Monday, February 28, 2011

When it rains it pours

Not the weather per say, but my luck.  The weather was actually great Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, progressively getting better as the days went on.  Yes only in the 50's, but light winds and sunshine.  Prepare yourself for a long post  :)
A bit of snow at the top of Zion Monday
Monday we swam at the new Washington City Community Center which is very very nice.  Then it was a 60 mile group ride from the Harley Davidson building in Hurricane out to Zion and back.  I ran the Hurricane Half Marathon several years back so recognized a lot, but there was  lot of new and nice scenery.  Was a nice sized group, 8-10 or so of mostly St George locals.  Almost 10 miles into it we were climbing up a big long hill.  I was trying to adjust something and the group took off.  I tried to catch back up, but that's hard to do without a draft and without great climbing legs (I discovered my climbing legs aren't at their peak right now).  At about 12 miles the ride started feeling a little bumpy, almost like I had suspension, but nope, that suspension feeling was a flat.  It wasn't completely flat, but probably only had 20 psi or so left.  So I pulled over, watched the group get out of sight and went to work changing the tire.  Got her done, a little upset I wasn't with the group, but just figured oh well and put the headphones in and went on with my own solo ride.  Saw them at the turnaround, I'm sure they'd been hanging out for half an hour or so.  I really had to pee (I hadn't had a break yet) so rode 20 feet up to the gas station, ran in and out, and hoped maybe they'd waited or I'd catch up.  But it's funny how mind reading really is a myth and you have to communicate.  They thought I was going to keep going or something so kept going.  Anyway, was enjoying the ride back, the sun was warmer and the wind was a little more favorable, when at about mile 40 it started getting bumpy again.  Great, awesome.  I had 1 CO2 left and no tubes (I only carry 1 tube), so when the tire was as low as I thought safe to ride on I filled it up with the last cartridge.  At this point I was pretty upset.  Upset that the group ride I was on wasn't a group ride (at least not the kind I was used to) and I had no one to rely on in a weird situation like this and in the middle of no where.  I was upset that I couldn't keep up with them.  I thought we were going out just to ride this easier, but those girls are just better I guess because they took off, they're strong riders.  And now I was upset because I was in the middle of no where, no gas stations or homes really, my phone was almost dead and I was 20 miles out of town.  So I rode a few more miles until that tube also got flat and started walking.  I walked a few miles maybe when a nice man and his daughter picked me up in their truck and took me into town where Sarah picked me up.  Yeah, I was pretty pissed off at the whole situation.  It wasn't their fault, but I was upset no one could have asked if I was ok when I was obviously not even close to in view.  Oh well, that's just how most groups ride I guess, if you get dropped you get dropped.  We ran 2 miles out and back near Sand Hollow and apparently I had us running 5:50 pace.  Running mad will do that to you  :)
So anyway, that sucked, I considered going home since I obviously couldn't keep up with my training partner(s), but my husband said to stay so I did.  Oh yeah, we also enjoyed a nice dinner over at new teammate Collen's house.  Thanks!
ETA:  How could I forget!  Sarah and I were driving over to Colleen's for dinner when I hear Sarah say "uh where's your bike Leslie??"  You see they ride on the back of Sarah's car and mine was now not there!  I was kind of dazed and she was like "well, go look!".  Right, better go check, even though I assumed it was miles down the road somewhere.  Thankfully it was just hanging by it's wheels off the end of the rack.  Could have been much worse!  The seat is ripped up a bit, and I broke Sarah's rack (sorry!), but another disaster averted somewhat unharmed.

Tuesday was a new day.  We took our time getting ready then headed out on a 2 loop 90 mile ride on the Veyo/IMSG loop.  I was excited to get on it since this was the first time since Ironman.  We got rolling and oh crap, SADDLE SORE!!  It caught me by surprise since yesterday was just fine and I was fine walking, but oh baby sitting on that saddle hurt bad.  Luckily it got bearable by about mile 20.  Again, got dropped by the group 25 or so miles in, was mad at myself, but figured I'd just enjoy the ride alone.  Was unsure of a second loop, but really didn't want to waste my time down here courtesy of my husband, children, and our great host Sylvia.  The climbs were tough, as I said I just don't think my climbing muscles are as strong as I'd thought, but the downhills were fun and I really tried to work them.  Got near our cars and just kept going into the 2nd loop figuring if I stopped I'd never get started.  I knew the others who were refueling at the cars would catch up, it was only a matter of time.  Did well on the second loop, a little better than the first mentally, just saying that I was riding this as my ride, it didn't matter if I kept up with them or not.  They're a lot more trained that I am right now.  It was reassuring to keep Sarah more in my view this time though.  Near one of the steepest hills a girl training for IMSG this year Missy was struggling a bit, so I waited for her and we rode together.  It was nice to at least feel some endurance from having done the race on that second loop.  We were halfway between Veyo and Snow Canyon along the highway cruising with a headwind along a flat at about 16mph or so when out of no where my wheels and crank locked up.  I started sliding and was able to control the bike and stop, but Missy who was drafting behind couldn't.  She ran into me fell over with her bike.  Luckily she was ok, just some scrapes and bruises, and her bike was ok.  After being sure she was fine I checked my bike.
This was the carnage
Don't ask me how it happened.  I wasn't shifting, climbing, didn't have anything get jammed in the wheel or chain ring.  Just wammo.  The frame seems ok, could need a new spoke, probably a new deraileur, maybe a new cassette in back, probably a new chain.  Fun and fun!  I wasn't really upset about it, just kind of laughed like "really?  are you kidding?  more bad luck?".  It could have been much worse had be been 3 miles down the road going down some steep hills at a much higher speed, I'll count my blessings.
So anyway, Missy and I carried my bike, rolled hers, down the highway about a mile to get better reception, then just stood there waiting for our ride (who we confused and couldn't find us the first time).  We ended up waiting an hour in the setting sun, it was chilly, and again, we weren't near civilization.  Get this.  In the HOUR we stood there waiting 1, ONE car stopped to ask if two girls carrying their bikes standing on the side of the highway clearly not for kicks and giggles needed any help.  I was floored.  We had so much traffic passing us and were in plenty good view, and ONE car stopped.  Wow.

So Wednesday came and Sarah and I planned a good 2 hour trail run on the trails at Chuckawalla, an excellent and super close to the city trail head.  I love it there!  I was plenty nervous (not really, but a little) about my luck so just told Sarah we better stay away from cliffs.  Fortunately nothing went wrong and we had a great 10 mile run.  We ran though all kinds of terrain from rolling packed red dirt to loose sand, some slick rock, and did a bit of fast hiking over some of the tricky stuff.  Man my butt got a workout from having to lift my feet up high enough to keep running up these rock stairs!  Ironically though, the next day the outsides of my calves were the most sore for sure, think IT band outside, but between the ankle and knee, it was weird.

I had a great time down there despite all my bad mechanical luck.  I had some hard mental moments for sure when I thought I was in decent to pretty good shape, but then couldn't keep up with anyone on the bike.  Had to reach in and just say "these workouts are for me, it doesn't matter where I fare against others", but if you know me you know that's not the easiest thing in the world.  I haven't been training like Sarah and Shaun and even Missy, they've been going strong since October, when I took a 2 month break.  I still had a good time on the bike (my 1 loop time was actually the same as it was this time last year), just wanted to feel stronger, but I did have really great runs down there that I'm happy with.  The weather was decent for us those last few days, and I got to spend some really fun time training with, eating with, rolling endlessly on foam roller with, watching movies with, and just talking with Sarah.  She's such a great friend and I'm so glad my husband was able to hold down the fort as well as he did so I could get away!
 All that said, the point of this trip was to give me an idea if I was capable of doing Ironman St George again this year, with less training.  Now am I capable of it?  You bet, I could finish it today (humbly said, I know), but I don't want to just finish.  It's too much time and money and hard work for me personally to go there and 'just finish'.  I want to do better than I did and know that I can, but I just don't think I'm where I need to be right now to be where I want to be May 7th.  So I think I'll go with my original plan of going down to volunteer and cheer on all the great athletes down there.  Will it be hard to not wish I was with them?  Yes, for sure.  But as anal or weird as it is, I just have a certain respect for the distance and if I can't give it my personal all, I'll save it for another time.  Ironman isn't everything. I sure had a great time down there last year, even the training!  But it isn't everything and there are a lot of smaller road and tri races that I've wanted to do but haven't been able to because of Ironman training, so I think that'll be my route this year.  Just have fun.  That's what this is all about right?  Having fun!


Jarvis Family said...

Love this post. I am about to write mine but I wanted to read yours first. I am having trouble catching up on everything after a week of being gone. Hey, I know I am not the easiest to train with and pretty selfish. Ok. Really selfish when it comes to training. I told Jen that I did not take your anger personal although I am sure it WAS personal. Funny, huh? I also figured you know me well enough that you know what you are getting into. I am just so sorry about all the bad luck. And you did not even mention your bike falling off the back of the car. I am planning on next year for sure. Are you in? :-)

Leslie said...

Nah, I wasn't mad at just you Sarah, I was (irrationally) mad at the whole group ride idea but mostly me. It's hard to feel out of shape and slow, but you're German, you never feel that right? ;) Kidding, I'm sure you do on rare occasion
How could I forget my bike falling off, yeesh! Definitely adding that. And you bet I'm on for next year, I think it will be a blast to plan on this little tradition of ours every year.

Jarvis Family said...

Great! I am looking forward to it already. I am not telling the in-laws yet but I will soon enough! I love traditions and it looks like Sylvia is in as well. Awesome!!! And yes, I do feel out of shape and slow, like every other day. Like today when I went on an easy 40 min run and wondered how on earth I could ever even run a 7:00 pace :-) Love ya!

TandAA :) said...

You guys are crazy. That is all I have to say.