I went up to ride the full IMLP bike course today (FYI, the trailers for their equipment are already there). It was a disaster. Worst ride ever. I’m hoping it’s the whole “bad rehearsal, good show” thing we had going on in high school drama club. I hope…
My bike had a flat yesterday, so I changed it last night – at 10pm. I forgot about it before that, so I was scrambling to take care of it before I had to leave for my ride this morning. But once I changed it, I realized I didn’t have any other spare tubes anymore. So I took a shot, and went to the 24 hour walmart at 10:30pm. (I absolutely never go there, but it was the only place open that might possibly have one.) However, I couldn’t find a tube that would fit. Whomp whomp. So I went home and patched the one that I had just taken out of my tire and hoped I wouldn’t need it.
See where I’m going here? Yeah…
5.5 miles out from Lake Placid, nearly to the top of the Keene Descent, I heard something weird. I flatted. Same stupid wheel (the back). I put the patched tube back in, inflated it, and it seemed okay. I didn’t trust the patched tube for the whole ride (smart decision), so I called the bike shop back in town (5.5 miles away), and gave them a heads up that I was coming in. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped I would get back without flatting again.
I ended up having to walk the last .25 – .5 miles or so back to the bike shop (I had been occasionally reinflating with my CO2 along the way, and ran out), where they fixed it – by the way, the mechanics at High Peaks Cyclery are awesome, fast, and really helpful. Turned out I had a piece of glass hidden in there that I didn’t see when I checked the rim and the tire. Repaired and restocked (2 new tubes and 2 new CO2 canisters), I headed back out, now delayed by 2 hours, and having ridden an extra 10.5 miles that I wasn’t planning on. At this point, I was still hoping to do the full 112 because I really wanted to see how my legs would feel doing the climb out of Jay at the very end (if you are unfamiliar with the IMLP bike course, the last 26 miles of the loop are uphill and it SUCKS – oh, and you do it twice).
So I headed back out, for attempt #2. But the flat and the scrambling to fix it threw me off and I felt like complete and total crap the whole way. Going down the Keene Descent was fun, but other than that, it completely sucked. By the time I went to turn onto 86 and start the (first) climb out of Jay, I was a full 1 mph slower (average speed) than I normally am. And I need that 1 mph. I was pissed.
The climb sucked. Everything sucked. I started to get really mad and frustrated. I was two hours behind where I should have been from the flat, AND I was going significantly slower than normal. And I just didn’t have any gas.
Eventually (around 2:30 pm), I got back to my car. I had originally set out on the course at 8:15 am. It was ridiculous. I should have been back around 12:15 (I’m slow). My poor dogs have been home alone since 6:15 am, and if I set out for loop #2 now, I won’t be done until just before 7 pm, and not home until 8:30ish. After some calls/texts, someone offered to stop by and let them out, thank goodness. So I decided to suck it up and try loop #2.
That was a big fat flop.
By the time I got to the top of the Keene Descent, I was shaky and weak, and absolutely miserable. I knew I didn’t have the gas to go over the top and down into the valley, only to have to climb out again at the end. There was no way. I was bonking, and bonking HARD. At the top of the descent, I admitted defeat, turned around, and headed back to my car. When I got back to the car, I ate everything I could possibly find. I think my blood sugar just completely tanked. I felt like there was nothing left in my legs, arms, back, or neck. Everything took more effort than my body wanted to give at that point.
I ended up doing just shy of 80 miles (total – including the tire debacle in the beginning). I’m not happy with this one bit, and race day is going to be interesting. It will probably still be okay, but I’m annoyed.
Anyway, IMLP is two weeks from today. The taper begins…