Pine Valley Du...Tim's Birthday and Roadside Repairs

Today's race report. No, I mean drama report... No, more like a race report that turned into a disaster but ended up not being a disaster. At the end of the day, it was business as usual. In otherwords: a ton of fun. Every year the San Diego Triathlon Club puts on a duathlon that starts with a climb up Mt. Laguna followed by a gnarly 4 mile hilly trail run. The trail is on the edge of a cliff with the occasional rattlesnake and wind gusts so strong you might blow off. The climb is breathtaking in many ways. Due to Tim's suggestion and pleading, the tri club altered the route this year. Instead of going up the main road we took the fire road, Kitchen Creek. It's our favorite road to ride but it's longer and steeper than the previous version. Since it's closed to traffic it's safer to climb but harder for the directors to provide help if needed. Anyway to make a long story short (or to make a short story long) we really hoped there would be no problems and people would like the course since we felt partially responsible.
The group met in the usual meeting area then planned to ride together for 7 miles until the start. As we climbed the first hill I felt like I was going to croak....heart was beating very fast. I couldn't go any faster and I swear the entire group dropped me. Now, not to act like I am "kind of a big deal" but I wasn't expecting to get dropped during the warm up. No problem, focus on breathing, settle down. I thought maybe I was having some sort of reaction to the combination of my coffee and excitement. I relinquished to thinking it was going to be a long day. I have days like this and they are ...well, long. I tried to stifle the feeling of overall depression. Then I heard this bump, bump, bump noise as the air leaked out of my tire. This was good and bad news....Good because usually I think I have a flat when I am tired and really there is 120 psi in that tire and I'm just tired. This time I really did have a flat. Bad news because these tires were put on last night by my loving rock star husband (new stiff tires plus tired husband = pinch flat in the AM). It turns out the Michellin Pro's ride nice but don't make nice when little girls try to change them. Ugh. I never thought I was fast at flat changing but I usually can muddle my way through it. My plan was to change the flat then catch the back half of the group. I was hoping to change the tire in 5 minutes. I swear it took me 10 minutes and a couple tire levers to pry the darn thing off. By the time I got the tire off I had grease from the cassette all over my legs. I went to work at getting the the new tube in. Just an FYI ladies....if you are on save your money. Sit on the corner of Sunrise highway and Old Highway 80. Get some grease on your hands because a zillion guys with mountain bikes drove by and asked if I needed anything. In cycling it is courtesy to ask if somebody has everything they need....meaning an extra tube, co2 , and patch kit. I did have everything I needed - I just needed manlier hands to get the tire back on the rim and in place. A few bloody knuckles later I inflated the CO2 and pinched the tube by the valve stem blowing spare #1. That was a really loud embarrassing pop. Very amatuer by "big deal" standards. At this time my hands were tired and shaking from trying to hurry. I felt bad because Tim was calling me and telling me has was turning back to help me. I wanted him to race and do the climb he loves so much. I have four chances a week to get epic rides in and he has....NONE...well maybe one every couple of weeks. Then Eizabeth called to say she wanted to come back and help. Crap now I'm ruining everybody's race. She inadvertantly dropped a few guys while on the phone with me. HeHeHe. She drops boys for real. I'm just a pretender. She's too polite or too smart to advertise it like me. Yes in fact on my wheel there are stickers that say I guess they should say My favorite thing about the club du's is that they are much smaller than the tri's. One time at a du, Matt, Corey, and JT were slacking so I passed them and dinged my bell at them as if it were a totally normal way to say hello (inside I was dying laughing) Now everytime I don't pass Matt he asks (with his accent) "What! No dingy dingy today?" Today I was going to eat my bell, my slogan and all of my pink. Tim and his friends love to sling mud at each other and I love to be in the thick of things. It makes the race so delightful. The fact they are all faster then me allows me to chastise them with no guilt. I think it motivates me to go faster.
Tim calls and says he's coming back to help me. After blowing the first tube I lost a bit of credibility. I am very torn now because I don't want to ruin his day or slow him down. Plus I want to prove to myself I can change a flat. I change the tire the second time inflate it but I can tell there is again a slight pinch by the valve. This means the tire will likely flat while I ride up the hill or potentially come off the rim when I go fast....I decide those to options are worse then ruining Tim's race. I can't exactly go back to the car becuase Tim has the keys. Tim arrives and in about 20 demoralizing seconds he deflates the tube, pushes up the inner tube and gets the pinch out. We decide to head up the regular road as we have lost a lot of time and I have no spares left. We jam up the mountain as even though we aren't racing we don't want to miss the club breakfast....just kidding, we just want to catch up. We hit the top of the mountain in the middle of the pack and I am hammering now as I want to do the run with everybody else. I apologize to everybody I pass as they say good job ...I mention that I am Rosie Ruiz or whatever her name was...the girl who cheated at the Boston marathon. I really enjoy the next few miles. I am a bit frustrated by this mornings events and I am able to stay in the aero bars and push the biggest gear on my bike. Yee Haw. I get to the transition and tell Susanne the race director not to give me a split becuase I am a cheater....She is laughing as she and Tyler knew I had a mechanical and I wasn't cheating. Once into T1, I was very confused.There was a smattering of people...some were done with the 4 mile run and eating breakfast. Some were eating breakfast because they were done....and not running. I wanted to run but I didn't want to hold up the show for the course officials. I spent a few moments trying to figure out what the status was and also recruit people of sound character for my next epic ride. Then I heard Tim say " Jen enough talk lets run." I took off after him and started the rugged run. I don't know what my splits were but I actually felt fast...doesn't mean I was fast....but I felt fast. The run was windy. At one point I was running downhill with all my might, a hear rate of 176 and for all practical purposes I was standing still (but still I felt fast:)
After the run we had a TCSD breakfast (where Tim ate too many bagels). We all got prizes donated by Free race, free breaky, and free bottle of Carbo Pro 1200. What more could a girl ask for?
We rode around Lake Cuyamaca and back to the car. It was a great ride back. It felt so short since I hadn't ridden up Kitchen Creek and we hadn't ridden into Julian for pie. The guys rode ahead as Elizabeth, Danielle, and I chit-chatted. Usually I'm very social on the bike but today I selfishly indulged in the tailwind. I swear I could just sit in the aero bars and the wind pushed me up the hills, With a few pedal strokes to help my cause we were at the car in no time.
Tim and I headed home to celebrate his 31st day.....he's now as OLD as I am. (Hah...take that) We stopped for frozen yogurt and then made his family's birthday tradition, Buttermilk cake. I was going to make it for him without any help but he insisted there were lots of little technicalities I wouldn't get right. (Must be like changing a tire;)


Mer! said...

Ohhh Jen!!! Ugh--I hate those mechanicals..but we have such a great club, so i'm so glad everyone stopped to help!!! =0

FYI: I love Michelin Pro's..I swear by them because I never flat.....or should say I USED to think that way: I did flat in one finally and taking that tire off was a BEAST. They say they're thicker so they have less of a chance of flatting...the only time I flatted was...when someone else put my tires on and they were pinched!!!! I had to DNF because I wasn't smart like you and didn't carry anything with me!

Miss you guys!!!

beth said...

if only you could change a flat like you can ride!!! and good for you for going on the run. i would have been stuffing in the bagels if i wasn't truly "Racing".
any chance you're doing alpine challenge this weekend?

tim said...

sorry I gave you a pinch flat - but I avoided a great deal of pain and suffering on kitchen creek because of it!