Ironman Louisville 2014 – Running Edition

Like my actual Ironman race, these posts about my race are taking longer than I thought.

 

Good start to a marathon

Good start to a marathon

At fifteen minutes and 20 seconds my second and final transition took a lot more time than it should have. I changed socks, changed sunglasses, put on a sweatband, put on my running shoes, got my Garmin, applied more Chamois Butter to a sensitive area, got sunscreened, and used the port-a-john. Maybe all of that does warrant fifteen minutes.

Thus I began to run a marathon. A marathon!

Any time you have to do anything, and then you say, “Then you run a marathon,” it’s going to be epic.

Well, I have to mow the yard, then I have to run a marathon.

I have to write a blog post, then I have to run a marathon.

I have to eat breakfast, then later run a marathon.

Adding a marathon to any activity automatically makes everything harder.

So I swam my 2.4 miles. I rode 112 miles. Why not now run a marathon?

I fully expected to jump off my bike and run nine minute miles over the course of the marathon. That, my friend, didn’t happen. The first mile or so went OK. Sure, I was feeling it, but my Garmin said I was at an 8:30 pace. Whoa! Let’s slow this bad boy down. We got 25.2 more of these to go.

Shortly after that I began to crash. I’d staved off dehydration and a sick stomach all day, but it was catching up to me. I carried twelve more salt tabs and I wanted to spread them out over the entire course, but it was like they were having no effect. I got sicker and sicker. Additionally my legs were getting weaker and hurting more and more with each stride. The marathon was going to be a sufferfest.

There was a lot of carnage out there on the course. I saw a dude in the fetal position lying on the grass. Again, there were volunteers on hand so I didn’t need to stop. The most disturbing part, however, was that I had to intersperse walking with my running. I planned to walk the aid stations, but it was so hard to get moving again when I did. Also, when I did run it was so slow I probably could’ve walked just as fast.

Yes, it was hot, in the 90s, but there was actually quite a bit of shade from the buildings and one particular street was tree-lined, so it could’ve been worse. I finished in the dark so there was no sun to deal with then. The course is also about as flat as a pancake. The course is two out and backs. Of note you go through the University of Louisville’s neighborhood and you run by Churchill Downs. The finish line is at 4th Street Live, an entertainment section of downtown Louisville.

4th Street Live finish line

4th Street Live finish line

Blurry finish

Blurry finish

I didn’t puke, but I did stop at a port-a-john and left a number two. I didn’t want to but was willing to try anything if it would make me feel better. Afterwards I only felt marginally better.

IMG_1602

If there is anything I would do differently getting ready for this race it would be to add some longer runs to my training. I signed up for Louisville in October 2013. That same month I ran the KC Marathon, but the longest run I’d done since that day was about 13 miles. I think I could’ve finished a little stronger having done a couple longer runs leading up to the race.

Number 1 Support Crew!

Number 1 Support Crew!

Finally I’m at the finish line. The crowd is cheering. I feel elated, and I decide I don’t need an IV after all (I was prepared to ask for one). My wife hollers at me from above. She and the kids had found a vantage point on an overhead walkway. I look up and wave. The volunteer handling me is trying to make sure I’m OK. He then escorts me over to the photographer, then he gets me my finisher cap and tee-shirt. Another volunteer hands me some chocolate milk. What a day!

Swim 2.4 Miles – 1:16:55
Bike 112 Miles – 6:58:00
Run 26.2 Miles – 5:11:16

T1 – 00:09:29
T2 – 00:15:20

Total – 13:51:00

There were just over 2000 athletes that day. Overall I came in at 985. Of the males age 40-44 (my division) there were 303 and I came in at 156. My goal was 13 hours. I’d love to have that marathon back.

In a lot of ways I’m surprised I even signed up for this race. I never could imagine myself having the patience to train for an Ironman. Honestly, I think I signed up and did it just to say I did one. Now I did it, and surprisingly I don’t feel any sense of a let down. Though there is nothing noble about finishing an Ironman I still feel a great sense of accomplishment. No one can say I didn’t have the fortitude to finish an Ironman that day.

What’s next? The Kansas City Marathon is October 18, 2014. That’s my next and final race of the season. Six days removed from Ironman Louisville I ran four miles. Though my legs felt fine before the run, they were still sore during the run, but nothing horrible. The next day I ran six miles and felt even better than the day before. It feels weird training for a race that doesn’t involve goggles or a bike.

Do I look tired?

Do I look tired?

Posted in Health and Fitness, Ironman, ironman louisville, marathon, Running, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ironman Louisville 2014 – I Want to Ride my Bicycle

So as I exit the changing tent at T1 the volunteers are there to slather us with sunscreen. I got a quick slather. I think the volunteers were in such a hurry, because they knew we were in a hurry, that they missed a spot or two. I have a couple of random burn spots on my shoulders, but nothing bad. Again, hats off to the volunteers. For some reason at T1 they had sunscreen lotion, but at T2 they used a spray.

I grab my bike and I’m off. Only 112 more miles to go on the bike. No big deal, right?

The bike course at Louisville is a “lollipop” route. You go out, ride a loop twice on one section of the course before turning back for home on the same route on which you went out. Officially there’s a little over 5,000 feet of elevation gain on this course over the 112 miles. My goal was a modest 16 miles per hour. I figured I’d average a little over that, but I set the goal to stay consistent throughout the ride. As long as my computer said I was still averaging 16-17 miles per hour I was happy. This would put me back at T2 after about seven hours on the bike.

I started the course with one water and two Powerades. I would drink the water pretty quickly and not keep any more than two bottles at a time. I didn’t want to carry the weight of four bottles over the entire course given there were plenty of aid stations where I could get replacements. I also took a number of nut bars, gels, and a Clif Bar. If I ate and drank everything onboard I’d consume around 2,300 calories on the bike. Oh, I had 12 salt tablets as well. I did pretty well with the fluids. I never ran out and I consistently consumed waters and energy drinks throughout the course. I couldn’t quite get all of my nutrition down, and I ran out of salt with probably 25 miles to go.

Twice I had to make a pit stop. That first one at about mile 21 was a doozy. I had the longest pee ever! After hydrating all morning and not taking a pee after the swim I had A LOT of urine onboard. Some triathletes talk about peeing on their bikes. I can’t bring myself to do it. If I were competing for a Kona slot, maybe.  To be sure, that may be what it takes to qualify for Kona, and I’ll consider it once I’m at that point.

My family saw me twice in Lagrange, KY at about mile 40 and mile 70

My family saw me twice in Lagrange, KY at about mile 40 and mile 70

For me, the ride was uneventful. I mean, for a 112 mile ride through the Kentucky countryside it could have been a lot worse. I didn’t wreck. I saw a fellow who wiped out at the bottom of a hill. He already had volunteers surrounding him so I didn’t need to stop, but as I went by I heard ambulance sirens. I didn’t flat out, so that was good. No other mechanical problems. I didn’t find it too hot out there. Really, everything was fine, despite never having ridden that distance in my life. OK, I did 106 miles a couple of weeks prior, but that’s it. From the time I signed up for this race, around 10/01/13, I had ridden 1,151 miles, and 657 of those miles were on the trainer. Again, not saying that’s what you should do, but it’s what I did.

I came in just under the seven hour mark. I could have shaved a few minutes if I hadn’t taken those pit stops, but nothing super significant, maybe 10 minutes or so. I got to the dismount line and got off. The group I came in with, and I, all walked our bikes down to the volunteers and T2. Generally we’re jogging with our bikes as we come in, but not this day, not the group of seven-hour riders. Our legs weren’t ready for jogging (which doesn’t bode well because, well, we now have to run a marathon). The walk was so long back to T2, again about a quarter of a mile, and my toes were sore from being in my cycling shoes (which had never happened to me, I’m not sure what was going on), so I took my shoes off and walked in my socks. I hand my bike to a volunteer and I’m off to the changing tent once more.

Coming in to T2, still enough energy to smile

Coming in to T2, still enough energy to smile

The only other thing about the bike is the difficulty of not being in violation of the drafting rule. Drafting is against the rules in long course triathlon, and most short course races as well, but with 2,000 + riders it’s nearly impossible to follow the rule to a T. I did my best not to draft, and I saw several others trying to avoid it as well, but on certain congested sections of the road you couldn’t help but find yourself drafting (at least according to USAT rules). I didn’t get any penalties and I only saw one course official the whole ride. I’m sure they don’t concern themselves with the mere mortals riding at a seven hour pace.

So, I’m off and running.

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Ironman Louisville – Old Man River

In my last post I mentioned that I arrived in Louisville on Wednesday evening. The race was the following Sunday. What I didn’t mention was that I tried to never be seen without a water in my hand. I determined to stay hydrated up through Sunday. I did pretty well because I felt like one of those people in the TV commercials for the drug that treats over-active bladders. I was constantly in the restroom. I also made sure I never got hungry. I ate regular meals and loaded up on vegetables as much as I could. Nutrition wise I felt good heading into Sunday.

I also did some light work outs and stretches Thursday and Friday morning. I ran on the treadmill for a half hour on Thursday, followed by stretching, and I pedaled a stationary bike for a half hour on Friday followed by more stretching. I took it easy Saturday with no work outs.

So Sunday morning rolls around – 4AM the alarm goes off. I get up and start getting ready. Everything is ready to go, I just need to get my tri suit on and get the family going. I eat two boiled eggs, drink a cup of coffee, and start sipping on a Powerade. We all get out the door by 5:15. None of us would see the hotel room again until around 10PM.

The kids with their dad

The kids with their dad

I get to transition and start setting up my bike. I borrowed a fellow competitor’s pump but I couldn’t get it to work. I was too embarrassed to bother him any more so I just handed it back and said thanks. Later I took my bike up to bike support and got my 100 psi in both tires.

Once transition is ready to go, the family and I head towards the swim entry, Tumbleweed Park. It’s about a mile from transition. On the way I munch on a Clif Bar, but I can’t get it all down. We get to Tumbleweed, I get body marked, use the port-a-john, kiss my wife and daughters, fist bump my son, and make my way to the time trial swim start. In the meantime I drink a coconut water and suck down an energy gel.

The Louisville swim start is a time trial start. It may be the only Ironman race in America with such a start. All the athletes line up, and once they fire the cannon, they go one after the other, jumping off one of two docks into the Ohio River. Have you ever stood in a single file line with more than 2,000 people? I can now say I have, and though I didn’t plan it this way, I somehow managed to get in the back of the line. There may have been 10 people behind me. If I had known where I would be in line I never would have started walking to the back of the line, I would have let it come to me. I seriously walked about a mile just to find the back of the line, then I had to walk all the way back, following the line, just to get back to the swim entry.

Dead man walking

Dead man walking

But here it was! I was walking down the dock. I put on my swim cap and goggles, gave a final wave to my wife and kids, and jumped into the Ohio River. Your time starts once you cross the timing pad just a few feet before you jump. I was so excited, apparently, that I forgot to start my watch. I swam for a couple of minutes and remembered finally to start it.

That's me in the standard issue white, black, and red Pearl Izumi tri suit

That’s me in the standard issue white, black, and red Pearl Izumi tri suit

This was not a wetsuit legal race, which meant the water temperature was above 76.1 degrees F. The water was not bath-water warm like I heard it could be. It actually felt perfect; just cool enough to invigorate you but not so cold as to chill you. After swimming just a few strokes all of my anxiety about cold water faded (for a while).

Big head

Big head

On the above pic, my wife said just as she went to snap the photo the people in front raised that big head, which was just as I was jumping in. I’m holding my goggles, by the way, not my nose.

After jumping in you swim up-stream, but you’re behind an island and there is very little current, if any. I didn’t notice any current. Someone said the distance from the docks to the turn buoy was 9/10 of a mile. I figured I’d get there in 35-40 minutes, and I was right on time. Just as we cleared the island, and before we got to the buoy, I got into a very cold current of water. I don’t know where it was coming from but it had to be 68 degrees or colder. Now I’m thinking this is how cold the main channel is going to be. Oh, this is not good. This water is cold! But alas! After maybe 75 yards I cleared that current and found the warm water. I made the turn at the red buoy and I’m heading for home down the main channel of the Ohio River.

I’m not a great swimmer and though I expected to finish the 2.4 mile swim in an hour and forty-five minutes I still had this nagging worry that I wouldn’t finish or would take longer than the two-hour and twenty-minute cut off time. Once I started swimming downstream I quickly forgot about the cut off. I knew I was going to make it.

It had stormed the last couple of evenings in Louisville and the extra run off helped to increase the speed of the current. At least that’s what I heard. Whatever the cause, swimming down stream was like walking on one of those moving sidewalks at the airport. I stopped to get my bearings at one point, and when I looked up at a buoy I just kept drifting on by. All I had to do was tread water and I made forward progress, but I wanted to save some time so I kept on swimming. I exited the water down by Joe’s Crabshack and my watch said 1:15! What? Holla! That swim was awesome! 1:15 is not a great time for real swimmers, but for me it’s like I’m Michael Phelps up in here.

I exit the water and make my way toward transition. Transition was a good quarter-mile from the swim exit, so most of us jogged in our bare feet. I still felt well enough to jog. I wish that held true for the second transition, but we’ll get there later.

I get to transition, the volunteers help me get my bag, and I run into the changing tent. I’d never experienced a changing tent at any race, but apparently a lot of folks like to change out of what they swam in and put on cycling clothes at an Ironman. I was prepared to wear my tri suit all day, but what I did do is put Chamois Butter on my sensitive areas. Chamois Butter doesn’t sponsor this blog, but let me say that stuff did the trick. I wore that tri suit, which has a thinner chamois than cycling shorts, for 112 miles and did not develop even one sore. I felt comfortable all day.

It’s here that I can’t say enough about the volunteers. They were great all day. The fellows that worked the changing tent deserve special recognition. They had to watch dudes like me put that Chamois Butter in places to which you should never see another grown man reach his hand. Add to that the heat and humidity inside that tent. God bless those guys.

I truly meant to wrap up this race, but we’re already at 1,200 words, so please allow me to hit pause and I’ll continue with the bike tomorrow (or the next day). I had already posted some work out date from 10/01/13 through 08/23/14 below, so I’ll leave that there for now. If you cut to the chase, from the time I signed up for this race to race day I worked out, on average, a half hour a day. Not saying that’s right or wrong, it’s just how it worked out. So, if I can complete an Ironman with that volume of training, I’m sure you can too, but more on that later.

Swim

# of Work Outs
34

Total Time
18 hours 34 minutes

Total Distance
27.33 miles

Bike

# of Work Outs
73

Total Time
72 hours

Total Distance
1,151 miles

Run

# of Work Outs
94

Total Time
71 hours 51 minutes

Total Distance
477 miles

Total time working out 10/1/13-8/23/14

164 hours (0.5 hours per day)

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Ironman Louisville 2014 – Ironman Weekend

Today I’ll write about my observations and what happened during my Ironman weekend leading up to race morning. This post is more to help me remember in years to come what actually happened race weekend. So please skip this post if you’re not inclined to learn how we spent our time in Kentuckiana. Tomorrow I’ll post how I actually completed Ironman Louisville, including my approach to training and whether or not I pooped during the marathon.

The weekend started for me on Wednesday. We loaded up the bike and the kids in our van and we didn’t look a lot different from those Okies heading towards California in The Grapes of Wrath. We packed a cooler full of food and we had another large bag of “snacks”. We carried every electronic device we owned including two computers, a PC and a Mac. On top of all that I had my gear and everyone had at least a suitcase full of clothes (there’s five of us, by the way). So there wasn’t much room to spare. I don’t have a bike rack for the van but the bike fit on the inside nicely once I removed the wheels and turned it upside down.

Ready to hit the road

Ready to hit the road

We headed east to Louisville. Actually, we headed east to New Albany, Indiana. We stayed in a Best Western on the Indiana side of the river. We passed through St. Louis and spied the arch just like every road trip movie. From there it was I-64 east through southern Illinois and Indiana before arriving in Kentuckiana.

We never did see an incident

We never did see an incident

The Best Western was OK, but again, we looked like a bunch of Gypsies after we loaded all of our wares onto a cart to wheel into our room. We swam in the pool, which was actually quite nice, ate some Subway, and then settled in for the evening. The next day I had to go check in.

Check in started at 9AM. We got down there around 10. Check in was at a nice hotel in downtown Louisville. I think it’s called the Galt House. We should’ve stayed there, it would’ve been so much more convenient, but we’re always looking to save a buck. Check in didn’t take very long as there were no lines for me. I got in, signed the waivers, got banded, got my swag bag, looked through the shop, bought some Chamois Butter, and was done by 10:30.

So, what to do until the athlete briefing at 2PM. I don’t think the athlete briefing is mandatory. I don’t remember seeing that it was in the athlete guide, but I like to go to make sure there’s nothing I’m missing. On the Ironman Louisville Facebook page there were a lot of rumors swirling around and I thought I’d get the real deal at the briefing. But to kill time unitl then we walked down the street to the Louisville Slugger factory and museum. We took the tour, got our little wooden bats, and then headed back up the street. We still had a little time so we ate at Hard Rock. Remember when it was cool to have one of those shirts? Apparently it’s not anymore, and the food is so so. On par with Applebee’s really, and that’s not saying very much.

 

Golden David?

Golden David?

That's a big bat

That’s a big bat

IMG_0131

At the briefing they did say there were no plans to shorten the race. That was circulated on Facebook and there was even a local news story on TV that suggested it was a possibility. The reason people thought they would shorten it was because of the heat and humidity, but the officials said no, there were no plans to shorten it. That was a relief, because who wants to compete in a shortened Ironman?

By the way, I love watching the local news in any town I visit because it’s all exactly the same. Just change the names of the towns and the neighborhoods and you’ll think you were watching news from your local station. I watched the NBC affiliate, WAVE TV 3, while in Louisville, because one of their anchors, John Boel, regularly competes in Ironman Louisville. So right off the bat WAVE TV had the most Ironman cred. At least for me. You can decide for yourself.

Where was I? Oh yes. After the briefing we headed back to the room, swam in the pool, ate food from our mobile pantry, and finally hit the sack. Since I got all my check in done on Thursday, I had no responsibilities on Friday. So we went to Churchill Downs where they run the Kentucky Derby, ate some lunch down by the Ohio River at a local pizza joint, and then went to Louisville Water Tower Park. Now, I know that sounds boring as all get out, but if you are in Louisville you should check out that place. It is very nice, and nicely preserved, and you will see the largest steam engine you will ever see there in one of the old pump houses. The buildings were built during a time when people thought that even pump houses should look like Greek temples, and the water tower itself (which is actually just a pressure relief tower) is a magnificent piece of architecture. By that time I had been on my feet enough and wanted to go back to the room, so same routine as the night before.

Jockeys

Jockeys

And they're off

And they’re off

This horse ran the Kentucky Derby several years ago

This horse ran the Kentucky Derby several years ago

Water Park

Water Park

Saturday. T-1 until Ironman Louisville. There was a practice swim down by the swim exit at 8AM, but I skipped it in favor of sleep. I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep Saturday night. Gear check in was at noon. We got over there shortly after 12 and I dropped off my bike and gear bags. At the 70.3 races I’ve been in we always had to drop off our bikes the day before, but not all our other gear. We had to drop off our bikes, and bike gear, and our run gear on Saturday. In most ways it was convenient because we wouldn’t have to mess with any of it in the morning. In other ways it was inconvenient becaue it was supposed to rain that evening and I didn’t want all my stuff to get wet. I put my shoes and socks down in a Wal-Mart bag, tied it up, and then put that down in my gear bag and tied it up. It rained that night but honestly my stuff stayed pretty dry.

IMG_1581

Transition getting set up

Transition getting set up

IMG_1589

Now, it just so happens that my grandmother and my aunt live in New Albany, Indiana. When I signed up for Ironman Louisville I didn’t realize that New Albany was just across the river from Louisville, so it was a nice coincidence that I was racing near where they lived. We went over to visit Saturday afternoon. We chatted and got caught up which helped take my mind off of what was coming up the next day. We said goodbye and then headed back to the room for the same routine as before, except I didn’t swim in the pool.

As expected, I hardly slept Saturday night, and then the alarm went off at 4AM. Transition opened at 4:30 AM but I had no intention of getting down there that early. This was race day, the day that was looming on my calendar for so long was finally here! Should I chicken out? Should I withdraw? What if the water is cold? What if I don’t even make it through the swim? What if something else? What if? No. I was going to at least start this race. Besides, my family would’ve killed me if I dragged them all the way to Louisville only to back out at the last minute.

That’s some of what happened leading up to race day. As promised I’ll get down to the nitty gritty of the actual race in my next post. I might even mention the horrors of the transition changing tent. Remember that chamois butter I told you I bought? Ideally you’ll never have to see another grown man apply that to himself, but seeing it is part of what makes you an Ironman! Thank you for reading.

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Ironman Louisville 2014 – Done!

More details to come, but yes, I finished Ironman Louisville 2014. I got the tee-shirt and everything.

I’ll put up another post and try to add some pics tomorrow.

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What’s Done is Done

The training is over. I’m off to Ironman Louisville. I’ll get some light workouts in between now and Sunday, but only to remind my body what we’re doing. No gains will be made.

I may or may not get a chance to post again before Sunday. If not, my bib is lucky number 1734. My goal is 13 hours. We’ll see what happens. God bless!

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Mennonite Ladies and Butt Sores

Last Saturday I rode a bike farther than any man before me. Call Guinness because this is definitely a world record. This amazing feat will astound all who hear of it. I will be counted among the likes of Sir Edmund Hilary, Charles Lindbergh, and Magellan. I can only imagine the adoration and attention I will receive from throngs of devoted fans.

How far did I ride last Saturday? It’s time to tell the world! I rode 106 miles! Yes, you read that correctly. I’ll spell it out like on a check: one hundred six miles.

OK, I was just over at http://www.google.com researching the longest rides and it turns out that 106 miles isn’t that far of a ride. I’d like to apologize to all those people who put their trust in me. Cancel that call to Guinness. Call the Guinness Extra Stout people instead.

Well, it seemed long to me. Up until last Saturday the farthest I ever rode was 80 miles. I’ve been building up the miles on these long rides in preparation for Ironman Louisville. Is it wise to ride 100 miles two weeks before an Ironman? Recovery wise I feel fine. I actually felt fine even the next day. During the ride, however, I felt pretty beat up.

I rode the Katy Trail from Clinton, MO up through Sedalia. I took a couple of detours on some side country roads just for a change of pace, but at some point beyond Sedalia my odometer read 56 miles, so I turned around and started for home. I didn’t detour on the way back. The trail seemed rougher with a lot more ruts that usual. Not the big kind of wreck-your-bike ruts, but those smaller ones that make it seem like you’re riding over rumble strips on the side of the highway.

When I made the turn back toward home I was out of water. I knew I’d run out, but I knew of at least two Casey’s that I could stop at, and I figured there would be something in Sedalia. Well I rode all the way through Sedalia and didn’t see anything convenient, so I kept riding. That was kind of a mistake. Altogether I probably rode 20 miles without anything to drink. That doesn’t seem so bad, and thankfully it wasn’t hot, but I wanted to stay hydrated and finish strong. I rolled into Greenridge and bought a Gatorade and a bottle of A&W Cream Soda. I never drink soda anymore, but I figured I would easily burn off the carbs before I got home, and besides, world record holders deserve a little treat every now and then.

I made it back and, yeah, I felt pretty thrashed. I wasn’t dead, though. I sprinted the last 3/4 of a mile (keep in mind, my sprinting is a real cyclist’s easy spin). The ride did encourage me in one way, and discouraged me in another.

I got home, took and ice bath, took a shower, dressed, got something to eat. By that time it was about 5 o’clock. I started the ride that morning about the time I plan on exiting the swim in Louisville, not by design, it just happened that way. During the ride I stopped to smell the roses (pee), stopped at Casey’s (drank my A&W at a picnic table), weaved my way through the biggest Boy Scout troop in the world who apparently have not earned the Katy Trail bike etiquette badge yet, skirted my way around the Mennonite ladies who acted as though it was unseemly for someone to want to get around them on the trail, and in general didn’t treat it at all as a race. So when I got home and did all that stuff and saw that it wasn’t quite five yet I was encouraged because if this was the day of the race, I’d still have seven hours to complete the marathon.

I was discouraged, however, because I developed a couple of saddle sores. Yes, even the likes of me can get a saddle sore, apparently. I’ve never had trouble with those before, but then, I’d never ridden 100 miles. Well, they’re healing up so I should be fine by next Sunday.

Today I have to get everything ready. Gather all my gear, make some final decisions about fueling during the race, decide if I’m going to chicken out or not. It’s a big day. Not to mention I have to wash all that Katy Trail dust off my bike.

Have a great week. If you ride the Katy Trail, ride on the right and assume that someone will need to pass you at some point. Otherwise, God bless.

PS

I’m adding this just for posterity: I wrecked my bike on some railroad tracks about a mile into the ride. I jacked up my wrist and tore some handlebar tap, otherwise everything is fine. My wrist is healing, though still a little sore. What I hurt most was my pride.

PSS

Here’s my favorite thing about riding the trail: Coming up on a road where the car has the right of way. You see one coming so you slow down, unclip, and come to a complete stop. Then the driver sees you and stops as well, and then waves you through. Now, my rule is, once I’m waved, I go. That’s true for the bike, in my truck, whatever. I don’t play the you go, no you go game. You wave, I go. But it’s hard to be grateful to the driver once you’ve unclipped and stopped. Now you have to get moving again, clip in, and wave at the driver like he’s so noble for letting you pass. I should probably just relax about all that.

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