Between photo boothing and the weather my workout schedule has gotten a little off. I was supposed to do a 6-1/2 ride followed by a 45 minute run over the weekend, but I just couldn't get it done. So, I had planned on doing it on Monday and pushing things back and shuffle things around for the next week. But looming in the next week was a 7-1/2 hour ride shooting for 112-120 miles. Early into the ride I decided I was just going to give the full thing a-go.
I had decided since I was doing the ride by myself that I'd ride to my sister's house and back twice and then throw in a little extra at the end of the ride. This way I was close to home in case something happened and also to make it easier to refill the bike with nutrition. The first trip out to my sister's house was interrupted with a short jaunt to my parents' to empty my bladder. I was seven miles into the ride...it was going to be one of those days. :) But, this added a few miles so I decided to keep the trek to my parents' house on the agenda for both ways. This would mean that finishing two loops would come up to 94 miles. The first 47 were pretty uneventful. I found some roads out by my sister's house were in the process of being chip sealed (gravel and then asphalt--yeah, she lives in the country) so I decided not to take those roads a second time.
The second time I got to my sister's house (around 70 miles) I was starting to feel bad. My shoulders were super-sore, my knees were achy, I was tired of being on my bike. I had a hard time taking a bathroom break and wanting to get started again. If she didn't have a million kids around, I might have asked her for a ride home. The workout description said "don't quit," so I wasn't going to. Around 77 miles I was starting to lose it mentally. The wind was in my face and I realized I still had somewhere between 35 and 40 miles left for this ride. That's still a lot more miles! Eighty miles into it, I was arguing with myself. Out loud. "Come on, Meredith. You're the strongest person I know mentally." "No, I'm not." "You can do this." "No I can't!" By the time I made it back to the house at 94 miles, I was toast.
I called Dave and he gave me a little pep talk. He told me to just take the next 18 miles in smaller steps: get to the end of the street, make it into New Albany, try to ride out to Abercrombie. Okay, I could do that. I started out again and I was actually feeling better. My knees and shoulders weren't hurting as much and I felt like I had a second wind. Yes, I could do this.
And then I got to thinking. Last night I was watching Holly's World. Shut up! You know you watch it too! She said in the episode that having big boobs was her destiny. He he he! But in all seriousness it got me thinking. Becoming an Ironman is my destiny. I have wanted to achieve this goal for as long as I can remember. When I was little I used to watch the Hawaii Ironman, sobbing, telling my dad that I was going to do that some day. It's been the number one goal on my Life List since it existed. This is my destiny.
At 100 miles I cheered out loud. Around 104 miles I was brought back down to reality. Something was squishy, and it happened to be my back tire. Crap! I've never had a flat tire. EVER! So I found some shade and called Dave. He talked me through changing it while on the phone. And I totally did it by myself. I wish I had pictures to prove it. Sure it might have taken me a half hour, but I had that back tire on in no time. :) I was riding again and I was going to finish this b!tch! Except a few miles later I was squishy again. Gosh darn it! I must have done something wrong. I had one more CO2 cartridge but not another tube. At 107.5 miles, I was done. I had to call Dave to come pick me up.
As it turns out, I didn't do anything wrong. There was a stone stuck in the tire that had punctured both my tubes. I probably got it at that newly chip sealed road 80 miles prior and it just took that long to actually puncture the tire. So, now I know how to change a tire and I know that I can do it successfully, albeit slowly.
Although I didn't get the full 112 miles in, I know I can finish the ride. I had some dark miles late in the ride, but from everyone I've heard from that's pretty common. One more big ride left before the big day....