Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some days are harder than others

So it's been a long, long couple of weeks. 2 big build weeks in preparation for Pacific Grove in September- more volume, more intensity, more everything. All in all, it's gone pretty well. I've been getting stronger, faster and I'm peaking at the right time. There are days though, where you just hope to get through the workout and come out alive. Today was definitely one of those days.

The plan today was pretty simple. My wife had to go in to work today so I needed to spend most of the day with the kids. No problem! I had a 2 and a half hour ride/run brick on the schedule, so I figured I'd just get up early and be out the door by 7 so the Mrs. could get to work by 10.

The second I woke up this morning, I just had a bad feeling. I don't know why, maybe it was the weather- it was foggy, gray and cold- perfect summer weather in California! So after slugging don a little breakfast and some coffee, I got out the door, albeit a half hour late (warning sign number one).

Off I went- the plan was about a 40 minute warmup and then some hill work. I should have been really pumped for this ride, as I just had my bike fit tweaked and had a new cassette, chain, deraileurs and cables- it's like a new bike! Something however was just not feeling right. There's something about listening to your instincts I guess. 25 minutes into my warmup...BAM! I hit a pothole and my front tire blew. Damn. OK, so here I am on a country road with gravel and dirt all around me, so I need to change this tire among the tumbleweeds- great, a bunch of dirt and muck all over the brand new components.

So I commence with the tire changing. I had one tube with me- I usually carry two, but for some reason I didn't grab the extra one today. (Warning sign #2!) All is going fine and I have my hand pump all ready to go. It's going fine, I'm halfway home, my hand slips and I lose grip on the pump for a second. When I took it off the valve, the tip of the presta valve came off with it. Great- that's happened to me before, and the air usually holds, so I figure I can limp along with what I have. Two seconds later- the tube blows. I'm dead in the water.

This, my friends, is why you bring your cell phone with you on your rides! This is just not going to happen. I call my wife, she loads the kids in the car, and picks me up. By this time, I'm cold and irritated, and my wife still has to go to work. Mission aborted.

So I went home, showered, and sent the Mrs. off to work. The kids got pancakes and sausage and then we went off to run some errands- including buying some new tire levers- oh yeah, forgot to mention that one of those broke on me. At this point, I really just needed to get away from the training and have a few hours of Dad time with the kids. I should also mention that my wife rocks. She's been amazing as I've gotten back into training, and today was no different. After my tire disaster, we came home and she said she'd try and get back by 2 so I could get my workout in. Unbelievable- she's totally selfless sometimes. She has a huge amount of work this week and still wanted to make sure that I'm getting my training in. She's been my biggest fan through all of this and I couldn't do it without her.

OK, so now it's time for attempt number two! The tire has been changed and I'm ready to go. The sun has come out- great! So has the wind- not so great! But off I go. I still had this nagging feeling though. It was just a strange day and I felt weird. About a mile into the ride I look down and notice that my speed isn't registering. Weird. So I stop and check my front wheel. I HAVE MY WHEEL ON BACKWARDS!!!! I'm an idiot. Seriously- are you kidding me? This day just gets weirder and weirder. I have put that wheel on a thousand times and have never done that. OK, wheel fixed speed registering! Off I go again.

There's a big open space on the other side of the freeway where I like to ride- not a lot of traffic, long straight stretches and soem hills to work in, so I headed down one of the main drags that gets pretty busy as it's the most direct route. As I'm crossing a busy intersection, I hit a pretty big pothole again. Not one, but BOTH my nutrition bottles go flying off the back of my bike and into the middle of the intersection. F%&@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you freakin' kidding me?!?!?!??!

Amazingly enough, I was able to retrieve both bottles without getting killed. At this point, I'm honestly wondering if the universe is trying to tell me something. Should I even be out here today? Is God telling me to get off the road before that F-150 plows into me at 60 mph? I don't know but something feels weird today.

There are moments in training when you're tested, and today was full of them. I'm happy to report that I passed the test. Amazingly enough, the rest of my day was thoroughly uneventful. No more flats, no crashes, no more flying bottles. I hung in there, got the work done, and finished up one of the biggest 2 week blocks of my season. I'm even more happy to report that at the end of the day, I'm still alive. I swear, that's what was freaking me out the most- the idea that this was not my day in more ways than one. I survived however. In fact, at the end of the day, I had a great workout and was able to push through the pain to pick it up more than I thought I could do.

So yes, some days are harder than others, but sometimes you get tested for a reason. If nothing else, I figure I got my flat out of the way. Better now than next week in my tri-4-fun race, or even worse at Pacific Grove.

Now, on to the rest week! It's needed and earned!!!!!

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