Several confessions, actually.
I do almost all of my long rides with one of a handful of my steady training partners. During IMFL training last year I did portions of long rides solo, but the majority of the time someone was nearby. Now, there are lots of good reasons to ride with a group, safety in numbers being a big reason, but I have another secret reason I like riding with my regular training partners.
I am not the most mechanically oriented person and I secretly worry that I will get a flat or have a mechanical issue that I cannot fix on my own. I normally ride with men and chivalry is definitely alive and well in Texas, so I feel taken care of on my rides. My amazing Iron Sherpa hubby is also my mechanic, so I will admit to being a bit spoiled.
This morning I went out for my last long ride before Lonestar 70.3 and for the first time this season I went out solo. I had a premonition that I was going to get a flat on this ride because I was alone. Sure enough, about 12 miles into my ride I felt a drag coming from my back wheel and I stopped to find my back tire flat. Great. Not only did I have a flat but it was on my back wheel. Ugh.
Now, confession two. I have never had a flat on the road. I have practiced changing tires at home (and not nearly enough) but I have always had Douglas looking over my shoulder.
So after diagnosing my problem (easy enough), I called Douglas for moral support and put my cell phone on speaker so Dougas could be my quick reference guide, if needed, and I got to work. Several people passed me and asked if I needed anything and I was tempted to be rescued, but I knew I could do this on my own ... AND I DID!
I know that I should not be so excited about doing something that I should have been able to do all along, but there is something about actually having done it and the confidence that goes with it that really gave me mental boost for the rest of my ride and going into my race next weekend (plus the new tires I am getting will provide a nice extra layer of protection). I know, lame ...
My ride and run today also went well from a pace and nutrition perspective, so I feel good heading into a recovery week. What I give up in workout hours I will spend mentally preparing for the race. I am nervous and excited about my first race of the season!