Wednesday, April 23, 2008

EPIC RIDE II--or really we should call it the Epic Weekend!

Alright, I am tired of waiting for other people to send me pictures so I am going to knock this post out and I will have the pictures on a later post. The weather in Texas has been spectacular the last week or so. For Epic Ride I we had cool morning temps in the 50's with highs in the 70's. It has warmed up over the past week and now the lows are in the 60's and the highs are in the 80's. So as many of you who have been commenting on your blogs that spring has finally arrived in your area of the country, Texas is finishing up spring and we are rolling into summer very quickly.

The weekend started off with a BANG on Friday evening. We headed to Memorial Park for Transition Training. I have a nifty transition bike rack and we set that up along with a BIKE IN/BIKE OUT dismount line and a bunch of cones. There had been some rain earlier in the day but the sun came out in the afternoon. My goofy gang got their wetsuits on and started splashing around in the puddles. For their T! practice, they all dropped to the ground and did 20 push-ups and then stood up and spun around in a circle 5-6 times before running (stumbling) to the bike rack while stripping their wetsuits. They had to run their bike to the mount line and hop on for a 1/2 mile loop where some of them practiced starting out with their shoes already clipped to the bike. Then they zoomed in, hopped off for T2 and racked the bike and took off for a 1/4 mile run. They ran through that drill 3 times. They got really good about setting up their transition area and getting in and out fast. A few of us hit Cafe Express for some post practice food.

The next morning, a large group of us drove up to Montgomery, TX for a 36 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. I had a blogger meet-up with Greyhound before his meet-up with the Montgomery Co. constable. The ride went well. My "back of the pack" gals all managed to stay together and my "front of the pack guys" ended up missing a turn and put in a few extra miles. I had the SAG drivers pull in a few gals that were done because their knees told them so and we talked again about looking at their fit. I love these gals for what they are doing, but I cannot understand why they won't let me raise their saddle up when it desperately needs to be raised. I know they they like the "comfort" of being able to put their feet on the ground when they come to a stop, but hey, they are supposed to come off of the saddle! O.K. enough of Coach's grumbling. Well after the SAG took care of everyone, I got to crank out my legs by myself to get back to the start!!! I was rewarded for hanging with my tri-chicas. I hit some hills hard and just enjoyed the smell of the honeysuckle and the warmth of the sun on my arms and legs. I met up with Ryan a.k.a. "Freaking Fast" on his way back out to catch some extra miles. He turned around and rode with me and we got a chance to chat. We saw Lauren getting some more miles in and we saw Greyhound on his quest for 100 miles.

There had not been many cars out that morning, but just as we realized that there was a black Lincoln Navigator gunning for us from behind, it was time to get out of the way. I usually will pick it up and sprint up ahead of the person I am riding with if I am in the middle of the road. Well, that position was where Ryan was and he decided instead to drop back and fall in behind me. I could hear the engine of the SUV and then I felt Ryan's front wheel rub my back wheel. It was more than just a rub. It was hard enough that it made me yell "F--K" and really work hard to regain my balance to not go down. I heard Ryan yell out "$#*!" and I heard him go down hard. I stopped as quickly as I could at the side of the road without skidding out on my wheels or Look clips to see the look on the woman's face in the passenger side seat of the SUV. She had a look of horror on her face and was looking out the side window and at me and then at her husband/partner/driver. Did he stop to render aid??? NO! He kept driving!!! I saw Ryan pull himself out of the ditch and check the bike. It looked like he took the worst of the fall, but there were no broken bones, just bad road rash and bloody cuts. We got back on the road and made it in the last 3 miles and I dove into my car for the new First Aid kit I had bought the night before. Norma who had her crash a few weeks ago and I went to work on Ryan as he started changing out of his tri shorts and into running shorts. He was on a lot of adrenalin and he wanted to go and get the run in!!! He was more concerned that his awesome tattoo on his shoulder was messed up and bleeding. the elastic on the liner of his running shorts was laying right over the huge road rash on his right hip and I was trying to get him to put anti-bacterial gunk on it before I taped on a huge dressing on it. I was trying not to get too much tape on the road rash but that meant that I ended up placing my hands and fingers in places that if he were not injured would have been deemed questionable. It is a good thing I know Ryan pretty good. Anyone else and it would have been very awkward.

So the group went out for their run and "Super Fast" Terry did two loops on the 4 mile out and back. I told him he did not have to do extra credit. Every one was getting used to the heat on the run. After we loaded things up, Terry, Louis, the kid and I stopped off and got some lunch at a good BBQ place. It was a good day. I had to get home to finish picking stuff up and do the last walk through the house before El Esposo came home from Venezuela. The house was good, all I need to do was get myself cleaned up. El Esposo was understanding enough to agree to let me go out and ride again on Sunday morning since I have IM Switzerland 70.3 in 5 weeks! All I had to do was be home by the time he had to go back to the airport and head to Mexico.

There were supposed to be a few of us, but it turned out to be just me and Terry. We met up at the Academy and drove out to Chappell Hill. This is one of my favorite rides. The last time I was out there, I had a horrible ride and bagged it after 11 miles because of low back and hip pain and junk in my shoulder that was robbing me of any power I could muster. I had more fun riding SAG with Ryan that day and taking pictures. This Sunday it was different. I was wanting to see what I could I do. I hoped that I wasn't bringing on BAD MOJO by wearing my Clearwater IM 70.3 World Championship Tri Top. It had crossed my mind that I would get passed up and the dudes would be thinking "how the hell did she qualify to go to the Worlds???" I was thinking positively and wanted to see what my legs had in them. Terry rolled out of town and the hills started right away. It was a little cool and I could tell that Terry was not totally comfortable on the downhills yet. My aerobar bottle was slipping around so I pulled over to re-adjust it and I let Terry get ahead. It also gave me a chance to watch how he was working the gears on the climbs and use my Coach Eye. He looked like he was getting the hang of using his gears so I cruised by him and took the lead again. I did not have to wait but only a few seconds for him to roll up at the intersections. It gave me a chance to grab fluids and shed layers.

When we rolled into Independence, TX we stopped at a little store to use the facilities. We saw some roadies that we had seen earlier in Chappell Hill who had left before we had. We got a chance to peel more layers off and gel up. Here is where the unveiling of the World Championship Tri Top happened. I was feeling a little obvious and I hate that feeling. I still don't feel fast and I don't want to do any false advertising that I might be, but that I am really just a poser. Another group of three tri guys and a gal rolled up and the gal took every one's eyes off of me when she stripped down to just her Nike tropical print bra top and her tri shorts to show off her tan stomach. Yes Terry, I know you were looking. :0) They rolled out before we did but it did not take long for us to roll up on them a few miles down the road. They had stopped near the bottom of hill and in the middle of the road. WTF!!! You see us coming, get over and get out of the middle of the road!

I asked if they were ok and got the thumbs up and I proceeded to power to the top of the hill and wait for Terry. All of sudden we had the road all to our selves. I took the opportunity to work the headwind and the hills to see what I could do. It felt good! I was cranking! When I hit the intersection about 6 miles down the road I had to wait a bit for Terry. I felt a little bad that I had dropped him way back. I secretly wanted to smoke those cats we passed on the road and that chick bearing her belly ring. I never saw them again, HA!!!

I let Terry choose to go right for nasty climbs or to go left for less nasty climbs. We went left and I gave him some on the bike coaching about how to work the hills and reassured him that the more he got out and rode the hills the easier it would get and it would become second nature. But as with everything, it takes time and it requires patience. We saw some amazing patches of bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush. The last 7 miles into Chappell Hill are peppered with some darn tough climbs that can take you out of the saddle and make you drop to the small chain ring. My chain had been jumping around a lot so I kept playing around with the gears. it was in these last 7 miles that the thought of Terry's idea of going for a run when we finished the ride was sounding like a sucker punch to the gut. We made it in and Terry thought better of the run. Whew! I saw that we finished the ride in enough time for me to get home in time that the kid was not by himself for more than 10 minutes or so.

I dropped Terry off so he could go meet up with a bunch of the other TNT gang for an open water swim and I went to pick up the kid and take him to El Esposo's company picnic where they have a bunch of fun stuff for the kids. It was a great training weekend not only for the TEAM, but for me as well.

Tomorrow is another training day and then the much awaited for Crawfish Boil at Louis and Angela's casa.

I will update that and another TNT Fundraiser that Erich did on Thursday night as well in the next post. Until then, I wish you all warm tailwinds and sunny skies!

Have a great weekend!



Spokane Al said...

It sounds like you experienced just about every possibility in this mix. Glad to hear thinks worked out okay for the crashee.

Rainmaker said...

Dang, that does sound like a full weekend! Good to hear that he who fell wasn't too badly injured.

And brilliant idea with the pushups/circles thing for practicing transitions. I've been trying to figure out a way to induce/reproduce the confusion/pain that normally accompanies T1. I wnat to spend some time on T1 and get it nailed.

Steve Stenzel said...

Wow! That IS a weekend!! That sounds like quite a wipe-out too - glad he's OK!!!

Viv said...

Glad to hear Norma was back out with you all. Poor Ryan, I am glad it was not too terrible. Any fall of the bike is bad. Montgomery is not too far from me next time shoot me an email an I will stalk the back of the packers..hehee!

The transition training was outstanding. I am so missing out on quality training. I may have to reconsider next years season and up my game. LOL my game...I have no game.