Sunday, March 18, 2012

Run + bike

After deciding to opt out of the Double Chubb 50K in favor of the CAC non-race, I was disappointed to find out that despite having someone who badly wanted my number AND an extensive waiting list, I couldn't sell my entry.  It's their race, and I guess they can make whatever rules they want to, but I sure prefer the way my club does entries for its Pere Marquette run: if you aren't able to do the race, you can do a bib transfer and sell your entry to someone who can.  Oh, well, I'm secure in my decision to non-race and will now have the distinction of being the only competitor who paid $50 to participate in this free event.

With that decision made and no big running race on the horizon, though, all of my running motivation evaporated.  Well, I wanted to run, but it was hard to drag myself out of bed before work when I didn't have to.  How hard was it (TWSS)? So hard that it took me until Friday to actually get up and run...a measly 2 miles run that felt like I'd never run before.  I was a little disappointed.

At least I was able to appreciate the weather.
Just because I have no straight running race doesn't mean there's nothing looming on my horizon, of course.  I leave this Friday for the LBL Challenge adventure race.  Being as the foot portion is my strength, it wouldn't do to suck there, so I really can't afford to stop running.  I need to be able to bring something to the team besides my sparkling personality and argyle socks, especially when someone is going to have to share canoe-portaging duties with me and my paltry arm muscles. That realization was enough to get me back out on Saturday morning for another run.

J had a 10:15 soccer game, and the soccer fields are 4ish miles from my house.  Between the fields and the house is the Big Woods, some of my very favorite trails.  Instead of driving to the trails to run, I decided to run to the trails, run the trails, and then run over to the soccer fields in time for the game.  That way we could all drive home together.  I didn't get out of the house quite as early as planned, but that's ok because it meant I got a chance to run a mile or so with Mike.

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Heading down one of our local bike trails to the woods.  The fog was burning off by now.
My first couple of miles were pretty slow; of course, I spend part of one walking and eating my breakfast.  The third mile was around 8:30, though: pretty fast for me.  Mile 4 started with a hill (walk) and then a jog across the grass and behind the dorms to get to the trail entrance.  Once I hit the trails, though, I had to stop and take a couple pictures.  It was so beautiful there.  The pictures truly don't do it justice.  Spring is most definitely here, as evidenced by the mossy edge of the trail and the green buds on the trees and bushes.  I had such a feeling of gratitude that we have such a wonderful place to run so close.

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Tracks n Treads runners, this area is where the run portion of the race will be

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Mike caught up with me on the trails, and we had a nice run together until we got to the path down to the soccer fields.  I ended up with about 6 miles for the morning.

J's soccer game was pretty awesome.  He's played with the same team for a few seasons now (spring and fall), and they're starting to play pretty well.  He had several chances to score and finally kicked in the team's first goal of the season.  His team ended up winning 3-1. (Even though they don't keep score, we do. :D  It's funny...when N was in soccer, I can remember several games where his team got their butts kicked, but he remembered the score as quite different...which was fine with us.)

The day's temperature was in the low 80's, absolutely gorgeous, and I suggested it would be a great day for a hike.  Jeff didn't agree, wanting to get some yard work done.  Being as I spend an awful lot of time doing what I want to do, and knowing that if it wasn't for my husband our house would be falling down around us (it must be very difficult to be an ant married to a grasshopper), we did things his way.  Turned out to be a good choice as we got hit by some major rain an hour or so into the yard work...right when we'd have been getting to the park to hike.

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N came out to help but spent more time playing with J, who apparently can't get enough soccer.
If Saturday was the day of the run, Sunday was the day of the bike. The Bike Surgeon, a bike shop about 30 minutes from my house, was hosting Women's Ride Day.  I had to work children's church registration an hour away, and I wouldn't be getting out until after 11, which made making the noon ride time a sketchy proposition at best.  But instead of getting discouraged, I wore my bike clothes under my church clothes and had my bike loaded up so I could drive straight there.

I just made it.  The women were all on bikes and listening to instructions as I pulled in.  I pulled off my skirt (shorts underneath) and boots, threw on my bike shoes, switched my church shirt for a bike jersey, and got my bike out of the trunk and set up in time to run in, register, and get to the group before they left. There were three different ride options: 10 miles, 20 miles, and 30 miles. 

I can ride 30 miles no problem, so I'd planned to go with that group, but when the guy explaining the options added that the 30 mile ride was probably going to ride at a 20 mph pace, I wavered.  I can ride that fast, but I've never ridden that far at that pace.  In addition, my bike is once again stuck in the big ring though I just had it at the bike shop because of that, so I wasn't sure how I'd do on any hills.  I ended up deciding to stick with the 30 mile option, though, and I'm glad I did.

It was another beautiful day, sunny, and in the 80's.  I knew quite a few ladies in the group from Team Revolution events and from races, so it was fun to visit with people I hadn't seen for a while as well as meet some new people.  I felt great riding, and my torture chamber bike seat wasn't too bad.  The route had some hills to it, and since I was stuck in a big gear I ended up standing in the pedals a lot to climb...which probably helped extend the time before I was saddle sore.

We were maybe halfway through the ride when I heard a pop from my front tire.  A flat.  I've been pretty spoiled, because I think I've only had one other flat during an organized ride, and that was back in 2009.  Most of the women kept going, and one of the ride leaders stayed with me.  Despite the fact that I never learned how to change a car tire, I have actually put some time into learning how to change a bike tire, so I wasn't totally at a loss.  I'm slow, but I had everything finished but the airing up when Kube and Carrie came back to check on us.  Carrie, who races professionally and can change a tire in no time, finished airing up and putting back on my tire while I put the levers and stuff away.

We pushed the pace a little to catch back up with the group, and I was still feeling good.  The hills were tough, but hills are always tough, and I was making it up them.  The roads were pretty smooth, and I'd gotten my flat tire dealt with without too much drama.  And then another pop, again from the front tire.  WTF...two flat tires in a row?  And I'd felt all inside the tire the first time to make sure there was nothing still stuck in the tire.  Either I missed something or just had bad luck, but my ride was finished because I'd only brought one spare tube.  The ride leader was about to call for the SAG wagon when Carrie saved the day again. 

She switched out our front wheels, sent me on my way, changed my tire, put the wheel onto her bike, and then caught up with us.  How awesome is that??  She's a Team Revolution member (founder?), and this is so characteristic of the Team Rev ladies I've met. She's this amazing, fast cyclist, but when she comes out on a ride like this, she's much more about making it a good ride for other women than going out and hammering it and trying to show anybody up.  Big thanks to her.

I'm pretty lucky, because that attitude is pretty typical of everybody I ride with on a regular basis.  Out there, wanting to be the best they can be, but also invested in the people they're riding with.  I've had the benefit of a lot of different peoples' patience and advice as I've spent more time on group runs and rides, and I really hope that's something I never forget.  If more people got to ride with the kind of people I get to ride with, there would be a lot more cyclists because the ones I'm talking about are the best possible advertisements and ambassadors for the sport.  And I want to be just like them when I grow up...or, more to the point, get better myself.

21 comments:

Kathy said...

The more people I meet in the running/biking community the more amazed I am about the extraordinary quality of the people I get to meet on a regular basis.
LOL, had a flat last week, myself!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

This reminds me that I 1, need to go on another group ride, and 2, need to learn how to use the tire changing stuff I bought.

Michelle Dragoo said...

I still don't have a group to run with, but looks like you had an amazing time! Great job getting out there!

XLMIC said...

I was really looking forward to photos of the yard work extravaganza!!!! Dang.

pensive pumpkin said...

wow. awesome nice people. that is rad.

TriMOEngr said...

That rain that came through was crazy. Glad it all worked out. Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

misszippy said...

So great to have a group like that to train with. Sounds like a beautiful weekend and like you made the most of it!

bobbi said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend! It's so nice to run/ride with a group whenyou KNOW they are not only getting their workouts in, but also looking out for you. That's been my favorite part of group runs, to be honest...

And now I need to get some yardwork done :( Too bad I hate it, seriously...

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Good, now you're available to run The North Face Challenge in December! Your family can camp with our family - it will be a great weekend!

Dave said...

Yesterday was a day for flats! I was riding out around my place and got one right by the entrance to St. Albans :( I blame all of the road debris from the last non-snow. Even with all of the rain lately, I don't think it's really washed it all off.

Jill said...

All the time while I was "training" (hahaha) for that Century ride last year, I never learned how to change a tire. I kept thinking I'd go to one of those classes at REI but hey, training got in the way and I never did ;). I must do that, I've been back on my bike a few times this month and bike flat paranoia has set in again.

Anyhoo...


Yeah, you and "something on the horizon" go hand-in-hand - always good to be prepared cuz knowing you, you'll be doing a 50-miler run here soon :). That's what I love about you!

The trails you ran on reminded me a lot of the 50k trails I ran on over the weekend (at least part of my course)...I thought it was just so gorgeous!! You ARE so lucky to have those trails ... now you just gotta get that 50k done on them :).

xo

Luke said...

Wow! 30 miles at a 20mph pace?!? Very impressive. This weekend you'll have to tow me at LBL. Can't wait!

Kate said...

I don't know what the moving pace was bc I didn't have a bike computer/Garmin on, but I doubt we were moving at 20 mph the whole time if that often. Kube's post on Daily Mile had something closer to 16 mph I think.

Carilyn said...

That sounds like an awesomely busy weekend - my favorite kind! And way to go on picking the 30 mile ride and then sticking with it despite all the difficulties! Someday I hope to actually learn how to really ride :)

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

glad you have a great group of bikers to ride with. I love it when I can work in a pre-game run to the start of each game. Nice goal!

Terzah said...

My favorite part of this post was the ant married to a grasshopper analogy. My husband is an ant, too. He asked me if he could hiking up in the mountains with his friends this weekend--so rare that I almost jumped up and down for him (how many weekends has he let me jaunt off to races???). Of course while he's gone I'm not going to do any housework--I'll probably....take the kids hiking. :^)

ajh said...

I am very impressed with the make it a good ride for others mentality! That sounds so great. Two flat tires is super bad luck! Glad it worked out fine.

You must be so beside yourself for the coming weekend. That is when your 24 hour race is right?

At my house it seems to go my way a lot too! I love it!
But it's nice of us to give the men a turn!

Mike said...

Nice ride yesterday! Great time management with the bike clothes under the church clothes. I got a flat yesterday too. First one since I started riding three years ago.

It was nice running in the woods Saturday. Procrastination Saturday morning = run with Mike :-)

Teamarcia said...

I'd be cooked if i ever got a flat. I'm pretty sure one of my brake squeezers doesn't work at all. Impressive how technical I am isn't it?

Kelley said...

Those are beautiful trails! I'm reading a lot about running lately and feel like this must be a sign to do it already. Is running truly bad for your knees? Is it worth it, though, for the other advantages? Hmmm...

Black Knight said...

Glad you can train with that nice group.
About the bibs and the fees: I bought the expensive bibs for Florence, Pisa and Rome marathon (this one was run last sunday) and I could not run!
And not only I lost my money also for the Roma-Ostia half!!!!!! Flu, ship-incidents, injures: a period to forget.