Monday, May 11, 2009

Signs, Signs, everywhere are signs!

The day started off early, it was still dark outside. The air is crisp and there is hardly a soul out.

It is a beautiful time. It is also the time that my bike light goes dead! Ughh! NO headlights. Not a problem. Instead of riding into the desert, I’ll ride in the city.

I’m feeling good. The wind is in my hair, I am motoring along, but my mph is slow. First hour shows just less than 14 mph. If I am going to knock out a 100 miles before noon I better pick up the pace.

Second hour shows just about 12. WHAT!!!? I have actually gone slower? Crap. Double time it!

Third hour shows just under 11 mph!


I blow up! I hop off my bike; let it crash to the ground; I fling my helmet off into the desert; I slam down my camelbak onto the pavement and scream!

Full blown hissy-fit!

After a while .... I gather back my things. I debated about calling the Mrs. and having her pick me up, but one: I am completely as far as I could be from her. Meaning it would take forever for her to get my pansy ass. And Two: I am ONLY at 34 miles. I need to get some kind of workout here!!

I decide to hop back on the bike, if nothing else so that passing riders will stop asking if I am OK. I mean there is some serious rider love out there and while I appreciate it, I just want to pout!

As I hopped onto the seat, I noticed that I could barely sit down! My hindquarters were on fire! Every pedal stoke was painful and in short order it was miserable to sit down at all. I was finally able to stop at rest room and switch my shorts from the tri-shorts to the riding shorts (I had them layered).

Ahh!! Sweet relieve!

All these stops and all the tantrums combined with the extremely slow speed, made it impossible for me to knock-out a century today and so I settled on the idea that 80 miles would be close enough!

I am at mile at 73 and suddenly my chain starts acting weird. It keeps dropping to the smaller ring in the front. At first I think that perhaps it fell off but it’s still there. I shift it up to the big ring and then a few strokes later it pops down again. This happens over and over again.

What the???

Finally after a few more strokes...the chain snaps in two!! Yep! Cleanly in half.

The benefit of having your chain broken? You get to run the last few miles home with your bike…barefoot! Good way to toughen the feet.


In closing:

1 – My light ran out of batteries and failed me
2 – My body ran out of batteries (I had NO power to ride fast) and failed me
3 – My bike ran out batteries (and broke) and failed me
4 – Even my clothes failed me!

Perhaps the gods are trying to tell me something?

So for those who wonder 'what does a chain break "feel" like::

Having your chain fall off feels just like you 'dropped your chain'. There is no big explosion (but there was a loud clang). It doesn’t hurt and you don’t suddenly go flying over your handlebars. Nothing BIG!

Really, it’s kind of a letdown! Then the realization that you’re out in the middle of your ride sinks in and then it’s a real letdown!


Kelly said...

LOL!! Sorry to laugh at you (again) but it makes me smile to think of you having a hissy fit because that is my department. I only wish I was there!! (I know I am a bad, evil wife but what can I say)

Seriously though, you still make me smile with your writing even though it was a horrible day and I know how irritated you were.

I think the gods are telling you "you are at the tale end of training for an ironman son, it is not suppose to be easy because there is nothing easy about an ironman"

Love you!!

IronWaddler said...

I hate days like that. But that's what heroes are made of. In the future-you will laugh your butt off at this day.

Donald said...

Ugh. Lousy day. Broken chains are bad news - luckily it's only happened to me once. At least you got a few training miles out of it before the breakdown.

Stef0115 said...

Good that chain thing happened now rather than at CDA! As for the rest of it, well, I felt your pain. Even though I've never actually ridden that many miles. Miserable rides like that make us stronger!

When does your taper start. Wow it's really getting down to the wire! [insert maniacal laugh here].


Calyx Meredith said...

I think the gods are giving you a review or study guide for the mental toughness exam that is IM!! You passed. You kept on. Sorry it was so frustrating - but you know you can keep moving forward when you have to - without headlights or energy, with a short hissy fit and a broken chain. You reassessed and moved on. Yay you!

Ha ha - my verification word is "go blo" which is what you probably wanted to shout at your bike! :O

richvans said...

Look at the bright side - at least you weren't climbing when the chain broke - that's a good way to get injured, especially with a body tired from IM training. Also, you could have been 40 miles from home. Good luck in CDA.

ShirleyPerly said...

Well, Mr. Murphy just seemed to have his way with you that day. But better to have one of those in training than during a race. In fact, I think it means you will NOT have one during a race because you had one in training (or something like that).

PS - My husband broke a chain when climbing a hill and luckily did not fall over. Not fun, still. I had to ride back to the car to get him. He was NOT in a good mood ...

Unknown said...

Yikes! Now that is a really bad day on the bike. But look at this way, at least you toughed it out and kept going. Something to be said for that kind of determination.

RBR said...

Oh dear God. Ride from hell. But, the hissy-fit part? Hilarious. Sorry, but just damn hilarious.

Your bike was just letting you know it needed some work before the big day. Now it is all ready for you to fly over the hills of Idaho.

I am so tired all the time. I never have the "Gee, my legs feel so good and fresh and I am ready to go" feeling anymore. I hope that is normal.

You are so ready for CdA! You are going to be IRON!!

The Stretch Doc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Stretch Doc said...

dude that was so perfect!! Your impersonation of Norm Stadler, I got no Powwaarr' (cry cry, sniff sniff) was AWESOME!!

way to hang in there !
and did I not tell you about that chain or what. Glad it happened here than on CdA.


Ordinarylife said...

Oh wow - that sucks!!

I guess it was a case of "what can go wrong will go wrong"?

My theory is that days like this are good. If it happens now it CAN"T happen on the day! Right?

Borsch said...

Wow...broken chain...that sucks!

That sounds like a character building day!

Come up to the midwest and you will see that average shoot up...everything is "flat" here. :-)

Ryan said...

Ahh, the trials and tribulations of Ironman training...gotta love it.

I do have to say that triathletes are terrible bike maintenance people. I treat my bike better than I do my car ;-)

What are you doing reading this, go out and ride a century today!

richvans said...

You must really be training hard since you've dropped off the blogosphere after your meltdown. Hope it's going well. For me, not so much. I'll be at the start, not quite as finely honed as I'd like but hopefully clear of injury.