Vacation and rest – not always the same thing

Normally when I post here on I have an idea what I’m going to write about. The title goes in first and then I flesh out what has been stewing in my brain looking to get dished out. Today I realize I need to get something served up, but the broth doesn’t seem very thick today. Maybe it has something to do with vacations and rest weeks.

Last week I was out of town visiting my parents for Christmas. Jim had me take along the bike and I put in some good miles there on the flat roads of southeastern North Carolina. The only proscribed ride that I did not finish was the last one. It was supposed to be a 3 hour ride with three low cadence 10 minute efforts spread through it.

I went out side the night before to make sure everything was ready on the bike. The ride was going to have to start early because I was supposed to leave the swamp and by lunch head back to Greenville. It pays to get prepared the night before. However, going out there showed me it also helps to be prepared before you go on vacation!

My rear tire was as flat as could be. I tried putting air in it to find the leak.  I had some patches I could use to get me going. PSSSSSST. I knew right away I was doomed. It was the stem. Patches don’t work on stems and I didn’t bring an extra tube!

I emailed Jim and told him what was happening. He said to learn my lesson and plan on doing the ride when I got back. Of course, my first real rest week since I started training was supposed to start on Monday. This change of plans would shorten that a bit.

Monday rolled around and I was ready to go… or so I thought. I didn’t have an extra tube at home and Sunshine Cycle Shop wasn’t open yet. I put on a second set of wheels and headed out the door.

It was very frustrating getting out of town. It seemed that I was hitting every red light. Those of you who are on a training plan know how frustrating this is when you are supposed to be holding a steady cadence and wattage. Finally I made it to Old Buncombe and things began to settle.

The plan was to continue down Old Buncombe Road and then cut behind Furman to ride towards 186 and then toward the mountains. Of course, I would have to turn and around and come back to make it only a three hour ride. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance.

Right as I neared Poinsett Highway on Old Buncombe, I started to feel my rear wheel go soft. I looked down and sure enough, the tire was sagging. Within seconds it went completely flat. I pulled off to the side of the road and tried to call my wife. Remember, I didn’t have an extra tube.

After trying several times to contact the Beautiful Redhead, I started walking. In my mind I knew I wouldn’t have to walk the entire distance. I was certain that someone would stop and pick me up. So, I slung the bike over my shoulder and started to make my way toward Cherrydale along Poinsett.

Twenty minutes later, Jason, a triathlete, pulled over and offered me a ride. He was kind enough to take me all the way to Sunshine (the shop was open by this time). I learned he had been going the opposite direction when he saw me. Having pity, he found a place to turn around and come pick me up. Thanks, Jason – and Alex.

At Sunshine John told me I should have called and he would have come to pick me up. That has crossed my mind, but I’m always taking advantage of their service and that just seemed a little too far to go on a cold December morning just as they were opening. John was kind enough to change out my wheels for me.

Turns out it is time for new rubber. My tires were potted with holes and in some spots were getting bare. So, I had new heavy duty training type tires put on with new tubes to fill them out.

Then I got back on the road. However, my schedule cut me short. I still managed to get in the requisite 3 x 10 minute sessions, but my 3 hour ride got cut back to 2. We’ll see what Jim thinks of the effort when I get his report.

So, that leads me to today. I’m not on the bike today, Wednesday, or Thursday. It is a good thing. Three solid days of no stress on my hip should be a good thing. It has been pretty sore for weeks now. I’ve seen some improvement, but then something tweaks it and I have a flare up again. I think this is just what I need.

On the other hand, it is hard to know what to do with myself. It isn’t that I don’t have anything to do! I have plenty! It is more a mental thing. In the back of my mind I’m still operating under that compulsion, “Oh, I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to work my training into the schedule today!”

Stop. Take a deep breath. It is a rest week. Do what you are supposed to do… rest.