Finishing Touches

My last big training weekend for Ironman is now over and I’m paying for it! I am have-to-walk-funny sore which I’m not sure I should be worried about or excited about. And can someone please explain to me why my elbows hurt so much?!? My last workout was a 4-mile quick hike up Mt. Si (approximately 3150 feet in elevation gain) with a quick jog back down.

With peak training over, I have turned my focus on fine tuning other aspects of race day. Tonight, that meant spending quality time practicing taking off my back bike wheel, changing a flat tubular, and putting it back on. I also practiced using Vittoria Pit Stop after watching a few instructional videos on YouTube.

Here is the problem. I am extremely impatient. I tried to stay calm, but every time something didn’t go quite right, I would lose my cool. I’m talking screaming expletives so loud that the neighbors might call the cops. I’m not proud of it, but if I don’t practice until I no longer have an outburst, I’m going to be toast if I get a flat on race day. I keep pinching my finger between the chain and the cassette and it is very painful. It is also one of those things that it doesn’t help for me to watch how my husband does it—and his advice, no matter how well-intentioned, just makes my blood boil. I find it very aggravating that it comes so easily to him and not so easily to me. So I practiced the process for about an hour and apologized to him profusely afterward.

More practice to come tomorrow. I am very motivated to get proficient enough that if I do have the misfortune of getting a flat, I won’t run the risk of getting disqualified for having a foul mouth and I won’t lose too much time on race day. I’ve worked too hard for that to happen. Must channel Chrissie Wellington in 2008 and not Normann Stadler in 2005!

13 days until race day. I hope we get out bib number assignments soon.

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5 Responses to Finishing Touches

  1. I too am one of those people who when the elevator doesn’t come right away jabs at it about a hundred times with her finger even though it will do absolutely nothing! The mystery elbow pain is an interesting new twist – good luck surviving taper!

    • carlsincharge says:

      Yeah, patience does not come easily to me. Be kind to yourself and get healthy! Weather is looking better in CDA every day! 72-75 degrees would be perfect. (A week of 90-degree weather right now though would be nice to get that lake temperature up!)

  2. Tim Kibler says:

    Just don’t get a flat. When you’re riding, just follow the normal line on the road, and think, “All the chumps that are ahead of me on the road have cleaned off all the debris, no way I can get a flat now.”
    And changing tubulars is no fun, period. I’m assuming you are using the tufo tape, not glue. Maybe take your shoes off and use your feet to push the wheel the opposite way of your pulling when you get to the last part of the tire stretch section. (Continental tires are the most difficult, Vittoria’s are easier….)
    As for “venting,” maybe learn some foreign curse words.
    Did I ever tell you the time about the circuit race in the Cascade Classic when I dropped my chain on a crucial climb? Guys were pushing me on my butt to keep me rolling while I tried to get it back on, but no luck. I ended up getting off my bike and hurling it 20 feet into the forest. Then I had to walk through a bunch of brush to get it and put the greasy chain back on by hand…. kind of embarrassing. Ended up chasing a loooooong time by myself that day. I probably used a few choice words (think Happy Gilmore) while I was throwing my bike….

    • carlsincharge says:

      I am not planning on getting a flat, but if it does happen, I want to be prepared. I saw plenty on the course last year and I actually had my own back tire go flat after I finished the bike portion (we retrieved my bike after the race and the back wheel was completely flat.) … The tires are glued on, not taped on, and I have seriously blister calluses on my thumbs from practicing getting a tire off. I plan on carrying a razor blade with me if I really have to change the whole thing, but I’m hoping the Vittoria Pit Stop will do the trick if needed! … Foreign curse words—very creative. I’m not sure that will be the first thing to my tongue though in a heated moment! … But under no circumstances will I be throwing that bike! She has been too good to me over the last couple of years. Of all the bikes I own, she’s my favorite and has gotten the most use. Besides, I’m looking to buy a new race road bike for next season, not a TT bike, so she’s got to get me through at least one more season after this! I also am installing a chain catcher.

  3. Just saw your comment at my blog – I am so sorry!!!!! ARGHHHHHHH, this is a sport of heartbreak, sitting out a long-awaited race is incredibly painful!…

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