a while ago we were riding a fairly long ride. we were just cruising along pretty happy when we came up to a group of 3 people. and this has happened several times so its worth writing about. :-)
the going faster than someone else that is. very odd for us.
well, we come up on this small group and the guy in front says "can we ride witchyou?"
we are going probably about 16-17mph... not too fast, just moving along. me and resa just taking turns at the front.
i sigh, but you never know, adding 3 people can really lessen the work at the front. not that we were busting all that hard. but the alternative is to say "no, fock off" and that sounds kinda mean. so i say "sure, we switch every mile." and the guy says "great" and gets in behind the resa. i finish up my mile, call out switch and go to the back behind him. his two friends decided they didnt want to come along.
i hear for the next mile how he wants his friends to be here too. how he normally rides at 30 mph and how its just not his day today. i say "oh" "ah" and "yep" maybe 48 times over the next 3.5 minutes. resa is just holding the same pace we have been at for 3-4 hours. i looked back but this guy's buddies are about a half mile back and i am hoping he goes back to them. finally the mile is up, i call out the switch and the resa comes back behind me with raised eyebrows. i just shrug back to her.
so now its the guys turn, and right away he is clicking through gears. click click click. time to rock!!! and he is going 17,18,19,22,25mph. zooom!
again to be polite we kept up with him for a few of that. at about 19 or so i just lay back down to our normal cruising speed. he bolts out and gets about 40 yards on us. then starts to slow down. we catch up after about 1/4 of a mile. he is totally out of breath and calling for a switch. waves feebly at us as we cruise by. he gets behind the resa after his turn of 1/2 mile and fades away over the next 1/2 mile.
and this happens all the time. i am not sure why people ( newbies mostly ) think that being in the front is so different. that they have to go 100% if they are in the front. usually i call switches on rides and when they go out front i let them go and scream SWITCH as loud as i possible can to them, if they are within a few hundred yards that is. some people just put their head down and are so far gone i usually don't see them again for a few miles. i can picture them out there 10 minutes of sprinting down the road waiting for the call to change... i tell people that i know: "when you go to the front, dont change gears and dont change your peddling."
ok! this week was pretty easy - it was our last recovery week. next starts the hardest part of the training. also the hottest. and i am not good in hot. well, swimming seems fairly heat resistant and biking i think doesn't bother me too much if it is hot. but running! yikes!
we had a good bike on saturday. went about 40 miles after doing a lake swim ( eeek! ) but the swim went great. jumped in and started moving. our pace was medium slow as we just wanted to have a good event. one trip around the lake is 0.8 miles, so 3 trips is the ironman. we did two trips in 60 minutes. again very much in line with our guess of 1:30 in canada. the resa and i both feel we could have improved our pace quite a bit. so maybe knock the 1:30 to 1:15 if it went well, but i am still hoping to just survive the swim. but feel pretty happy about that phase right now. the only negative was that the resa, sheila and i have gotten bloody necks from the velcro patches on the back - all three of us. need to figure that one out. but after the swim we were all pretty happy and rode around the park for the 40 miles. resa's knees acted really well ( the steroids must be on-line finally ). the only real negative was her bike skips badly on the front chainring when she shifts quickly from big to small ring. 3 times we had to get the chain back on, the last time mangled the chain and i had to take a few links out. only had one flat so thats just about a PB on a ride. i think once, back in the 90s we had a ride where neither of us got a flat.
sunday was supposed to be a long 4 hour ride. we got about 40 minutes into it and i was in front. in the shadow of a large tree on the side of the road was a small piece of metal. later the small piece of metal was on the side of the road somewhere. i never saw it. before, during or after i ran over it. but it cut the rear ( of course ) tire and i was flat. i took the tire off, the tube was cut up pretty good and so was the tire itself. i patched the inside of the tire so that the tube wouldnt come through the cut and then put a new tube on.
well, first off i HATE the small pump i got with the new bike. its like the size of a cigar and works about as well pumping up tires. its in the trash now. but, i am sitting there trying to pump up the new tire and i am getting a bit annoyed with it. resa says we should try using the new canister instant inflator. you attach a tube of CO2 and press it to the stem and ta-da! full air. unless you use the mountain bike side canister rather than road bike one. THEN you get like 2x as much air. i think the tire went up to about 190 pounds of air. well, not for very long as the tube forced its way through the patch and exploded. ka-bang! now we have two messed up tubes and a still messed up tire. we have one more tube in the bike bags, but it was not swapped out the day before and so we have 3 wrecked tubes and a tire.
i get out the patch kit and work on fixing the tube but once on it leaks. resa mentions we have a 4th of july party that night and are pretty much out of time. so we decide to scrub the day and do it monday. she rides back to get the car and i sit there on the side of the road. i start walking back, but i know it will be about an hour before she gets back, so i sit down and fiddle with the patch kit a bit more. i finally get one of the 3 tubes patched ( the second one ). now the bike pump is acting up and i cant get any air in the thing. its messed up pretty bad and i am sitting there moping. a guy rides by ( many have ) and asks like most do if i need anything. "yeah, just a pump." so he stops and hands me his pump. its a nice one. in fact i went out that night and bought one myself. really nice little pump and i get the tire about up to 60ish pounds and am thinking maybe we can still do a few hours today. so i pull the pump off the stem. along with the valve and all the air comes out.
the guy is staring at me and the tire. "sorry" he says. ahh well, not at all his fault, my junky pump ruined the stem i think. i say "no-prob" and he asks if i want a tube or more patches or .... well, i am pretty done. so i say, no, i am getting a ride and he waves bye and takes off.
i walked about 10 feet and say screw it, get on the flat tire and ride it a mile where resa finds me.
so! dont get 16 gram cartridges, get the 12s for your bike, i tested this the next day. put about 10 pounds of pressure in a new tube, hit it with the catridge and bang! 100 pounds - perfect.
only 4 flats this week, so not too bad at all! :-)
monday we did the the long ride. and it was pretty hot. about 95 degrees out. the ride went well. averaged about 17 and all in all was a fun ride. but i got dehydrated and didnt really notice until the last 3 miles. i ran out of water too about 5 miles earlier. when we got back we started our 5 mile run. but i made it only 2 miles before dieing. walked and ran the rest. but gads. i need to drink more. sure was bad.
mentally: 8 - huge happy swim day. i really think i have the swim covered now. really bad dehydration again - need to watch that. ( i just sweat a ton i guess! )
physically: 9 - feel strong, very dehydrated today, but the week was good.
workouts: 8 - did them all, but they were not hard until the weekend. next 3 weeks should be the hardest of them all.
all in all i think if we have a good next month we should be ready. i would, at this time give our finish time at just under 16 hours. 15:30ish maybe. :-)