It was a great weekend here in OKC. Perfect weather. Team-in-Training practice. Tri bike purchase. 5K PR. There really isn't much more you could ask for in a early spring weekend. I would say that's a pretty good start to a race schedule full of new adventures.
Saturday morning started with a great TNT marathon training run followed by a pancake breakfast with our honored heroes. We heard stories from leukemia and lymphoma survivors and reminded ourselves of why we give of our time and money to help fund the research for a cure. It's truly a humbling experience to hear from the survivors and those directly connected to the disease. It really puts my own life in perspective and makes me even more thankful for the opportunity to help. While I've never directly been affected by blood cancer, I'm fully invested in the cause and those who struggle with it everyday.
After the TNT breakfast, I made my way over to my local bike shop : Schlegel's Bicycle. Steve, the owner, is one of the TNT triathlon coaches and Ryan, my tri coach and TNT coach as well, works there so my business will always go there for as long as I'm buying bikes and needing gear. I feel like I'm one of the family and I know they will take good care of me. I bought my road bike from Schlegel's last year so all of my measurements were on file and immediately I was told I'd be a really hard fit for a triathlon bike because I'm all leg. My proportions are very asymmetrical. Most of my friends ride a Cervelo and I kinda thought that's what I would end up with due to it's popularity and availability. After rechecking my measurements, I was immediately ruled out of the Cervelo brand due to the reach being too long. I run into problems with the stack and reach requirements not fitting my body style so it basically came down to 2 bikes in my price range that fit my body type. The first was the Cannondale Slice which is also what Chrissie Wellington rides and a Look bike that was on the upper end of my price range. I tossed around the idea of buying the Look due to it's upgrade in components : all SRAM Rival vs the Cannondale's Shimano 105. I honestly don't know that I would ever be able to discern the difference between component sets so I ultimately opted for the Cannondale Slice which saved me about $700 and left me some room to buy some triathlon gear and possibly uprade my wheels later in the year. I'm sure the Look would have been a great option as well and given me a bike that's not extremely common in the triathlon world, but I like the budget-conscious decision I made with teh Slice and I really feel like I got the best bike for my buck. I'm really happy with the purchase and can't wait to get out on the road and start logging some miles. Here is a pic of the new baby:
To top off an already great weekend, I ran the inaugural Run Lucky 5K. It was a race put on by several Team-in-Training members and all proceeds went to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They ended up raising over $43,000 and had over 1500 participants. It was a race that I really wanted to run to support the cause and it just happened to be the first 5K I've ran in almost a year and a half. I really didn't know what to expect time-wise so I just started running and let my body feel it out. I do very little speedwork and mostly focus on pacing for much longer distances so my speed isn't something I consider as my strength. I was pretty confident I could keep a 7:30 pace, but the fact I ran in the 7:04 range was kind of a surprise. I felt strong at the end of the race too so I think I could have pushed even harder and broke the 7 min/mile pace. I ended up with a chip time of 21:56 so I broke my previous record by over 1 minute. It was a great way to end my first official weekend of spring. After this weekend, I'm even more excited about the year ahead. Only one more week until the full Ironman schedule kicks into full gear.