Last Friday I went up to St. Helena to meet with Bill. Bill is doing his first triathlon this summer and wanted some help with his swimming. Bill was inspired to do a sprint triathlon after watching his daughter win the Green Lake Triathlon last summer and then complete Ironman Cozumel in November. I love that Bill is taking up the challenge of doing his first triathlon at the age of 75! He bikes 3 times a week and runs just as frequently. Swimming has been a challenge for him but we made some tweaks to his stroke to make him more efficient and come July I am sure he will be ready to go. Meeting with Bill served as a reminder that it is never too late and that inspiration has no age limits. He is 75 and still riding up the same hills that I ride. While I know that I will not always be getting faster I can still be out there. Maybe Bill will inspire my parents to do a triathlon?!?!?!
Last week I also saw several articles online about how awesome indoor bike riding is for developing great cycling fitness. You can zone in on specific intensities and ride uninterrupted without traffic or terrain changes. I agree the trainer can be your friend. However, I am sure those living in cold weather and have been on the trainer for 4 months straight might disagree with me right now and I can totally understand---I have been there. That said, I love riding my bike on the road. I love being outside, climbing the hills and fighting the wind. I would choose the road over the trainer any day. Ultimately, I do this sport because I love where it takes me. I love what I see when I got out for a ride. I love to drag myself up the hills. I can't get that on the trainer. Plus, I have to believe that cycling in the environment where you race---OUTSIDE---is where you should practice. You do not learn to drive a car in a simulator. You have to deal with handling the bike and being aware of your surroundings at all different intensities and speeds. Of course, if I need to do a very specific set of intervals I have places I will choose to ride over others and sometimes I will hit my computrainer. If I do my intervals outside, I will always make sure to watch intersections and driveways for oncoming traffic. If I have to slow down during an interval then so be it.
Reading these articles reminded me of why I do triathlon. I love it. I love the process of training and the challenges. I want to be outside. We moved to Napa to enjoy nature. I run on the trails and I ride up and down the hills. There will come a time when I won't be competing in triathlons quite as often. However, I will still be outside enjoying where we live.
Finally, I have to send my thoughts to the family of Sally Meyerhoff. I never met Sally but from what I read about her today she was following her dream of being an elite marathoner and triathlete. My heart aches for her family and friends.
One big final reminder about what is truly important.