This Saturday's group workout is a brick. And by brick they're not referring to a small rectangular block of clay, but rather to training in two sports during the same workout with little to no break in between to mimic a real race transition. Our morning workout just happens to be a 26-mile bike ride followed by a 4-mile run down in the South Bay. They say that brick workouts help to shorten the time it takes for our legs to feel normal after transitioning from biking to running, helping us to run both better and faster.
I began to ponder brick as a triathlon training term while swimming in the Bay this morning. The seemingly obvious origin of the term is in the idea of layering one sport on top of the other, like the stacking of bricks. I later discovered that the term refers to how your legs feel when you transition from biking to running – strangely heavy like bricks. Tomorrow morning I'll be closely monitoring any brick-like feelings in my legs.
My roommate/teammate Nathalie
and I realized that we're great biking partners on Saturday's
ride from San Rafael toward Pt. Reyes Station. We rode at the same pace the whole 33-miles. Some would probably say we should chat less and ride
harder, but I'd have to disagree. It felt like the perfect ride, we rode strong, and were lucky enough to have sunny weather so we could enjoy the gorgeous Northern California landscape. Go Team!
Note that our team is divided into three groups depending on fitness level. The pros are doing 50 miles. I'll be doing the elite distance, which is right in the middle, since I rather enjoy being kind of average. And the age group is doing 20 miles.
I have yet to get a flat while riding my little Bianchi Brava.
However, after the hands-on Sunday morning bike clinic I feel amply
prepared to sit on the side of the road, wheel between legs, extracting
and replacing one of those darned tire tubes. Bring it on you pesky
piece of rubber...
I have to thank the lovely TNT mentor Willow for showing me the
ropes the first time around – demonstrating a simple system for
removing and replacing my front tube.
And I need to thank Captain Eric for helping me replace my back tire
after I filled it with air, then accidentally broke the valve stem as I
removed the pump. Oops.
I realize that every little hurdle during practice results in a
wealth of education. Somehow my clumsiness keeps resulting in something
positive. Luckily, I now know how to remove my back tire (which is just
slightly more complicated because of the gears), change the tube, and
replace it just a little off-center, so it rubs along the frame only to
find that the bike won't move. And when this happens, it's time to
straighten out the tire again to avoid what could be a messy spill
right out of the gates. Good to know this now, and not on race day.
According to Captain Eric, I'll be able to change a tire in 3-4
minutes one day. Hmmm....that might be getting a little ahead of
myself, I'm happy to take it one baby tire step at a time for now.