{Road Rash}

6 days y'all!

Since this weekend was likely my last opportunity to get some long runs and rides in I was grateful for the beautiful weather Texas decided to lavish on us.  After some much overdue sleeping in, I got up yesterday ate a bowl and a half of Fruit Crisp Rice, Kroger brand but equally as delicious Fruity Pebbles, and got myself ready for what I was hoping would be a 4 hour bike ride.

After gathering all my things, who knew there was so much stuff needed to haul your bike and self somewhere (shoes, water bottles full of delicious Gatorade, sunglasses, iPhone arm band, headphones, banana), I set off on the trail that runs by my office towards White Rock Lake.  Yes, I know most cyclists cannot stand the idea of riding the lake more than two laps, but it's beautiful and I enjoy the fact that I don't have to think too much about where I'm going when I ride.

Nothing too terribly eventful or out of the ordinary happened during my first loop around the lake.  Since it was beautiful I had to dodge other cyclists, runners, strollers, dogs, roller bladers, etc. around the lake, but that's nothing new.  On my second loop I'm fairly certain my mental determination was being tested since it was pretty obvious I had a slow leak on my front tire.  I've had a lot of trouble with my front tire as of late, and I'm starting to realize it's probably because I haven't been changing or replacing it correctly the past two times I changed it.  #fail

When I realized my front tire was pretty low I was on the street near Eryka Badu's house.  (Yes, I had to google how to spell her name because it's sort of strange.  #nohateEryka)  Since the street is pretty narrow and it's not exactly the place you want to plop down and start changing your tire I figured I would wait until I got down the hill, which wasn't far off, to a more populated part of the lake ... with people who might be kind enough to help a sister out. ;)

I thought that was a pretty solid plan until I made the turn for the hill and started using my body as a brake.  There had been even less air in the front tire than I had previously thought and it wasn't full enough to sustain the turn.  I couldn't unclip because it happened too quickly, and I think that's probably for the best because there's a good chance I could have twisted my ankle or knee or something.  Again, picture me going for the turn, looking great obviously ;), and then like wind or a person kicking the bike out from underneath me.  Awesome...

My shoulder took most of the fall, but I got a little road rash on my right knee from using it as a brake as well, my left shin took some from hitting my bike, and my hands and wrists were sore, but covered by my bike gloves thankfully.  I was a hot mess... emphasis on mess.

Poor shoulder. :(

Just a little road rash.

This picture doesn't really do it justice, but I fell so hard,and scraped my hands, that my nail polish on my thumb and pointed finger were scraped off.

Luckily, and unluckily, there was no one around to see my beautiful fall, except perhaps a car passing back that didn't stop.  rude.  Just kidding.  That would have been embarrassing and I don't think they saw since it was downhill.  After pulling my handlebar that was hooked on the center bar out, I started walking downhill, but walking in clips wasn't working so well, so I bailed and pulled off and started to change my tire.

I am horrible at changing tires, and obviously I don't do them correctly.  Thankfully cyclists are very protective and friendly to their own.  Sorry runners, but I know from experience bikers aren't all that nice to even me when I'm running and sharing a trail with them.  Anyway, within 2 minutes I had everyone passing me asking if I "had what I needed".  Originally, I was pretty pissed that I had fallen and was determined to change my tire on my own, so I kept waving people off and telling them I had what I needed.  Apparently I wasn't convincing because a group of 3 guys circled back and said, "Hey we know you said you had what you needed, but you weren't really convincing so can we help?"

Since I was still flustered and these guys had been nice enough to come back I said, "Sure.  If you can just help me get my tire off I think I can get the rest changed."  So they did and they were on their way.  Several other kind strangers asked me if I had what I needed as I tried to work off the tire to change my tube.  I waved people off, and a guy stopped near the top of the hill on the side to wait for his buddy.  I guess they were meeting up there.  He watched as I tried to get the stupid tire off and said, "You're not going to give up are you?"  I was both frustrated and annoyed at this point and said, "Yeah, but I can't get it to pop off.  Would you mind giving me a hand?"

He said he didn't mind helping, but he had never done this before, but that his friend should be there any minute since they were meeting up there.  We had worked most of the tire change out when his friend showed up.  His friend only said "hi" to me, and then spoke in Spanish the rest of the time to his friend.  Which was fine.  He helped us finish up the tire I think explaining to his friend what he was doing in Spanish the whole time.  After it was finished we were all off to finish our rides.

Not 5 minutes later my tire blew again.  It was hard to hear over my headphones, but I could definitely tell it had popped.  I pulled over and checked my tire again noticing this time that part of the tube was sticking out outside of the tire.  That's what caused it to pinch and pop.  Awesome.

So, there I sat again on the side of the road taking my tire off my bike and starting the process again.  Same song, different verse.  A hippie couple stopped and tried to help, but they knew nothing about changing tires.  A guy rode up and offered to help saying it sure didn't look like the couple knew what they were doing.  He walked me through the process to change my tire step by step and actually gave pretty good explanation around everything.  I was excited to have a thorough understanding of changing a tire.  I genuinely think I could do it next time. :)

New friend suggested since I didn't use a CO2 cartridge to pump up my tire and instead used a hand pump that I should go ahead and head home.  This would have seemed like a good plan as I didn't have any more tires, but I had another lap to go and didn't want to cut my last long training ride short.  So, I hoped and prayed my tire wouldn't blow and thank the LORD, I made it home without another incident.

My shoulder scabbed up pretty quickly, but the impact from the fall left it pretty sore yesterday.  Instead of going on my long run, I had lunch with my sweet bestie, Paige, and then made it home in time to change for yoga and only be a little late to the crowded class.  Even after taking Aleve, my shoulder still hurt, so I was hoping the stretching would make it feel better, and since it was a flow class I knew there would be some hard movements but that we wouldn't be holding them for extended periods of time.

It was definitely a good choice.  Today my body feels relaxed, stretched and ready for a long run.  I'm thinking that the delicious crawfish Papa McD brought back from Louisiana helped too.  Dang, they were tasty.

Today my shoulder is still pretty sore, as expected when you use your body as a landing pad and brake, but it definitely looks better.  Today will be busy, like every day since I've been training for this bad boy, and I can't quit because I'm 6 days away from this beast of a race!  Feel free to join in on the fun if you so choose!  Today I've got a 45 minute swim during lunch and a 2 hour run after work. Woohoo!

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