On Sunday, I did a new-to-me event – the Columbia Pedal and Paddle. What does this entail? Well, it’s sort of a crazy event. The Columbia Association has 23 pools. So you bike between the pools (around a 45 mile bike ride) and swim a lap in each pool.
Now, it’s not a race, so the rules are a bit fast and loose. You don’t have to do a lap (though the race director did indicate that you do have to go down all the slides). And a number of people completed part of the event and then dropped out.
I, however, was determined. Never mind that I had never biked more than 20 miles at a time. I was going to finish this event come hell or high water.
For the most part, it was a lot of fun. It’s sort of a silly event. The roads aren’t closed, so you definitely have to be careful while riding, which means most of the antics occurred at the pools. By the end of the race, a guy was doing all of his laps in the wading pool. Pretty entertaining.
I lost the last of my group of friends around mile 20. I could have quit then as well, but well, I’m too stubborn for that. I was going to complete this thing. This also meant that for a chunk of it, I was biking alone. I was near other packs, but not quite fast enough to keep up with them. I just have to keep training to become a better cyclist.
Somewhere in the 30’s, mileage wise, I hit the point where I hated everything. I just wanted to be done. I have such fond memories of this feeling from my last marathon. But again, too stubborn to quit.
Ultimately, I hit 21 of the 23 pools – we totally missed one on the course and due to my slow speed, the lifeguards had already moved on when I hit the other. At least, that’s what I assume – I was a block away when another cyclist shouted to me that the pool was shut down. Oh well.
What really surprised me was how tired my upper body was. I don’t think of biking as an upper body workout, and ultimately, I only swam 1050 meters. That’s not a lot of swimming. But clearly, the biking was an upper body workout. As I was driving home, my hand was twitching. Funny and a little annoying.
So while the event was a struggle at times, it was fun, and it’s been really fun to tell people what I did over the weekend. I’m pretty sure it just solidifies that I’m insane. I’ll probably do it again next year and hope to be in better biking shape by then!