Can't Teach An Old Dog...

I'm in the process of writing the second part of my So You Wanna TRI series about bike accessories (here's the first part if you're interested). I'm considering adding "full body armor", as well as "spare brain" to the list of necessary accessories.

Ouch.

I honestly don't know what my affliction is, but the mind/brain/foot connection is just not working.  However, I'm getting a great laugh out of myself in the process of trying to make this connection.

Yesterday, I went on a practice ride with the Columbia Triathlon Association.  The ride was split into two groups--one was the IronGirl group (which is the same course as my June 28th Celebration Sprint Tri), and one was the Columbia Triathlon (which is much longer and I wanted nothing to do with that ride).

Unfortunately, your girl thinks that maps that don't say "Google" are stupid, so she set off on her ride with no freaking clue whatsoever where she was going.

And made a wrong turn at the traffic circle.

And realized this fact one mile into the wrong course.

By the time I turned around and was headed in the correct direction, I had lost my group, so then I was just hoping that someone would come behind and fly past me to lead the way.  This was not entirely wishful thinking.  Since everyone was passing me for the previous 8.82 miles and all.

I very leisurely stopped to take a few pictures of the open fields and farmland.

Admired nature's beauty.

Prayed that someone would come along and rescue me.

Eventually, I saw a few cyclists coming towards me, so I hopped on my bike and kept on.  They whizzed past me, and I saw them make a left turn.  As I approached the turn myself, I realized that I was about to become one with the biggest hill in Maryland.

And I wasn't going to make it.  I glanced at my Garmin, and my heart rate was already 182.  My max is around 186ish, and I wasn't trying to have a heart attack during a practice ride.  I'll at least save the medical emergencies for the actual race!  Not to mention, I was on my own again because the cyclists who whizzed by me moments before were already up this gargantuan hill (p.s...how do they DO THAT?!)

As I was walking up the hill, I was getting more and more tired.  Did I SERIOUSLY have another 10 miles to go?

At the top of the hill, I stopped to catch my breath for a moment.  I was amazed that I could be just as tired from walking the bike as I would've been if I had just rode the bike.  I got back on again and started to pedal in FIRST gear.  Still hard.  Heart still ready to explode.  Lungs still working at full capacity.

I decided to stop again and take another rest.

However, this time, I was in such a hurry to stop, and in such a flurry of sweat and heavy breathing that I (again) forgot that I was clipped in.  It's difficult to depict how funny this experience must look to outsiders, but I can only describe it by saying that it must look like it happens in slow motion...kind of like a domino falling.  It takes a little while for the actual fall to happen, but then it's just over.

You're just suddenly on the ground.  If you're me, you loudly declare:

"Well...that's ONE way to do it!!"

And then, you sheepishly look around to make sure that nobody saw you.  Then, you proceed to nearly pee your pants laughing.

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Then, you assess your injuries--ensuring that everything is still in tact (save a little scratch here and there, and bike lube everywhere), and you move on.

As I was picking up my bike, a man wearing entirely too much spandex came up the hill and asked me if I was OK.  I was still laughing, and I explained the whole gruesome story to him.  He made me feel much better by telling me how many times he's done exactly the same thing, and then he helped me get my chain back on the bike (yes, I knocked it off during my episode).

The moral of the story: If you're going to fall off your bike, make sure there is a man wearing spandex coming up the hill to help you with your bike chain that has just fallen off.

Oh yeah...and also.

You fall, you get back up...no matter how dumb you feel.

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