Training for Ironman 70.3 (2010) – First 40-Mile Bike Ride – A Timeline:

8:00am – Head out on borrowed racing bike

8:02am – Amazed with ease of gear shifting

8:03am – Assume this is what Lance Armstrong must feel like

8:04am – Feel certain this is going to be a great day

8:12am – Pull up to crowded stoplight on the edge of town; Shoe clip will not unhook;

Descent proceeds as follows:
0°-4° – Release failure
5°-9° – Intense struggle to free foot
10° – Point of no return
11°-15° – Choice expletive
16°-89° – Notice child pointing in my direction from rear window of vehicle
90° – Keenly aware of knee and hip

8:13am – Recover and proceed

8:14am – Assume that must have happened to Lance before; Still feel certain this is still going to be a great day

9:00am – Enjoying the birds and the trees despite struggle with headwind

9:30am – Pass only traffic-light in decidedly sketchy town and reach halfway point; Concerned about being mugged and/or shot; Quickly turn around and head back

9:32am – Re-approach only traffic-light in town and pull up next to nearly 300 lb. biker (the real deal: Hell’s Angels; Sons of Anarchy; etc.); Shoe clip will not unhook;

Descent proceeds as follows:
0°-4° – Release failure
5°-9° – Intense struggle to free foot
10° – Point of no return
11°-15° – Choice expletive
16°-89° – Approach grizzled boot of biker; Decide this is how it ends
90° – Keenly reminded of knee and hip

9:32(-ish)am – Biker asks if I’m okay in surprisingly high-pitched voice, then rides off nervously in deafening roar (probably thinking he is about to be mugged)

9:33am – Recover and proceed

9:34am – Fairly certain that never happened to Lance before; Starting to enjoy the day less; Bicycle has acquired a squeak that continues for remainder of ride

10:00am – Nose has been clogged for the last 5 miles; Attempt to blow it on the move expecting its contents to clear both rider and bicycle; They don’t; Wear snot for remainder of ride

10:30am – Intense pain has set in to legs and back; Uncertain how struggle with headwind has continued in both directions; Hate the birds and trees

10:45am – Pace has slowed to a crawl; Passed by armadillo who is laughing and pointing in my direction; Unsure if armadillos actually do that; Suspect delirium is setting in

11:15am – Reach home; Momentarily suspect mirage

11:16am – Attempt to dismount bicycle; Realize something like rigor mortis has set in; Suspect bicycle has become a permanent attachment

11:20am – Finally separate posterior from seat and begin ascent up driveway; Feel like last few hours have been spent using Thigh Master; Hate Suzanne Somers

11:30am – Lie flat on back in living room and stare at ceiling

11:35am – “HOLY MOTHER OF LEG CRAMPS!”; Resemble backstroking otter while squealing like a sorority girl in Halloween movie

11:40am – See armadillo on ceiling point in my direction and laugh; Unsure if armadillos walk on ceilings; Suspect delirium is setting in again

Time uncertain – Pass out and dream of bicycling grandeur; “Oh, stop it, Lance. You’re embarrassing me. No, YOU are the man…”

Author: T. A. Fuller

I'm a 40 year old husband and father of four. I'm also an Air Force veteran with a Master's Degree in Health Administration from the University of Florida, and I am currently employed by the Veterans Health Administration. I am committed to sustainable health, and I would love for you to be as well. Please, come join me on this journey!

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