Monday, May 11, 2009

Trial Run

Ladies and Gentlemen, I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I have signed myself up for one serious a**-whooping when it comes to this triathlon relay. And I am not kidding.

S and I drove to Austin on Saturday to practice the course I am to do next weekend as part of the triathlon relay. I will do the bike portion of the relay. The bike route is approximately 12 miles. I think I told you here that 12 miles was a piece of cake. Well, um, not in Austin. Where the hills are big. And the 12 mile course - it's hard.

But anyway, let me tell you about the day. We got up early. Oh, before I go any further, let me just say that S was a darling for doing all of this with me. He earned his husband wings this month. Whatever that means. But seriously, I so appreciated his willingness to go with me to Austin to practice. And, again next weekend to participate in the event. He's very appreciated and loved.

OK, so we got up early and loaded up the bikes, helmets, water bottles and changes of clothing and headed out to Austin. We drove three hours south and found the lake where the triathlon will be held.

Before going into the park, since the bike route goes around the lake, we drove the course. This was the first sign I was in trouble, people. Hilly. Hill-y. HILLY!!!!! We don't have hills like that in Dallas - my sweet little hill regimen was clearly a joke to this course. Even the "even" parts are hilly. And, two of the four streets on the route are high speed highways. We thought about not doing it for our own personal safety. But, that silliness was set aside and we decided to go park the truck so we could ride the course, safety be damned.

We paid our $8 ($8!) to enter the park. Now, really, we could have parked outside the park, as the course is almost all outside the park, but on the map it showed there were restrooms, and somehow I thought a restroom was worth $8. But, the joke was on me - the restrooms were CLOSED and the only means of, well you know, was to go in a PORT-O-LET. If you know me, you know the Ate Up Amateur doesn't enjoy PORT-O-LETS and will almost do anything to not use one. So, the fact that I paid $8 to use one was really funny. Or not.

So, we got the bikes out of the mind meld S had put them in to travel and headed out. We were ready to conquer the course! We have been practicing, training, preparing to ride THIS course!

Let's go!

As it turns out, I was so excited to get going that I totally blew S out of the water on the first half of the route. He could barely see me most of the time. I was smokin'. But then I got to the back half - the hillier half - and I wasn't doing so hot. The sun - the 94 degree sun - was beating down on my pale white skin and burning it, I could tell. The water in my INSULATED bottle was hot. And, the hills - the HILLS - they just kept on coming. We stopped a couple of times to catch our breath. We even walked the bikes up a couple of the hills. We had to finish - we had to get back to the truck - there was really no alternative but to keep on moving down the road.

After the ride - S packing up and me trying to look positive.
Notice the red arms already showing...

It was that hard. I had not prepared well enough for this course.

But, here's the upside - the positives I can take away from riding the course last weekend:

1 - when I ride the course for the event it will be cooler, as it begins with the swimmers at 8am. We rode in the heat of the day in the afternoon.

2 - I will wear sunscreen.

3 - I will not go "whole hog" on the first half, but rather go slowly and pace myself the whole way.

4 - I now know EXACTLY what course I will have to conquer next Sunday, and that's a good thing to know.

5 - I pretty much figure the last hill - a real bugger and quite possibly the steepest that comes right before the end - the last hill, I will walk, and that will be just fine.

So, after we rode and changed clothes, since we were in Austin, and I used to live in Austin, and S and I have more restaurants that we LOVE and miss since I moved away to fit into one weekend, we decided to hit an old haunt for some food. We went to one of S's favorite, the Austin Pizza Garden. We used to frequent this place when I lived in Austin, well frequently, especially when S came to town. S felt he was so hungry that he was going to eat a large pizza all by himself. Austin Pizza Garden only makes mediums and larges, so that left me with the option of ordering a medium pizza for myself. Um, S did not eat a whole pizza or even half of one. We should have shared - maybe even shared a medium. We brought a lot of pizza home.

After we ate, though, I started feeling not so good. I was nauseous and had a horrible headache. I called my dad, because well, my dad knows everything. He said I mostly likely was suffering from some heat exhaustion. HEAT EXHAUSTION people - and I am going to do it again next weekend. But it won't be as hot. Remember that part. Remember that part. Remember that part. So, instead of going to the Round Rock Outlet Mall, where S wanted to do some shopping, we headed on back to Dallas. It was a 12 hour day to ride one 12 mile course. A long day.

And, we were both sunburned, so we were ready to be home anyway.
Notice S wore gloves when we rode, so now he has "gloves" on.

S on the couch Sunday - asking me why on earth I thought a triathlon relay was a good idea.
And then telling me I'll be just fine and to go get 'em.

What a bugger of a course it is, and I am totally in over my head. But, I will do it, and I will finish and I will have accomplished something and learned a lot. And I'll tell you all about it here...unless I'm hospitalized and unable to type.

But that won't happen. It'll be fine.


  1. What a trial run! You are so brave to attempt this. When it' all over you'll have lots of war stories.

  2. reminds me of the old budweiser light commercial with the cyclist plodding up the finishing hill to the strains of the jingle (unfortunately youtube doesn't have it). "bring out your best" amy!


  3. You'll be fine. You'll be proud of yourself when you're done, and I will be VERY proud of you (as will many others I'm sure). Get ready for next year to do the WHOLE race!!! :-)

  4. You will do fine.....I have confidence in my daughter


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