It’s Jean’s race day at Ironman USA, Lake Placid. She’s out of the swim, but that’s the only race report I’ve seen up until now. I’m on pins and needles because, as I found out, anything can happen in an instant.
Have you ever had one of those days where the conditions are near perfect, and you expect things to go well, only to find out that it just isn’t your day? Yesterday’s (Saturday) bike ride started out in near perfect weather. Other than a little wind, which I’ve become accustomed to, it was great riding weather. Sunny but on the coolish side. I rode from Delton to Hastings, made the turn on Chief Noonday (M-179) west, and headed for Hopkins. My plan was to ride to the stone house (see prior e-mails for description), turn around and come back.
The ride was a 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hour HR2 ride so it would be around 90 miles. 58 minutes into the ride I had a flat tire. The tire was a brand new one so I wasn’t happy. I could feel the air on my leg escaping from the tube, so I knew it wasn’t just a pin prick. There were two holes in the tube and tire about a centimeter apart, so it was a textbook pinch flat. The tire had exposed fiberglass fibers in the two holes, so I had to use a repair patch for the tire itself so it didn’t wreck the spare tube.
Things went from bad to worse (at least in my mind). I had just passed the Shell station when I heard a siren so I stopped and let a State Police car pass. A couple of minutes later two more State Police cars went by with their sirens and lights on. I stopped again and watched them as they turned down Payne Lake Road.
All of a sudden I had this feeling that there had been a car/bike accident at the Great Lakes Triathlon. My mind churned, as it has since the wreck of ’03, and I convinced myself that Diane was in it and it was really bad. Only last evening when I talked to Diane about where the Sunday run was did I find out that there really was a car/bike accident and that Diane was in it. There are some pretty nasty scrapes and bruises, but Diane is fine. Her brand new Zipp front wheel is now only good for riding around corners.
Later on the ride I dropped my chain twice while shifting from the big chain ring to the small chain ring half way up hills. The second time, the chain wrapped itself around the rear axle before I could stop pedaling so it took some time to “unkink” it. I took a turn up 18th Street (or is it 18th Avenue?) and went into Wayland from that direction. Of course, Wayland is having sidewalk sales and the downtown streets are all blocked off so I detoured through the town.
As I finished the bike ride, I was going through the hills into Cloverdale and I noticed it was hard riding up the hills. I knew it was around 85 miles at that point, but my nutrition had been good and I was well enough hydrated to stop and pee at the stream on 18th street, so I shouldn’t be that tired. After about the fifth hard hill, I looked down and I was in the hardest gear on the cassette. I looked at the shifter and it was in the easiest gearÂ for the cassette. It only took me a milli-second to realize I had broken my rear shifter cable.
I went through my list of names on my cell phone. Half were out of town, and the other half probably had caller I.D. and didn’t want to leave their easy chairs, so no one answered. I started to walk the six miles home when I realized it would be easier to ride the bike in a hard gear and walk it up hills if I had to, so I rode it on home. My legs were spent when I got there, but not enough to keep me from running a 50 minute transition run.
I ran with Diane, Laura, Jon, Paul and Pat on the Sunday long run. They did around 8 miles. My run was supposed to be 120 to 135 minutes, but I switched it with last week’s 105 to 120 minutes. We stopped for water at 44 minutes and I never restarted my watch so I don’t know how long or far I went, but I think around 10 or 11 miles. As usual, Pat was talking on Ryan Road (or was it Hammond?) and I wasn’t catching everything, but he talked about someone he knows being happy about being single. He went on to say that dating Miss America is cheaper and easier and held up his right hand.
I didn’t know what he was talking about so I said “…and her sister” as I held up my left hand. He laughed and said “That’s sick”. I don’t know what he meant so I’m completely in the dark. Let your imagination go and, if you come up with something, fill me in.
Seven weeks to the thriller.
Just (Hoping Jean Has a Good Race) Jack