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    BOILHAM   34,588
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New Distance New Troubles New Fixes

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Yesterday's long ride was not like last week's long ride. That's why we do these long training runs and rides. Not just training the body, but looking for potential weak spots and finding how to fix them, or just deal with them.

I had a learning another experience yesterday. It's not always the body or mind. It just might be equipment or environmental trouble. I learned how the environment could mess with your long runs. I'd find myself getting tired then recovering only to feel near exhaustion soon after. In that case, it was due to hills or 'false flats' where you think the surface is flat and smooth, but it's really a long slow uphill. They drain you physically and play tricks with your mind. I suppose even more when you're a senior citizen and a middle of the pack athlete.

So, back to my ride yesterday. I was feeling disheartened around the 20 mile mark. I kept wondering why I'm feeling so tired, why my legs aren't working like they did last week. Last week I felt great! Got in the zone and finished 47 mile with considerable energy the entire ride. I wasn't feeling it yesterday. Maybe I should have rested more the day before? Maybe 2 long rides in 2 weeks is too much? Am I eating and drinking enough?

So I got tough, embraced the pain and pushed on. I used my best positive thinking and decided nothing was going to stop me. If I am tired, so be it. I have to do this, so let's just get on with it.

The miles passed and it was time to go refill my Gatorade bottles with H2o - I pedaled on to the park with the water fountain. I was hurting, I needed a rest, too. I checked my watch, 27 plus miles. Only 23 more to go. I filled my bottles, stretched and hopped on the bike, stuck my feet in the cages. What's this? Each time I push down the bike stutters. Like I could feel it braking each push of the left pedal. I hopped off, spun the rear tire. Nice and smooth, no rubbing. Then I wiggled the wheel. It wobbled freely back and forth. Check the hub wheel releases and yes, they were loose. I realigned the wheel, tightened the wheel, and jumped back on.

Off I went. Oh man, this feels great. I felt like I was riding on air, and my pedaling was effortless. It was then I thought about how poorly I had been feeling all this time, all the energy I had 'wasted' during the last several miles as the wheel friction worked to slow me down. Veteran riders surely already know about stuff like this, and surely would have checked the wheels much sooner. But, I'm a newbie and still learning. Today I learned.

With renewed vigor I got moving, I felt like I was flying - my mood elevated instantly, realizing I might not be so weak, tired and old. But rather the victim of equipment failure.

So I finished my last 23 miles, even did a couple more. I won't say I was completed invigorated the entire ride, but I sure felt a lot better. I finished and felt fine. I stretched and did not sit right away. I ate, and did a few little chores around the house. Then sat and relaxed.

I learned I could still tough it out, if I needed to. But, I was able to 'fix' my problem this time and didn't have to rely on pure guts and grit to finish. I did okay and was almost pain free for the last part of this ride.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LEWILL1982 3/11/2014 10:22AM

    That's a great reminder and tiring lesson learned. Glad you got it straightened out.

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    Lesson learned always check the bike before heading out.

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RAINEMARIE214 3/10/2014 11:52AM

    Great job! I guess along the way we need those learning experiences, otherwise, how else will we learn? I will admit though, that part of the reason I rarely ride my bike is because I dont know how to fix it if something happens! I should really just learn how to fix a flat so that if it ever happens I wont be stuck! :)

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MASRITE 3/10/2014 10:26AM

    Glad it was the bike and not you!! Hope you're relaxing now and taking a bit of a rest until the next ride/swim/run!

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SEABREEZE65 3/10/2014 7:35AM


Life is all about learning to fix things.....

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ROXYZMOM 3/9/2014 10:17PM

    I haven't trained for a triathlon, but have to wonder - are you thinking too much? I only wonder because I find myself doing that at times, and then it messes me up. Mental anguish can really mess with me sometimes - just a thought...

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JACKIE542 3/9/2014 7:28PM

    Glad you found out what the problem was, pretty soon you will be an expert with that bike. Have a relaxing evening now. emoticon

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SMITTY4RL 3/9/2014 6:30PM

    Hey, this is a good lesson--always look over the equipment. It's something I always seem to forget! Glad you realized it and a better half of the ride ;-).

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DALID414 3/9/2014 5:24PM

    I'm sure you were very releived it was an equipment issue.

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RUN4FOOD 3/9/2014 2:26PM

    One of the benefits of age is wisdom.
You did figure out the problem and fixed it
Someone younger would have been just as likely to keep struggling and not look for an alternate answer.
You've been around the block often enough to know to at least look at other possibilities.
Congratulations on finding the problem and having a very good ride.

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STRIVERONE 3/9/2014 1:30PM

    Since the extra work didn't do you any harm, it must have done you some good.

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MBTEPP 3/9/2014 1:11PM

    Working out the kinks is all part of learning the sport!

You are doing emoticon ! Keep up the hard training!


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BIGPAWSUP 3/9/2014 12:42PM

    You are an awesome athlete, you really should know that but I'll keep reminding you.

Glad you were able to figure out what was wrong with your bike and enjoy the rest of your ride.

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STRIVER57 3/9/2014 12:00PM

    what Catherine and Nat said! and i find Catherine's usually right about her diagnoses.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/9/2014 11:29AM

    Glad you figured out what the problem was and that the rest of the ride was easier. Have to always be tuned in, don't you, to figure out what's going on sometimes.

Good luck with your next long ride.

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MIRAGE727 3/9/2014 11:27AM

    I also keep strong preventive maintenance on my bike. I spend time after my bike runs, going over and cleaning my bike. I take it in before every Du & Tri to my Retul Pro who checks it out. Yep, fueling yourself in these endurance sports is critical. I've learned a lot from Marathoners (like Catherine) in good nutrition.
Stay strong and stay focused!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 3/9/2014 11:09AM

    It should also teach you to have more confidence in yourself. If the effort is totally out of whack, don't immediately assume it is an inadequacy on your part.

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BLUENOSE63 3/9/2014 9:55AM

  Glad you found the problem with your bike. Perhaps a redo of your big ride will give you a true indication of the timing you can expect. After all, you were riding with unforeseen wheel issues which I am sure caused you to go at a slower rate.

Good job on the nutrition.....very important. Also checkout the electrolyte powder by IRONMAN it is great on the bike as you will find the tells will give you a sloshy stomach after a while.

Great work!

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NATPLUMMER 3/9/2014 9:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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