Vaughan’s unlikely cyclist takes on a triathlon on August 22!

I am doing my best to make sure I ride to and from work at least twice a week, as well as a few other additions to my biking repertoire. More on that later!

Week 6 was that first week after school was out (June 29 through July 5). We had some family in town from Quebec City.  Between airport runs, holiday fun, and other social activities, I didn’t get to commute by bike. However, I did manage to fit in a brick workout on Thursday, July 2. I dropped the boys off at Wonderland for opening, them came home and rode 10.6km, followed by a 3km run.

Week 7 seemed a little more normal – like we were finally getting into the swing of summer. Week 7 I managed to bike-commute on both July 6 and July 8.

Week 8 brought some complications – the realities of day camp, plus a medical procedure in the family that we had been cancellation-listed for (when they call, you do not say no!).  But I managed to bike to work for my late shift on Thursday, July 16.  I hadn’t dared the dark yet, but equipped with my front and rear lights and some reflectively-striped stuff, I felt that 9pm on a Thursday in the summer wasn’t too bad a time to do some night-riding.

But along with the Week 8 complications came the chance to add another little something to my relationship with the bike.  See, I finally put my money (literally) where my mouth is (figuratively) and registered for the Toronto Island Triathlon Give-It-A-Tri!  On August 22, I will be swimming 400 metres, biking 10 kilometres, and running 2.5 kilometres on Toronto Island for no good reason other than to try it out and prove to myself I can do it.

With that in mind, I hopped on my bike on Wednesday night and rode to Centennial Pool (I live in Richmond Hill, what can I say?!) for the 9:30-10:30PM lane swim. I rode in my swim gear (ample coverage, fear not!). Ran in, hopped in the pool, swam 400m (takes about 15 minutes, it turns out – Ryan Cochrane or Emily Overholt, I am not), hopped out, dried off a little but not too much, put my socks and shoes back on, and rode home still damp. I figure it is important to know how much I hate being wet while I ride my bike before I get out there and have to go 10 kilometres! (Conclusion – not too much.)

I didn’t hate it enough to stop me from doing it again on Thursday morning for the 6:30 lane swim. (Yes, all before I rode my bike to work that afternoon!) It’s a good thing I got all the lights for the afternoon shift commute, though, since a 9:30 p.m. swim, and a 6:30 a.m. swim both require their use, at least on one half of the trip!

And here we are, in the midst of Week 9.  Triathlon-type training continues. Yesterday morning (Monday, July 20) I ran 5 kilometres, just to remind myself that I could. (I can.) This morning (Tuesday, July 21), I was back at the pool on my bike for 6:30am laps, with some handy new equipment – namely my fancy new black swim cap! I may not actually be a world-class athlete, but I am looking more and more like one!  This time, though, I tacked on an extra 100m (for 500m total), then did a quick dry-off, locked all my gear back in the locker at the pool, and took a quick 1.5 kilometre run around the neighbourhood (don’t tell about the locker key!). I figured that I should likely also know how much I hate running while wet. (Conclusion – not too much.)

As for the rest of Week 9? Wednesday morning, ride the bike to work. Wednesday night, leave the bike in my cubicle since my family is picking me up for a mid-week social outing down in the Junction. Thursday morning, catch a ride or the bus to work. Thursday evening, ride the bike back home. And since I work Friday and Saturday, I will probably ride in at least one more day this week (assuming any rain holds off). I am going to do a mock triathlon on either Sunday or Tuesday mornings – that being, ride to the pool, do the 400 metres, hop on the bike, ride a 10-kilometre route from the pool that ends at my house, throw the bike in the front door, and run a 2.5-kilometre loop back to my house.  I am giving myself an hour (well, not really, I am giving myself however long it takes to do it, but I am estimating it will take about an hour). Let’s find out how miserable I will be come August 22!