This morning I woke up and I couldn't believe it! No rain!! That meant that I could actually get up and go to the Terrier brick. Even more surprising, when I was getting ready and listening to the radio, the weatherman said that there wasn't any rain in the forecast for the entire day. That just seems like crazy talk, but I'm really glad.
I headed over to the park. When I was riding at 5:15, I was thinking about how the back reflector on my bike seems to have fallen off somewhere along the way and that it really wasn't that light out yet and I was wearing mostly black. Of course, there isn't a lot of traffic, so I wasn't that concerned, but it seems like it might be worth it to get one of those blinking lights that clips on me for riding in those situations.
I was one of the first people who got to the meeting spot. I took out my running shoes and hat to get set-up for the transition. While I was doing that, two girls came up to a couple of the guys who were also there and asked them for directions to Shakespeare in the Park. The girls were clearly intoxicated. I mentioned to someone else that they were pretty much the opposite of everyone else there - we were all about to workout and they were drunk at 5:30 in the morning. Now, I'm not sure precisely what happened, but the girls either got bad directions or didn't really hear the directions they were given (I couldn't hear what they were told), but they took off walking in the wrong direction.
By this time, it was 5:30 and time to get our workout for the day. Robert said that we were supposed to basically do an hour on the bike - 10 minute warm-up, 10 minute build (in the big chain ring), 5 minute spin, 10 minute build, 5 minute spin, 10 minutes at race pace, 5 minute easy spin. This would be followed by a 20 minute run. He explained that the builds were supposed to be in our big ring at a lower cadence than normal. Then this was the part where I lost him. He started talking about anaerobic exercise and working our muscles this way and that way and while I understand that all of that stuff (aerobic/anaerobic/lactic acid) is supposed to be important to triathletes, I just don't really understand. I think at this point, I need to be worried about the basics and spending more time working out than I do about all this science stuff.
I figured I would do one loop of the park and then see how I was feeling and what the timing was. I did the first loop as I would normally do it (in the medium chain ring), with one exception. Instead of switching to my "granny gear" to go up the Harlem hill, I left it in the medium ring and made it up the hill just fine. I'm not sure I went any faster or slower than I had before, but I felt pretty proud that I could do it without making it any easier. The second loop, I decided that I would ride in my big ring until the hill again. It actually wasn't as bad as I had imagined it would be. I think my cadence was averaging around 75 instead of 90+, so I didn't think that was horrible either. On the hill, I again put it back to the middle ring for the climb up. I did put it back to the big ring for a couple of minutes, but around 90th Street, I switched back to the middle ring for the rest of the ride. I think I did the bike (~12 miles) in about 50 minutes (14.5 MPH average). [Total bike mileage with rides to/from park: 15.81 in 1:09:24 (13.7 MPH average)]
When I got back to the benches, there were a couple of guys standing around, but I didn't really think anything of it. I knew they were Terriers. When I was putting on my running shoes and throwing on my hat, I heard one of them say, "Do you want to try to get cleaned up?". I started running away and noticed that one of the guys had blood on his shirt. I figured he had fallen off his bike, but he appeared to be okay, so I just kept going.
I wasn't entirely sure where I should run (north or south) to get a 20 minute run in. I figured I would start running south and see what happened from there. If it looked like it was going to be too long, I could always cut back up the Mall back to the bandshell. It turns out that the loop that I did was 1.72 miles and I ran for 16:18 (9:30 pace). When I was running, I felt like my calves were getting a little bit cramped up, but nothing that I couldn't run through and it actually felt better the longer that I ran. However, I figured 16 minutes was close enough to 20. Plus, when I got back to the 72nd Street transverse, I noticed that there was a cop car there and I thought maybe they were there to talk about what I had assumed was a bike accident.
Boy, was I wrong about that. Turns out that while everyone was out bike riding, the drunk girls had come back. We do have a "watch dog" that keeps an eye on our stuff for us. The girls had sat down on one of the benches and started messing with some of the stuff. From what I understand, the watch dog asked them to stop and to please leave and it escalated from there. The girls started hitting the watch dog with shoes that they had picked up and then tried to run off with some of our stuff. The blood that I had seen on his shirt earlier was really a result of a pretty serious cut that he had gotten on his arm. I think the crazier part of all of this was that this poor guy was a fill-in for the person who was actually supposed to be the watch dog today and I had considered filling in myself, but I knew that I really needed to get a good workout in.
As I was leaving, more cops were arriving as well as an ambulance so it looked like everything was under control. And all of my stuff was there and untouched so I packed up and headed home. I know it's not something that I normally think about, but apparently being a watch dog is a dangerous job!
** As an update, the story gets worse and better: I found out that the cut on his arm was actually from one of the girls biting him! How crazy is that? The good news is that the girls were arrested, so at least they're not out there on the streets right now continuing on with their bad drunken behavior. **
Freedom on Two Wheels
7 months ago