I was a little nervous about the concept of "cross-training" when I first looked through the training program. After all, I was new to all this athletic stuff. Running was basically all I did! Well, I take that back... I lift hand weights, do ab work, and played around on the Wii Fit, especially the Yoga.
In another fit of insanity, I decided to bike and swim as my cross-training. Because, in my thinking, I'd be that much closer to a triathlon. Yeah, really. LOL I found a "My First Triathlon" in my area. But that won't be until 2011, so I won't jump ahead too much!
The entire bike story is an incredibly story of God's provision and the blessing of strangers. Here is a pic of my wonderful bike, affectionately called, "Frankenbike":
Saving up for the Princess Half had really taken up all of my spare money, so buying a bike was going to be tricky. I had $125 total, and $25 went to my helmet. When I asked where to find a bike for $100, I was met with lots of discouraging responses. My friend Sadie encouraged me to try a local bike shop for used bikes, and she even located one for me, but when I went there, the owner (a wonderful lady) had nothing to offer me. We talked for an hour or more, though, and she took my name. She said if she came across anything she would call me. But since my training really needed to start immediately, I went to Toys R Us and bought a mountain bike.
I rode it when I got home and it was really hard. And for the next 2 days, I was so sore I could hardly walk. A few weeks later (there was rain on my cross-training day in the weeks in between) I went back out and tried again, with the same results. It was discouraging. It took me nearly as long to ride as it did to run. I was wondering why anyone would want to bike since it was so hard. And I was wondering how I could possible do a triathlon considering how slow I was.
A few days after that discouraging ride, I received a phone call from the owner of the bike shop. She wanted to tell me that she had a bike for me. She had shared my story with her customers, and soon, pieces and parts started being donated. Before long, they had enough to piece together a hybrid road bike for me! When I told her I had already spent all my money on a bike already, she surprised me by telling me it was free. She and her customers wanted to donate a bike to me! I was speechless.
I went to the shop the next day, and she presented me with the "Frankenbike" - that was what she called it since it was pieced together. I fell in love with the name, and with the bike!! She didn't stop there, though... she also gave me a tire pump, a pair of padded bike shorts, and mounted a water bottle on the bike frame for me!! I was humbled. What did I do to deserve this??
I came home and rode my new bike - the difference was absolutely mind-blowing!!! This bike was light and it was fast!! The bike shorts saved my bottom!! She showed me how to shift gears which was incredibly helpful (my mountain bike had gears but I didn't know how to use them so I was just riding around in one gear LOL)!
I just have one day to bike while I'm training, and I can only do it in my hilly neighborhood. But I'm looking forward to taking the bike out to a park trail and getting to really so someplace! That will have to wait until the training is over. I would also like to go on the Ladies' Rides through the bike shop, and a neighbor stopped me one day when I was out riding and asked if I would like to ride with him, too, after my training is complete.
(And as for the swimming part of the cross-training... that, too, will be its own post! LOL)
BTW, if you are looking for a bike in the NE Atlanta/Gwinnett/Forsyth/Hall County area, please leave your email address and I'd be happy to recommend THE BEST bike shop around!!