Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back in the (slightly raised) saddle

Yesterday my winter training began, and not a moment too soon.  It did not help that my time off coincided with a serious bout of PMS, all of which combined to make me nearly unbearable to those who live with me, work with me, or just happened to run into me on the street.  I snuck in a short run on Saturday and a short trainer ride on Sunday just to keep from becoming truly homicidal, and yesterday I started for-real training.

My first workout was in the pool, and I used fins for the first time.  I thought I was going to plow headfirst into the wall on my kickset, which was a nice for a change.  Normally kicking brings me back to my days of Red Cross swimming lessons as a kid, when I was always the last kid across the pool with my kickboard.  Maybe if I'd been allowed to use fins, I wouldn't have failed Advanced Beginners twice.

Today I went back to Fitwerx for a re-assessment of my bike fit.  It was fun to go back there, but not so fun to drive to Peabody, which for me involved a trifecta of 495, 93 and 128.  Those numbers should strike fear into any New Englander.  Sort of like hearing the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 if you're on a trans-Pacific flight.  But I made it there and back unscathed, and I have an updated bike fit.  Here's my before and after shot:
The super-nice and super-fast Dean also coached me on my head position, which you'll notice looks way more aero in the right (after) shot.  Now, if I could just get a front wheel. . . . 

In my free time I have started reading The Perfect Mile, an account of the leadup to Roger Bannister's breaking of the 4-minute mile barrier and (I think, because I'm just there now) the later showdown between him and John Landy.  I knew the basic story beforehand, but it is fascinating to get all the details.  The book is really well written, and it has an interesting focus on the development of sport at the time away from the amateur model (personified by Bannister) to something more professional.  Bannister's example is pretty inspiring to anyone who is trying to combine a full-time career with athletic pursuits.  The book also confirms my previous suspicion that I have a total crush on Roger Bannister, or at least the younger version of him, since he should be 81 or so by now--still very cool, obviously, but just a little creepy in the crush category for a 40-year-old woman.

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