Had my first flat tire. And no, not the beer.

Had my first flat tire. And no, not the beer.

Last week, during one of my weekly training rides, I got my first flat. And of course, it was on the back tire, which requires getting it off and then back on the chain, making this a bit of a challenge.

But changing a flat tire, regardless of the wheel, is easy. When someone else does it.

Step 1:
When you feel your tire go flat, pull over. And always ride with friends that jump into action. (I didn’t even pretend that I didn’t know how to change it – they just went to work.)

Poor little sick bike.

Step 2:
Take photos for your blog, uh, I mean, for documenting how to change a flat tire. I would help but too many hands would only complicate things.

They do good work.

Step 3:
Always wear your helmet while changing your tire. Safety first people. I’m not pictured here but I did provide the tools and tube during this step.

Still at it.

Step 4:
Take selfie after delivering said tools. It’s important to stay involved in the process.

Step 5:
Take a photo of one of your favorite people posing with your one-wheeled bike. This doesn’t really aid in the whole “changing the tire” situation, but what else am I supposed to do while someone else is changing it?

Step 6:
Make sure whoever is changing your tire is doing it right. And if they’re not, point it out. But stay a safe distance away. Chain grease is a killer to get off your clothes and hands. I know this because of how much trouble Kim had getting it off of her.

Step 7:
Hoola hoop for good luck. Or to kill time while someone else is hard at work.

Step 8:
Make the best of the situation. Flat tires happen to everyone. And instead of getting frustrated and flustered, you should have fun and smile. Always. Especially when you have a crew to do it for you.

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Got all that? Good. Carry on.

P.S. You knew this was coming. I train. I have flats. I get others to change it. I blog about my shenanigans. You laugh. You pull out your credit card and donate to our wounded warriors. (See how I subtlety through in that last part?)

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I’m an adult. That gets to go to summer “camp”.

I’m an adult. That gets to go to summer “camp”.

“Come to camp”, my Coach said.  “It’ll be fun”, he said.

PlayTri Summer Camp. A “camp” for people training for a triathlon. Sure, sounds relaxing, right?!? August 6-9. Ardmore, Oklahoma. Yes, AUGUST, in OKLAHOMA.

From the looks of some of the past camp pictures, it looks mostly flat with refreshingly cool temps. (sarcasm)

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I was skeptical at first but after reading the last bullet, “Experience the Ardmore adventure” under the “How this camp can help you section”, I was thoroughly convinced. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to an “adventure” camp.  It seems like, according to our activity schedule, we will get to truly experience, by water, bike and foot, all that Ardmore has to offer, exploring each of  its nooks and crannies. And at a leisurely pace, I’m just sure of it.

I know the anticipation is killing you so I’ll go ahead and give you a little glimpse of my long weekend away from home.

THURSDAY (afternoon), AUGUST 6TH

  • Check-in and meet my new friends, run drills (for fun) and take in some lectures.

They’re spreading out the fun – wouldn’t want to overload us on the first night.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7TH

  • 1 hour of open water swimming, 4 hours of biking and running hills and some more lecturing & learning

SATURDAY, AUGUST 8TH

  • Biking between 18-112 miles (piece of cake), an hour of running, then more biking and running (a little double brick day) and lectures, dinner and night night

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9TH

  • 2 hour trail run for a little weekend cool down, and then home bound

But seriously, I’m pretty pumped (scared shitless and uber excited) to get my ass kicked from my coach and to be around others to push and challenge me. This is about a month before Augusta so it should be a pretty good indicator of what I need to focus on in those final weeks to be as prepared as possible for race day.

To top it off, I found out last night that there will be quite the Cajun contingency in Augusta which makes me a happy racer. (I sure hope Augusta has stocked up on beer for the finishers.)

But for now, I push forward. Every day. Each day with one goal in mind, to be better than I was yesterday. Doing it for myself and for soldiers like the one below that I’ll have the honor of racing next to in Augusta.

We race. You give a little. Everyone wins. They deserve it.

Click below to donate. I’m halfway to my goal!!

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This is my taper week. Without the taper.

This is my taper week. Without the taper.

If all had worked out as planned, I would be tapering this week for my race this Sunday – Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3. But it didn’t, so I’m not. (tapering, that is.)

It’s been a while but I’m back. No seriously, I am. 5 1/2 weeks ago, I fractured my frickin’ elbow and ulna. NO. A rampant 8 year old broke it. Not on purpose. I don’t think. But still. It was her fault and I’m still mad about it. Not really, but I was. For a while. Until things fell into place and I could look back and realize why it all happened in the first place. And so now, I’m good. I’m back!

From the day I signed up for Buffalo Springs 70.3, I was all-in. And it really felt great to see and feel the progress. It felt even better to complete my big 50 mile test race and know that although I still had big work to do on speed and time, as far as the distance went, I could do it. And I could have covered more miles if needed. THAT was an unbelievable feeling – especially considering where I started from. But after the 8 year old broke me, I stopped. I had to for a couple of weeks because of Doctor’s orders but for the other couple of weeks, I chose to because, quite frankly, I just didn’t want to. My all-in became all-or-nothing and because “all” wasn’t an option at that point, I slipped into the “or-nothing” phase. And man, that’s hard to pull yourself out of. During my all-in days, I was in a routine, both in workouts and eating. I struggle all the time with eating well. No, let me rephrase. I enjoy eating healthy – I actually really like all the good, healthy foods. BUT, I also like to chow down on chips and pretzels and salty carbs about an hour AFTER I eat my healthy dinner, when I’m still hungry – mostly from swimming – but those other 2 sports make me hungry as well. So, I struggle every day with the eating bad after the eating good. Well, in my “or-nothing” phase, I didn’t even care to eat healthy because unlike before, my workout wasn’t dangling over my head telling me to not waste what I just did. So I didn’t train. I didn’t even walk to break a sweat and I ate. Whatever I wanted. Because my plan got derailed and I was in a funk. And I wanted to feel sorry for myself and pout a little. And I did. And THEN we turned pity-time into party-time by tackling things around the house that we had neglected due to one or both of us training for something over the last year and because of this, we have a brand new house – almost! And there’s just one of the many good things that came from me being broken.

So, 2 weeks ago, I eased my way back into some workouts on the stationary bike. Leaning on the elbow was a bit uncomfortable, as expected, but bearable. It just felt good to move again. Last week, I swam for the first time and other than hurting like hell yanking down on my swim cap and trying to pull myself out of the pool, the old elbow did great. And despite the weeks off, I felt like I wasn’t too far off track from where I left off. The true test would come on Saturday when I would hop back on my bike – outside – for the first time since the 8 year old hit-and-run incident.

It started off a bit rocky. I couldn’t find my favorite bike shorts. I spilled some of my liquid nutrition in my car. And when we took off, I was one pedal in and realized that my front tire was low – almost flat-as-a-pancake low. We turned around, aired it up and were off – again.

Rocky start. But beautiful roads ahead.

A beautiful day for a ride.

About 12 miles in, we are faced with two combines (big, scary tractors) coming at us…head on.

The lead combine moved to his side of the road momentarily, which gave me some relief, but at the last minute, jerked back to the middle of the road as if to come charging at us, and I slammed on my brakes, thankfully remembered to unclip at the last minute and came to a quick stop. And so did one of my fellow riders that I didn’t realize was riding right behind me. She slammed on her breaks, screamed and managed to unclip seconds before an impending crash. In the meantime, I realized that the crazy combine driver wasn’t on a mission to turn us into road kill, he was apparently just taking a really wide turn onto a road in front of us. We regrouped, hit our turnaround spot and headed back home. We were home clear, just yards away from the house we started at when I heard a tumble right behind me. While I was heading to driveway #2, another fellow biker was attempting to turn into driveway #1, assuming that’s what I was going to do, but by the time he noticed that I wasn’t turning, it was too late – I was in the way and he couldn’t unclip in time to break the fall.

So…I had a flat, I almost made one of our riders slam into me and fall and then ended the ride with causing someone else to take a spill. On the bright side, no one was hurt, I stayed upright on my first time back out and we had great ride on a beautiful day. Success.

Oh…and you know the drill. I train in the hotter-than-hell temps of south Louisiana in the summer and raise money for wounded vets making their way back in the civilian life. All you have to do is grab a credit card and donate to this amazing cause. It’s a win-win.  Click below to donate!

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