WEEK 29 – July 11, 2016 – July 17, 2016
29 Weeks down, one to go! Race day is almost here, and this week is full of lots of preparation and getting ready to go. And a lot of “hold on there, bub” going on too.
I took my bike into the bike shop for a race day check-up. Normally you drop the bike off and get it back a day or two later, but seeing that I bought the bike at a bike shop in Wheaton, Illinois and it takes me about 45 minutes to drive there, I begged the kid to work on it while I waited. Maybe he was a little more understanding when I told him I needed it for an Ironman soon. Maybe he was impressed that an old fogey like me can do an Ironman, I don’t know. They put it on the rack and checked, cleaned and lubed the chain, and examined the rest of it while I strolled through the store. After about 20 minutes the kid (must have been 18-19 maybe) and his supervisor (another kid maybe 5 years older than him) found me and said they were done. But from the look on the the older kids’ face, I could tell he had something really important to tell me. He asked me if I clean my internal “Fuelselage” device that holds my water and is contained within the frame of the bike. Now anyone who has one of these things knows that you need to clean it or else it might grow something funky. I was getting the sense that he was scolding me about it. I told him that I clean it out all the time and never put anything in it other than water. It’s just three years old and looks it. In typical kid fashion, he advised that I should replace it. I had just spent 20 minutes walking the store actually looking for a replacement, but they were out of stock and I advised him of that. “Yeah, I know” was his response. Well kid, it’s kind of hard to replace it when you don’t have any in stock.
Upon getting home I rode the bike and was glad to see the shifting was a little more crisp and nothing out of the ordinary was going on, except the rear brake. After that ride I took a look at it and found that the brake wasn’t releasing after I pull the brake handle. It had done this a couple of years ago, and it’s usually caused by road junk, sweat and Gatorade getting into the brake components and gumming things up. I cleaned it as best I could, lubed it well and got it to operate as designed. I need to figure out how to fully service my bike. I don’t want to rely on a kid and a kid supervisor anymore. They should have caught that.
As for the rest of the week, training was easy. I spent more time worrying about making sure I have everything for the trip to New York, thinking about what to bring and planning out how to approach the race. But life will through you a curve and as the week ended we found that we have some car issues with the car the kids drive. This is troubling, as we are leaving the kids home while my wife and I take the trip to Lake Placid. Also, our dog is showing signs that he might be ready to move on to the big dog house in the sky. He’s 14, and the past week has been really struggling. He’s stopped eating and taking water and might not be here for much longer. As if the anxiety of doing an Ironman race in a week wasn’t enough, I have this squarely on my mind. I’ve got a couple of days to deal with those things first, and then I will deal with the trip. Fortunately for me, I have done the race once before and I am confident that I am prepared.
I’ve learned a few things over the years. Thankfully, I’m no longer a kid.
WEEK 29 TOTALS:
Swims: 3 total, 3 hours, 8600 yards
Bikes: 4 total, 4:45 hours, 75.5 miles
Runs: 7 total, 4:10 hours, 30 miles