This was day one of preparation for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon scheduled for May 1st. I signed up for it last week hoping 4 months of training should be adequate. After today, I’m not so sure. Though I could probably tough out a 1 mile swim or a 10 K run or a 25 mile bike ride in my present condition, the idea of performing all three consecutively seems way out of reach. So today I laced up the Nike’s and hit the streets to see how the wheels are holding up at age 52.
Forgetting to check the time and wearing no watch, I jogged off the porch in the direction of the Heights Project along the Hillsborough River. The first 1.2 mile felt great with a slight decline toward the riparian pathway that leads to Downtown Tampa.
As I passed the Performing Arts Center I decided to cross the Hillsborough River via the Cass Street Bridge and make a loop of it. The slight incline got the heartrate and breathing up, but the legs and knees felt good. I felt good.
After crossing the bridge, I turned north onto N Boulevard (the most stupidly named street in America). Here the car traffic got thicker, the sun was in my eyes and a stiff breeze was taking a toll. When are those pain killing endorphins going to kick in, I wondered? By the time I got to the steeply arched Holtsinger Bridge, I got a second wind. There wouldn’t be a third.
With Tish Hinojosa singing a plaintive cry for social justice in my iPod buds, I felt surprisingly strong on the uphill climb. At the summit, I did a few fist pumps before enjoying the downhill half of the bridge. Then it got not-fun.
Turning East on Palm, I felt a strong urge to walk, but having decided from the onset that this would be a run I’d finish, that wasn’t an option. Even with the cool breeze, sweat rolled down my forehead into my eyes and I started to tire. It wasn’t any particular body part or system that was hurting or pooping out, but rather my entire self wearing out.
When I got home and cooled down, I felt none of the sense of well being a good work out normally creates. Instead I felt weird and sleepy. To my disappointment, Google Maps pegged my route at only 3.5 miles… about the distance of a kid’s fun run. My conclusion is that I need to pay more attention to hydration and nutrition if I want to complete St. Anthony’s.