Monday, June 6, 2011

How to turn 62 miles into 8.18

You break your bike's derailleur, that's how.


I should have known it was going to be a rough day from the sec I woke up.  First, I overslept.  I don't even sleep so I'm not sure how I overslept, yet I did.  So I got a late start and I text Christi, my biking buddy, that I was running about 15 minutes late.  15 minutes late turned into 40 when a massive sea of cars loaded with every bike you could imagine all wanted to exit at the same place.  That was special.  What a mess.

I illegally park in the grocery store parking lot...shhhh, don't tell...and quickly get my stuff all ready and within a few minutes, Christi and I are on the road rolling. 

This was it, the day I've been eagerly nervously waiting for and I couldn't be more excited.

To say these bike events are pretty casual is an understatement.  I thought maybe we'd have to go and at least sign in - in case we got lost or kidnapped or a deer ate us for breakfast.  Nope, you just go.  No one "official" really cares who you are and there's no chip timing piece to worry about.  A very new world to me.

Start off to a gorgeous morning; the countryside here along this course reminds me a lot of when I was a kid growing up in Iowa with the rolling hills with a little morning dew lingering over the fields.  I absolutely love it here....I used to live in this neck of the woods - in another life. 
Early on
As mile 5 approaches, so does the first of many hills of the day.  Christi and I have rode this hill many times in our training for this ride and it's by far the steepest hill on the course that I had done.  The first time I did it, I thought I was going to hurl my breakfast all over the road - I was gasping for air and reality sunk in just how out of shape I had truly become over the past many months *sigh*.

But today - I totally KILLED that hill and I was thrilled I was picking off riders and wasn't gaging on a lung doing so!!!!!!

Oh, if only things could last.

We went down a hill, back up a hill, down a hill, up a hill (now at the site of the infamous bloody knee fall from a few weeks ago.  Oh memories..) and I was going back down a hill (see a pattern here?  This course is hilly)....

That'd be Christi in the yellow jacket, in front as usual :)
When I tried to shift my gears so I could get more momentum going.  But nothing was shifting.  I looked down and notice my chain is off and I tell Christi we need to pull over for a quick fix.

But something worse was wrong.  Here is where my bike ignorance is going to shine brightly....the chain is not on one of the wheel thingies on the derailleur (the fact I know what a derailleur is, in itself, an amazing feat!) - how's that for technical terminology?!  Christi tried in vain to get it back on, greasing up her gorgeous red nails and pretty pink bike gloves.  Since I have no clue other than it looks "wrong" I just stand there trying to stay out of the way.

Soooooo, a few guys riding the course stopped by and tried to offer their expertise .....
That's my white, sick, bike :(
But after about 45 minutes of making no progress, one of the guys working on my bike flagged down a police car making his rounds and asked him to get the sag wagon for us.  I begged Christi many times to keep going but that girl is loyal to the core (thank you, Christi - I don't deserve your friendship!  I owe you big for this one!!!) and stuck by me, in the sag wagon, back to the start.

We made it to mile 8.18.


Once we got back to the start.  Christi took off so she could try to get in a ride with her friends back home and I walked my bike back to my car, threw it in the backseat, and high tailed it to the bike shop where I explained the entire situation to the bike mechanic.  No, I did not fall (remarkable, I know!) and no, I did not take the chain off (how the heck do you do that?). 

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of this bike shop, which will remain nameless for various reason, but this mechanic guy was so apologetic and full of empathy that by the 6th time he told me he was sorry, tears were starting to swell and I had to remove myself from the situation for awhile.  He was genuinely sincere and everything I had just worked so hard for suddenly hit me that it was over and gone.

He worked on the bike for awhile and said he has no idea how it happened but he thought the chain was threaded through the derailleur incorrectly and it somehow managed to snapped a piece in the derailleur off.  Amazing that I've put about 600 miles on that bike in the few weeks I've owned it and this little situation hadn't happened yet....but he put a new chain and derailleur on, free of charge, and tested it out for awhile to make sure it was shifting properly, apologized for the 7th time and told me if there were any further problems to contact him directly and gave me his card.

If there was happy part of this whole crappy day, it was the service, and compassion, by this maintenance guy.  Those guys who stoppd to help me along the side of the road couldn't be any more genereous, and nice, too.

So my bike's in a little "time out" right how in the back of my car....I don't really care how hot it is in there, he's going to sit and think about what happened for awhile and when we can be friends again, I will pull him out and go for a ride.  I lowered the widow a bit for him to get a little fresh garage air....I'm not THAT cruel.

Am I Bummed?

Sadly, yes.  That's not easy to admit, it's just a bike ride.  But I invested so much time, and a ridiculous amount of money getting ready for this thing, entering a world so far removed from my comfort zone; I trained my girl bits to death for heaven's sake - I was hoping to do well.  And I love this course.  This ride was something I could actually train for, while my heel was misbehaving - something to look forward to- something I missed in my world.  Yes, I am sad I couldn't do it, even though I don't really enjoy cycling nearly as much as I do running (I'm hearing lots of *gasps* in blogland right now).  Remarkably, I did not come home and eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's though.  Huge pat on the back for that one....I am slowly climbing my sucky heel saga disposition out of the hole it's resided in all winter.  Yay.

But that's life.  I've been down this path a time or 30 in the past ...but this better be the last time, ever!!  :).  Somehow, I lived through all those disappointments and I suspect I will this one too.  Besides, this chick sent me a really fun joke today - totally made me smile.

So, what to do next? 

I have three choices and maybe you can help me.  Okay, four choices....
1) There is a ride this coming weekend, The Denver Century.  I could do the 62 miler, as was the scheduled mileage for broken derailleur day (how many times is one allowed to use the word "derailleur" in one post?).  Or I could join up with Julie and do the full century in this race.  This course has the 2000' Lookout Mountain hill climb Julie and I did a few weeks ago so it will be challenging, but really after that monster hill, it's just a few little blips here and there.  Personally, I'm not overly excited about this course - it encases the Denver metro area and well, I'd rather look at nature than skyscrapers.

2) The following weekend is another ride, The Boulder Century, which features a century (duh) and a 75-miler.  This would be more topographically appealing to me but it also scales up the entire side of one mountain and thus has about a 5000' climb in about 25 miles.  One, solid, 25 mile climb.  Doesn't that sound like a blast?  I think I can do it, it just may take me 24 hours.

3) Forget about cramming in another so soon, let the dust settle, and attempt another later this summer.  There's a couple on my radar and maybe Christi can join me again after her big half IM.

4) Come to the realization that I was not meant to do anything physical right now (heel, bike....) and therefore take up knitting like I've threatened to do in the past...and eat chocolate cake all day.

Hum....decisions, decisions.  Thoughts are greatly appreciated.

On a positive note though, I ran 6.25 miles on Saturday at a whopping 10:14 overall pace.  I KNOW!!!  And not only that, the first half was at a 9:47 pace (opps) so even though this was a very gradual downhill, I was thrilled to say the least.  The forefoot landing is improving daily and though it still doesn't feel "natural" to me, I am finding myself not forcing it so much either.  This is just going to take a very long time, but I'm determined to land correctly and do what it takes to make sure this nightmare never returns, even it's it's all so very slow right now.  I still have some heel pain, but for the most part it is manageable.  And I am running.  Thank God I don't have to put my heel in time out in the car tonight also!

One last thing to share....there's these awful fires going on in Arizona and New Mexico right now and the winds are blowing the particles smack into Colorado, which is irritating the hell out of my eyeballs, but man the evening skies here a gorgeous, vibrant orange:
View down my street
Happy running, and cycling, friends!!


Anne said...

I totally think you should do one of the upcoming rides...the second one sounds perfect for you! Why waste all that training :) Rock on Jill!!
Yay for 6.25 miles or a 10K in my world!

Teamarcia said...

You've GOT to do a rebound ride. You just have to. Do the scenic one.
Big bummer about the derailleur (no clue what that even does nor do I want to know)
Very nice running progress girl!
Pretty but ominous skies.

Christi said...

Hey Jill! I am so glad that the bike guys were able to take care of you and for free!

First, you should do a rebound ride but here is the option I have for you. Let's do the 62 miler for E-Rock on our own. I know the course. I can, in general, follow the map. We can do it together! I would be able to do it over 4th of July or near that weekend. How does that sound?

FYI, you are a great sport and have survived some very unlucky biking situations. Don't give up on it yet!!!!

Kate said...

DEFINITELY do another ride. You trained for it, do it. The scenic ride with Christi would be awesome, but there's something about doing an organized ride that's really cool. Don't miss out on one of those.

And yea for more running!:) I have got to get running more...this is where my poor single-track mind gives me trouble. It's all bike bike bike. That's ok, my son starts club Vb practice tonight, so I'll be stuck in St Louis twice a week for two hours with nothing better to do than run (you know...bc I have no money for shopping lol).

Anonymous said...

You are TOTALLY going to get up and do one of those! That was just plain old bad damn luck. Like you said, let the dust settle then you decide which one you think appeals to you more. We will all be here waiting to hear all about it!

Jennifer said...

Hey, don't make fun of 10:14, that's a regular pace for some of us turtles out here!

Bummer about the bike incident. Urgh, I hate days like that. I say do number 1 and do the full 100! Cheers! XOX

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am so bummed for you, there are very few things that are out of your control, mechanical issues is one of them. That sucks. And its a brand new bike as well, who ever put your bike together, well, i will leave at that. It was nice to hear the mechanic was sympathic. I would pic option #1

BTW, you brought a tear of joy to my eye because you know what a derailler is!!!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

Ugh, maintenance issues are the worst - especially the ones that you don't have any control over!

I say you're in order for a little redemption ride, whether it's one of these organized centuries or something on your own. You've earned it!

Running and living said...

Grr! Bummer! I say pick another event and ride. If your heel is getting better, maybe you should do a HIM! It would be fun!

C2Iowa said...

Please remove #4 ASAP. Thank you.

I say do #1.

Glad to see the miles pick up on the running part.

Your poor Trek sitting there in T.O. I feel for it.

You have always told me "Look forward" so .... saddle up and ride.

Ewa said...

Sorry about the bike but at least the maintenance guy was helpful.
If you don't do another ride, what else will you do? Go for it girl!

L.B. said...

What a bummer. Stupid bike. Leave him in his prison for a while... well, I'd give him the chance for redemption at the Boulder Race. And if he just can't hang there, knitting might be a nice change of pace :) is available... just sayin'

misszippy said...

Such a bummer! I think you have to do one of the others...I'd go for next weekend. you're primed and ready to go.

Fantastic that you ran 6 miles! I know you never thought you'd see the day and here you are! yes!

Jenn said...

Oh Jill!!! What a bummer! I had to google derailleur after your FB post. In MN we use more complex terms like "thingie"!!! I do understand "girl bits" Perhaps if you would have used a more technical term, I would have had to google that too-ha!! Good friend you have there in Christi! So glad you had a positive experience with the mechanic. I'm a bit of a hothead but when people are empathetic, my tone COMPLETELY changes! I am so sorry things worked out this way!

I say you have only 2 choices-#1 or #2. Don't even consider the other 2. You've worked hard for this and you NEED your reward of completing one of these two!!

Nice work on the run. Glad that is continuing to improve!! Hugs to you Jill! Hoping to have something to make another sign for in the next two weeks!!!!!

Jill @ Run for the Hills said...

Definitely do another ride! Do the one you're more excited about.

So happy you were able to run too!
I'm cracking up about your bike in time out.

Furthermore, my dad and I frequently use the word "eyeballs" to say such things as "I cried my eyeballs out" and the like. Most people would cut it at "eyes". Glad to see you're one of us.

Johann said...

Hehe, I had to go and google derailleur and now also know what it is. Eat chocolate cake every day, I do! Also go for one of the rides. I would go for the more scenic one. Many yay's for the run! No technical issues with running and I like that.

Julie said...

I am so very sad for your ride :-(
That just sucks. I always think the worst thing that could happen is a mechanical failure just plain sucks!

You should DEFINITELY do one of those upcoming rides!! GO FOR IT!!! Do not waste all those hours of training - get out and enjoy a ride and have fun!! Leave those yucky feelings from this weekend's shortened ride behind you.

So glad your run went well :-)

tahoegirl said...

It is so frustrating that we train so hard for *one* day to make it or break it and sometimes the break it part wins. So bummed for you.

I say you do the Boulder ride...even better that I will be in Boulder that weekend! I will cheer you on in spirit if you do that one!!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Okay pecking on my phone here so this is a short one. Totallt think u need a redemption race! So sorry jill...stinks when things go unexpected! So impressed with you though!!

Paul said...

I'm heartened to hear that the mechanic fixed all on the shop's nickel and was so apologetic.

Luckily the flaw wasn't with something say the handlebars come off when your whipping down a hill!

I would do the Denver 100, the full thing and take out some frustration. F**k the scenery..just kill it!

Then the chocolate cake 8)

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I would do one of the centuries coming up in the next two weeks. Redemption!

Marlene said...

Aw man, I'm so sorry Jill! After all of that, it's okay to be bummed - but more important is to bounce back. I'd go with option 1. As for 62 miles VS 100 miles... I have no idea. How confident are you in the distance? You want to be smart... but you deserve some redemption so go get it!

Petraruns said...

Go do the scenic ride girl - get back in the saddle (haha) very quickly. I am SO sorry - I have to admit I'm fuzzy on my derailleur (love that word though) so would have been stumped had something happened to it. Oh girl I am SO sorry but this was "just" a technical fail and you still have the fitness and your girlbits are strong so get out there and take your revenge! GO JILL GO!

Julie said...

I'm gonna choose...OPTION 1! Come with me. :) I think you are probably better trained for it than I am! I know that a good part of it won't be good scenery but you’ll have me to talk to. :) Alternatively I would love to do that course out there with you and Christy sometime if we could all get it together.

I’m so glad your running is going well, that is way exciting. You will be kickin a$$ again in no time. Heck you are already kickin my slow a$$! :)

ShutUpandRun said...

Awww Jill, that just sucks the big one. I know you were mentally and physically ready to eat up those 62miles. I say go for the Boulder Century (or 75 mi). I'm with you - the scenery in the Denver ride doesn't sound like the best. I know you can do 5,000 ft no problem. Not that it will be easy, but you are just that strong.

XLMIC said...

I was so bummed for you when I received your text yesterday… and I am glad that my lame attempt at humor did, in fact, give you a smile :)

I can fuel you with humor on whichever of those two rides you choose! You go get 'em!

Karen said...

Bummer! You definitely should pick one of the other races as a do-over!

HappyTrails said...

Big time bummer, Jill! Do a rebound ride, do a rebound ride! Do the most scenic one, for sure. You can go ride the Elephant Rock course anytime - only difference is, it won't be with thousands of your best buddies. Glad you put your bike in time out. That will show it what happens when it misbehaves for you. Mean mother! :-) We are planning a ride next Monday.......

Emz said...

holy suck on the bike.

bummer. for sure.

but loving the 6 mile run!!


Terzah said...

I'm with everyone else! Do another ride, a really scenic one! Of course I'm partial to Boulder County.

This exact thing happened to me this weekend, too, though in a much lower-stakes situation. I was pulling my kids to Target in the bike trailer. We got about 3/4 of a mile from home and the derailleur (yeah, I learned about it too!) got bent and the chain wouldn't work. So I had to tug the whole apparatus home with me, my kids still in the trailer. We ended up getting a flat, too. This is why I run instead of bike, I reminded myself. :^)

The Green Girl said...

Aw, I am so sorry, girl! Before my professional fitting and tutorial yesterday I didn't know what a derailleur was so I'm impressed.

I love the shot of you sitting pretty while all the boys are pulling over in the next picture. Ha.

Christi is an awesome, awesome friend.

Run Jess Run said...

I love that you put your bike in time-out. That's totally something I would do.

Char said...

I really think you should do another of those rides while you're still fit. Your bike will behave this time - you've taught it a very important lesson

ajh said...

Very sorry to hear this. You deserve for things to go right. Glad you had such great help and maybe the guys at that bike shop will treat you right now.

You look so cute in that picture in your pink bike gear. And you look happy, must have been before all the garbage.

I laughed at your poor bike in time out. I was glad to see I am not the only person without a bike rack. Just a warning........once I had a bike tire pop in the back of my car. I almost went off the road so I am glad you are giving it a little air and relief from the heat.

I would want to go with option 1 or 2. I couldn't wait too long to try again. So it is a choice of
reasonable riding (to you) but crummy scenery OR hard riding but great scenery. I am a scenery girl when possible but 25 miles up hill sounds like way too much to me. Can't wait to see what you do.

Anonymous said...

i vote for another ride. =)

love the pic, it is gorgeous.


Alma said...

Damn that bike! Sorry about the injury :( So disappointing. I think you should do one of the upcoming rides though, to make up for the fun you missed.

The pictures were great - so many bikes out on the road. Pretty nice having that kind of company.

See.Kate.Run said...

I say go for it - any of the upcoming ones that are the most appealing to you. Like you said your lady bits have been trained up - you are ready for it! :)

Jesse - Run To The Border said...

I vote for anything other than option 4. Sorry this one turned out like that. But 6.25 miles running? That seems like some major progress!!

DRog said...

LOVE the "timeout"
well deserved

def get back on the bike
wow isnt that a saying?

but dont go monster with some crazy 25 mile climb...unessesary!

just do a ride thats FUN - you will get there :) :0


Jason said...

Put the 62/8.18 mi ride behind you b/c you can't change it now and move forward.

I would get back out there and enjoy your time in the saddle. Option #1 would be my choice and not a 25 mile climb....WOW!!!!

Molly said...

I say go for choice #1. It's like falling off a horse, you've gotta get right back on it. You can't lose this awesome momentum you have, go for it!!!!

I'm so glad you explained what a derailleur is. Blank stare over here.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Ack! I'm so sorry this happened to you! Christi is a great friend. If I know you, I think you are going to tackle another ride.

+6 miles of running!!! THAT'S FREAKING AWESOME JILL!!!!

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Hi! Thanx for the comment! I will def. let you know if we head up there for the warrior race! Do you know how far ahead it fills up? Hope your heal gets better soon!

Rachel said...

Do one of the upcoming races! You'll be so proud of yourself.

Suzy said...

Oh no. So sorry about your bike. Why did it have to happen right then?!?! I'm glad it is fixed so you can ride some more.

funderson said...

Ah,! SO does this crappy smoke/air. Ours is better today though...thank goodness!

Tortuga_Runner said...

Such a bummer, sorry. A redemption ride is definitely a good start. Not surprised about Ms. Christi, she is kind of awesome.

Caratunk Girl said...

Jill, that so sucks about the derailer. So sorry. That for me is the more stressful part about biking - all that mechanical stuff.

I think you need to do one of those damn rides. Do the one that fits in your schedule better. I just think that you have worked so hard to get there that you should definitely sign up and do it.

I don't like the last two options, especially the last one - although I totally understand with all the crap you have had to deal with lately!!

Good luck. SIGN UP

Shana said...

Hello my friend!
DO a RIDE! Get one done because you've trained for it. Because you ARE strong enough. And because any view from where you are is AMAZING!

That's my input.
miss you!

TX Runner Mom said...

So sorry to hear about the bike issues on your ride! Definitely do a century ride as redemption. :-)

Aimee said...

Oh Jill, I'm so sorry that happened to you! That must have been so frustrating! I know how much you have worked to get to that point!
SO....I would definitely do the Denver century or Boulder century. I haven't done either of them, but they both sound fun to me!
Option 4 is just a big NO! You can do this!!

Kandi said...

Sorry to read about your race experience. That's awful to think that some fluke in your equipment would ruin what you've been working so hard for.
I say go and tackle one of the upcoming races since you are already trained! Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.