Sunday, July 05, 2009


The Almighty hates Texas triathletes

Anybody out there a fan of "Bull Durham" like me? Do you remember the scene in the locker room where the coach starts to berate the players for their lack of effort?

    What're you laughing at?!

You guys lollygag the ball around
the infield, ya lollygag your
way to first, ya lollygag in an'
outta the dugout. You know what
that makes ya
That's one of the big differences between me with a coach and me without a coach. When I was following "Coach Greyhound" I lollygagged for a week or two after a race effort. Coach Kris is not so down with the lollygagging.

Apparently, he's all about the gagging without the lolly part, because yesterday I had the Eurobrick from hell on the schedule, and this only a week after a long half-iron effort.

Why "from hell" you ask? When it is well over 80 degrees in your garage before you open the door at 0530 in the morning, when you start riding your bike before sunup in hopes that you'll be running before Satan quits for the day because of the heat, when you are dripping down onto your top tube one mile into your ride in the dark, when your heart rate jumps into zone 5 while running at 10:00 pace, and when the dogs that usually bark at you don't even lift an eyebrow because it's too hot to give a sh!t, you are in hell.

Or, perhaps it's just Texas.

But hey, our Starbucks will stay hot in the car all day long. So, we've got that going for us.

Which is good.

Why "Euro" brick, you ask?

Well, it's not because "Le Tour" is on, although I am again addicted to the spectacle, suspecting all along that much of the athleticism I am watching is about as authentic as professional wrestling. (Side note on stage one: I have serious reservations about anyone who beats the best cyclists in the world by more than 20 seconds in a 15.5k time trial. If you see a performance far outside the bell curve, you should suspect pharmaceutical intervention. Just as Barry or Roger.).

But I digress.

My brick Saturday was a Euro brick because I was in metric, not by conscious choice.

My Garmin Forerunner 305 went missing over the Buffalo Springs half-iron, and I did not want to replace it before the Garmin Forerunner 310xt comes out on July the 20th. I spent all this effort to hook my old Polar up to Delilah, my new road bike, so as to have data to crunch, because every good triathlete knows that if there are no numbers on Training Peaks, the workout did not happen and it provided no physical benefit.

In all that effort, I somehow got all the units set in Euro numbers instead of good ole American miles per hour. (Of course, we know that's why Lance won all those Tour victories. He trained in miles instead of doing baby Euro, metric centuries. Ever hear of a Canadian tour winner? Non! Coincidence? I think not.)

Anyway, there I am sweating over my bike and riding the first 45 minutes of my ride before the sun even peaks over the horizon, and I'm just waiting to see what my pace and distance are like. I'm giving it my all, trying to maintain a good cadence and level of effort, just anticipating first light when I can see the pay off. Then, all I see is . . .



And after two hours of incalculable, metric suffering, I pull back into the garage, and throw on my running shoes. Last minute, I reach into the bento box on Carmen Tequilo, my tri-bike, still crusted with mud and ill-used from her half-iron effort, in order to grab a spare gel pack for the suffer-running to come. Low and behold, what do I find?

Il y a Monsieur Garmin, n'est-ce pas?

Oui. C'est vrai.

So not only do I not know how I rode in the Gulf Coast Stank we call "air," I know exactly how slowly I ran for the last 55 minutes, and exactly how high my pathetic little heart rate was for all that.

I decided to take a "heat discount," by walking in the last five minutes, for which I received the "no lollygagging" e-mail from Coach.

Okay, I get it. Mexico in November=Hot. Houston in July=Hot. Pefect bank of Ironman I have here. Seems like I should at least get a toaster or something for opening up an account in this blast furnace.


Tammy said...

LOVE your paragraph on TX heat... but seriously, be careful out there. And listen to your body... make sure you're recovering. Overtraining will not help you accomplish your goals. Just sayin'.

21stCenturyMom said...

ugh - better you than me, my friend. Also - what Tammy said. Heat stroke is no laughing matter.

Paula said...

I had a close call with heat stroke a week ago. Luckily, I was fully hydrated...just got over the end of my 32 mile ride for the day. So hard to replace all the minerals on those days...heck it was only 103! If you have any tricks I would love to see a post on that. Just sayin'.

Benson said...

you're one tough (roasted) nut.
good job
even if it was metric in hell.

Jaynee said...

lordy... could. not. do. it.

when u going to colorado?

CoachLiz said...

Yep, Saturday morning was HELLISH on the bike. I wasn't lollygagging either. My bike mechanic wanted me to ride with him so I said I would show up at the McDonnald's by my house at 6:30 am. What did I forget??? All my bottles of fluids. Left them right on the counter. Mickey-D's got my money for water. I'm glad I had it. It was a hot morning and I was not planning on a 40 mile ride that was finished in 1:52 and some change. Nothing like hanging on the back or a barreling freight train at 23 mph and wanting to cry. The run was not that much fun either since the sun was up by the time I got to that.

richvans said...

Ordinarily I'd agree with your pharmaceutical analysis, but at least Cancellara has been beating the world at that distance/discipline for years. I cringe every time Phil or Paul say "he's a new rider this year" about anyone - new syringe? It looks like it's going to be an interesting race. Can't wait for the mountains.