 🙂

  2. meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    I am almost demanding that your bike ride this weekend in the Hamptons takes you to see the Kardashians. At least bike your way around their store. Please. I keep saying I need to get out there on a weekday just to see if I can see them and shop the store. I assume the weekend is insane but I am determined one way or another.

  3. Jennifer Olszowy

    Way to go!! My most successful training happened this past weekend. I completed a 87 mile ride in preparation for my first Ironman, Boulder. I am stoked because I did this on my own in a place I don’t know well, but knew I had some gas stations to refuel. Of course, we chose this location because it was relatively flat and hotter then Hades, just like potential race day, August 3. Keep up the great work.

  4. Laura@SneakersandSpatulas

    Great job! I always rode with my Garmin strapped on my handle bars too. Once I started using aero bars, I made a mount out of electrical tape instead of buying a mount as there was no longer any room on the handle bars for the Garmin. Here’s the link to how I did it if interested: http://www.sneakersandspatulas.com/2014/02/23/aero-bar-firsts-and-garmin-forerunner-bike-mount-hack/

    I had a really solid 2,000 yard swim workout last week that left me feeling really strong.

  5. Sarah

    I fell the very first time I clipped in– I had zero motion whatsoever– I had tried to do it just standing over the bike. It’s been a few years now, and although I’ve significantly improved, I’m still not the best. 3 tips I received from the group I ride with. 1. The foot that is clipped in first– pull it up, so you get the downward momentum of the pedal stroke to get moving. 2. It’s ok if you can’t get the 2nd food clipped in right away, just put it on your peddle and keep going til you get to a comfortable speed where you can take the time to clip in. 3. It’s all about Time In The Saddle. There is no substitute for that to get better.

    Also– your speed will increase when you’re not on a trail. I am significantly slower when I’m on a crowded trail and slowing down all the time to get around people, or just slowing down because I anticipate them doing something completely crazy, like stopping in the middle of the trail, etc. I’ve learned, the guys whizzing by me at 30mph, are actually the safest ones!

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Thanks for those tips 🙂 I do agree it’s the fast ones that are probably the safest, as counterintuitive as that is. I keep saying I wish I could wear a shirt that is the cycling equivalent of Driving School!!

  6. Shawna

    nice job, girl! and enjoy the Hamptons. 🙂 lately i’ve felt good about the hilllllly runs i’ve done upstate when visiting my parents — ooof. alllll the hills.


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