Perhaps I should get treatment for my apparently growing brick fetish.
But let’s face it, bricks are cool. New bricks are full of such promise. Old bricks have such character––and a story to tell.
And so-called “bricks” in a duathlon confront those promises made to self, bring out your true character and give you stories to tell.
But I must control my fetish for building things with bricks this weekend. I have gathered major stacks of bricks for some landscaping and water feature projects. These have come from a couple sources.
First a friend from high school offered up a stack of bricks that are brand new but have been sitting around in a stack for a year or so.
Then I was driving south on the street where I live and noticed a stack of old bricks lying next to the site of a foundry building that had lately burned from the inside out. The owners knocked down the building. A good sized stack of the remaining bricks were set out where someone can grab them. So I did. Because they’re beautiful.
Those bricks were calling for me. Just look how cute they look all huddled together waiting to do their Bricky Thing.
So, it’s exciting to have a couple projects to do. But truth be told, they’re going to have to wait a day or so. Because Sunday morning is the Batavia Duathlon. As you know, one of the more challenging facets of competing in triathlons and duathlons is the part of the race known as “the brick.” That’s when you get off the bike after a hard ride and start trying to run again. But bricks can also be swim/bike. Bike/run. There are several kinds of bricks you see. All have different character. See how this all fits together? It’s almost as fun as building things with bricks!
I rode the course this week and it felt good. I know those roads well because they’re all in my cycling neighborhood of country byways. So I want to ride hard. But you must be smart with your legs on the cycling portion or risk having nothing left for the four point two miles of running still to be completed, and competed.
So to brick myself I actually rode hard on the morning of the test ride on the Duathlon course. Then I rode the course hard, with somewhat tired legs. I ran the next morning, which is not exactly how a brick should work, but it had the same effect because of the two hard rides the day before.
No weekend brickwork for me
But there’s a right kind and a wrong kind of brickwork when it comes to weekend races. That’s why it would not be too wise on Saturday to dig into the piles of bricks sitting around my yard. There is far too much risk of tweaking a lower back muscle, my hamstrings or even my arms or shoulders. My chiropractor gave me a kneading and a stretch on Thursday. Why waste the good results of such expert treatment?
So the Weekend Guy in me must temporarily make way for the Weekend Warrior duathlete so that there are no injuries compromising my effort. I’m so grateful to be running healthy again it would be stupid to hurt a calf muscle or strain an achilles. My riding is coming along and in the background, my swimming too.
If that keeps progressing it may be possible to do my first Sprint triathlon this summer. But I have to swim 800 meters straight, and I can’t do that yet, lest I sink. Like a brick.
It’s all fun. But it does take common sense to be an amateur athlete. Even pros mess up sometimes, cutting their feet on broken glass around the house or hurting their back sneezing.
I used to get teased by friends about Golden Leg Syndrome. The night before a race I would not go to parties or stand around at summer concerts. It just made no sense to work that hard and waste your legs getting tired doing nothing.
Because when it’s time to party on the race course, you want to have all the energy possible to make it happen. You don’t want to go into a race with legs feeling like bricks. That happens soon enough if you’re trying your hardest.
So the landscaping can wait. But those bricks are So. Darn. Cute. It’s hard to resist.