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Measuring my success

I was feeling relatively unscathed, though I admit I totally went easy on the run.

Thursday was a rather tough brick workout -- a three mile run followed by an 18.75 bike ride followed by another three mile run.

With the Quakerman Triathlon on Sunday and the Ride for Roswell on Saturday I wasn't going all out. Perhaps if there were no races this weekend, I would have pushed harder, but I allowed myself to take it easy, especially on the run where I wanted to make sure my knee discomfort was truly gone. (And thank goodness it is.)

In the grand scheme, my times weren't so bad and, most importantly, I felt pretty good. That's when Mark said to me, "You know you almost did an intermediate distance tonight without the swim. We just have to get the swim better."

The Buffalo Triathlon Club brick course fell short of the intermediate distances of a 40K bike and a 10K run (the swim is 1,500 meters), but the sentiment was right on.

My coach, Mary Eggers, had hinted when I started working with her that the intermediate distance was in my future.

While I was hanging on Lifeguard Ashley's surfboard during the swim at Keuka Lake I had some choice words for Mary about that idea.

And though completely content to have words like Ironman and Half-Ironman absent from my vocabulary, there is a possibility that next summer I could do a few Intermediate distance races.

I say that, in all likelihood, only because it's the Ride for Roswell weekend.

Cycling was the sport that kick-started my fitness routine three years ago. I did my first Ride for Roswell in 2006 -- the 33 mile distance. I had to ice various parts of my body for the next two days.

But the following year I signed up for the 62.5 mile distance. I trained for it. The charity ride (which they stress is not a race) became my "A" race of the season. I wanted to do the distance in good time -- which I did. I finished strong. I finished in my personal time frame. I finished absent the need for ice packs or pain relievers. (I also finished too late to get any of the healthy food  and special perks for the top fundraising group I was in, but that's a bitter digression.)

Though this year I'm bumping myself down in mileage to keep my body sane for the triathlon on Sunday, the Ride for Roswell has become a sort of fitness marker for me. It's a baseline of where I started. It's a reminder that small changes in my diet and exercise plan can show huge results.

It's a tangible refresher that my fitness goals are always in my reach.

A good lesson to remember as I prepare to tackle my second triathlon on Sunday.

Note that the distances for all three events at Quakerman are completely different from my first triathlon at Keuka so there's no point in comparing overall time. If anything, I can compare my paces for each discipline, but even that can be moot.

If I swim a bit better (i.e. not on my back), bike strong and run steady then I'll have not just a good race, but a great race.

Check back on Monday for updates about my weekend events.

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