Sunday, June 22, 2008

She's a BRICK House...

she's mighty, mighty just letting it all hang out...

so yesterday was my first official, non-planned but fervently enjoyed brick that started at 6:30 AM. on a Saturday. its so incredible because although i am considered a tri veteran with a good number of races and 2 years of training in my repertoire, i am also experiencing the joys of a newbie. i recently got my first bonafide tri bike (my previous two were roadie conversions), had my first road ride in over a year, my first pool swim in over a year, and now my first brick in over a year...WOOOHOOO! the day started when my alarm sounded at 6AM. i quite literally jumped out of bed because i was so excited to get going. i had just switched out the Cobras for the Strykes the previous day, making this a special rendezvous between the open road, Mufasa (the highly anticipated name of my new bike. it has been a constant back and forth battle of the sexes, but in the end, "he" won out and gave a name most fitting for the animal that he is), and me. i had been planning this ride all week long and knew i had to do it first thing in the morning because it isn't the safest route with a lot of traffic. thankfully, i have a very hard time sleeping in past 6:30 so the early morning start time made the adventure all the more exciting. i felt like i was the only one on the road (i saw a total of 4 cyclist while riding where as in when i left for my run, i saw 7, and it wasn't nearly as long). i've never done any riding by myself and have really enjoyed getting to know me as a cyclist. i think a lot while i am riding. i think about BOD and the absolute joy i used to get out of our rides together. he would lead me from the front, circle around and push my limits from the back and then congratulate me at the end for a job well done. that was before. currently i must find it in me to do this for myself. now i enjoy the pure and simple fact that i am here, on my own, navigating my way, getting lost only to re-find that way and showing myself that i am a strong willed woman who is physically not where i want to be at the moment, but pushing the envelope every chance i get to reach the level i once possessed. this is the time i think about that level and envision riding up on it, doing a congratulatory little dance and leaving it in the dust as i surpass it.

i was pretty much near the last leg of my route when i felt the rim of my tire grinding the pavement in front of me. CRAP. FLAT. i pulled off to the side of a shaded alcove on Harbor Island and commenced the tire changing ritual that coach had us perform so many times. CRAP. AEROTIRES. the inner tube i packed was for my old tires and the stem wasn't long enough to fit my new ones.


"did i say crap, i meant SHIT."

"what to do? Bri is at the TNT Saturday session as are most of the people i could call to come and rescue me."

"BOD? yeah right. not only would he laugh but he'd probably send out a camera crew to tape me standing here with my thumb up my butt. well, that's not true...he would just ignore my call."

"who then...?!"

"JB!!!!!!!! "

and thus, my life savor arrived with a spare tube that had a long stem (thank God) and a fresh CO2 cartridge. he stayed long enough to make sure i had everything squared away, told me i sucked for not going to the launch of, and bid me adieu. thanks JB and BTW, your new magazine is awesome. you guys have done a fantastic job!

i cut out about half a mile from the original course so as not to press my luck with the "not quite inflated all the way" inner tube and headed home. this is where i decided that even though the ride hadn't gone exactly as planned, and i got a little more rest in towards the end than i had wanted, i was going to make this workout count. there was a fire lit in my heart ,and it shot down to my legs and out my feet. what is the only way to squelch a fire coming off the bike you ask? - run. it. out. and so i did. at the end of my 2 hour-ish ride, i did a 40 minute-ish run. and for the first time in a long time i felt accomplished. not to diminish my recent marathon escapade (i knew what was coming, i had planned and was ready to face it), but there - there in that gorgeous morning of black tops and white lines flying beneath my frame, the sun rising with a bright splash of color in the distance, the trees and flowers overwhelming my senses - i took something unplanned and a little discouraging and turned it into a something i could be proud of.

so there. my first brick. soon to be followed by my first open water swim (oy!). oh the things i do for this lifestyle i've come to hold so dear.

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