VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
If you have been following this series, then you would know that four weeks from this Sunday I will be competing in the Ironman 70.3 Superfrog. In the previous articles in this series, I have written about why I decided to take on this race, my weaknesses, and the things I am doing to correct those weaknesses. For this article, I am going to write about my first hiccup in training.
I have tuned my training the last few weeks without issue, but last week I took a decent fall off my bike after a great workout.
A strong source of training for me has come from the stationary bikes at the gym. All of the bikes have gages with a real-time power output manifested in watts. This has been a great tool for me because it doesn’t provide feedback of my biking technique, just output.
Every session, I strap my feet into the pedals, set a stopwatch, pick my favorite music playlist, and dig my feet into those pedals as hard as I can. While I create a pool of sweat under me, I keep my eyes closed and visualize race day. This is great on a stationary bike, but not so fantastic when I’m exhausted on a real bike…
Which leads me to my first bike fall since I transitioned off my big wheel.
Last weekend I was riding my bike around the air field for a few laps. The goal, since I couldn’t manage my watt output, was to pace the ride with my watch. After some time, I had spent all my energy and was pushing to maintain pace.
In my exhausted state I taught myself a strategy of looking ahead to an identifiable marker, then dropping my eyes to my watch to maintain pace until I passed each marker.
I had passed at least ten markers after implementing this strategy, but I didn’t make it to the last one at the same pace.
While exhausted, looking at my watch, and only thinking about my pace I fell onto the pavement going 23.5 miles per hour.
Although I was only marked up a bit, and gained a small wrist bruise, the experience of falling off my bicycle at twenty-one years of age was humbling.
No more exhausted strategies for me.
Even adults fall off bicycles.
Editor’s note: This is an on-going 10 week series. You can visit www.vandenberg.af.mil and the 30th Space Wing Facebook page every Friday for a new feature.