The last race that almost didn’t happen!

My triathon season for 2017 is over. It’s been a long one (since April 2 and through Oct 8). Yesterday I did the Ramblin Rose in Chapel Hill…that’s where this whole journey started back in 2009. I’ve been talking about this particular race with some friends since the beginning of the year, literally since January. I had signed up for several events and just ASSumed that I had also signed up for this one since I was planning on being there. This pic shows that I finished, but this is how it started…

rose 1

Well, come 3:30pm on Saturday I go to check my bib # and it’s not there. All my friends have a bib #. But not me. So I start checking my emails to confirm my registration and there are none. Nothing. The time of 3:30 pm is important because packet pickup ends at 4pm and it’s in Chapel Hill, about 45 minutes away from me if I had left that second. They had said that you could still sign up at packet pickup. There was literally NO way for me to get there and sign up in person. There was also literally NO emergency contact info (name, email, phone, etc) to find anywhere. On Saturday afternoon, a few hours before the morning of the race, I did not know if I was going to be able to participate in my last race – and one of my favorites – of the season.

I was freaking out!! The only thing I could do was to send a message via social media on their FB page. I did. And I waited. I kept trying to formulate a Plan B in my head. IF I can’t race tomorrow, I’ll cheer for my friends. I’ll take pics. I’ll be the best cheerleader ever! But I’m super F pissed at myself. How could I NOT sign up for something I’ve talked about since January!? Just how crazy AM I!?

Somewhere later the people at Ramblin Rose message me that yes, I can sign up at 6:30am onsite. (No cost mention, just that I can.) So for the bargain price of $100, I’m back in the game! My friends meet me at 6am, we drive over, I sign up paying nearly double what I thought I was going to, all is good.

Swim? good. Bike? good.

WAIT – it was good until half way through and I get a flat. Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump. Damn. I have no tools, no tube, no nothing. Shit. It’s over. I just paid $100 to swim 5 laps today. Awesome. My first DNF.

I tell a rider passing me while I’m on the side of the road to let the next volunteer know that I have a flat. Maybe someone can help or at least give me a ride back so I don’t have to walk it 4-5 miles back. Then an athlete named Shelley stops & says she can help me fix it! …really?? Well, she could have – but the tube was totally gone. Neither of us had a tube even though she did have tools. She tried putting in air with the co2 cartridge, but it wouldn’t hold air. So, after some time, I thanked her profusely and told her to finish her race! Don’t waste any more time here, it’s over for me but go!! I call Jason from the side and, still cheering for others passing me, I tell him it’s over. I’m totally flat, no extra tube, no tools, no help. Lots of cussing. I’m so pissed. IMG_2274

And then, someone from the sag/helping crew shows up. Her name is Sophie & she has tools AND A TUBE. She was like an angel mechanic. While she’s working on it I call J back and tell him that I might be back in the game…if he doesn’t hear from me again then I’m back in! She magically fixes it like the badass that she is, and soon I’m on my way. I thank her as I’m riding away. The kindness of strangers at this event was really amazing. Such support and genuine concern for everyone on the course. I ride away. Come into the transition & see J with the boys! This is the first race they have been to so it was exciting and also very emotional given the way things have gone with this event.

rose 2I’m off on the run. About half way in, someone calls my name – it was Shelley, the one who helped me first on the bike. She recognized my TriMafia gear/shirt. She runs up to me & high-5s me, saying she was so glad to see me and that I made it back, got help, etc. Then, as I’m coming back I see Cathy starting the run. And then as I’m rounding the finish I see Parker and he wants to run me in through the finish line. I told him I needed his help & he was ready! So for the first time, I ran the finish chute with my youngest.

 

I know ONE thing I’m doing during the off season. I’m learning how to change a tire! For real this time. No messing around.

But here are some pics of my first 2009 Ramblin Rose. I printed everything out, making sure I knew everything and was prepared. I found this folder when I was looking for something else this summer and it made me smile. This is also my first little one, Ethan, at 11 months. This is how it all began!

 

 

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I see a new bike in my future…

I think it’s time. My old bike (Norman…..aaaaw, sweet Norman) is probably going to have to retire soon. It’s 12 years old. A 12 year old beginner level Giant road bike with numerous crashes will not carry me too much further. Norman the bike

Today on a 20 mile ride it felt…. I don’t know, weird. Have you ever driven a car that “pulls” to one side? Like the alignment is not quite right? That’s how it felt today. I’ve got close to 3000 miles on it, so it’s probably time. It also started making this rubbing noise – like the brakes or something was rubbing the tire. Kinda’ like a car. My car is 17 years old! I really do keep things for a long time and it’s an investment to buy something big. And road bikes are NO joke with the cost! They are so fancy shmancy now.

Things don’t last forever. God forbid my iPhone lasts more than a couple of more months….I mean it *HAS* been about 2 years, wouldn’t want it to work beyond 2 years. That’s just crazy talk. : /  {huge sarcasm there}

I guess bikes don’t last forever either! My husband just decided to break apart his college bike (think Cannondale, 1993 or so) and keep the frame for “art” on the wall. Great idea, but man, it took forever to let that go! Bless his heart.

Anyway….one day, new bike, coming my way.

 

 

 

 

Bikes and the stories they tell

This weekend we had 11 bikes in the garage – 3 for my husband, 3 for me, 3 for the kids, and 2 friend’s bikes that we were fixing. We are now down to 9. But it made me think about how some of them had a long history (25 plus years), some were the kids’ first rides or from Santa, and my history of riding. Made me think of how it was one of the first things I remember about meeting my husband – he had some sexy bike skills! Made me think of the freedom and also how scary it can be to crash on one – especially as an adult. We don’t bounce back from that like the kids do!

All of these pictures tell a story…Some reflect that we’ve gotten the kids on bikes from as early as possible. I love the one below of Jason & the boys. He’s been eager to get them on a bike from the beginning. The one on the bottom right is when we all did our first trail ride together last year, all 4 of us. That was a good day!

Some of the pics are about riding through deep sadness after losing a dog we had for 17 years. Libby was a great dog. There’s a huge sunflower field that’s in bloom in the middle of the summer – these were taken on July 4th. They are literally as big as my head. Can’t wait for another ride there.

As I was going through old pictures I found some pics I took of my accident. I was on an old mountain bike (described loosely as a mountain bike) and slowly went over a speed bump…too slow. My speed was so slow that it stopped me and I went over the bars, on my face. First pic is right after, then about 2 hours later, then the next morning at the ER. Nothing some drugs & time couldn’t fix, but definitely very scary and very painful. I always wear a helmet but that day I was with the kids and I left the house with out it – then went back to get it!! If I hadn’t had a helmet, I don’t know what could have happened. It definitely absorbed some of the hit. Wear your helmet! But I got back on as soon as I could; didn’t want to make this a turning point in the wrong direction.

And then of course there are many from my triathlons but these are a couple of my favorites – one is transition area at Smile Train and one is Ramblin’ Rose, both taken in 2014 I believe. Super exciting that they are right around the corner again!

And then there’s where I can see the future! My oldest learning mad skills on the trails, and me learning some new skills too! Yay bikes!