Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

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Recovery Road

I traveled to Lake Placid, NY this weekend for a training weekend with a few of my good friends from the DC Tri Club.  Angela, AJ, Julie and Kimberly all signed up for Ironman Lake Placid this year.  I was psyched to join them in Placid to train.  One of the great things about staying on the East Coast – I get to train with my friends from DC to Boston every month this summer!  I’m really looking forward to cheering the ladies on in the race too – especially as I volunteer at the last water stop on the run course. 

Given my cycling accident last weekend, I took a bit of time to recover this week.  I focused on sleeping and putting bacitracin on my face – and not much else.  I barely felt up to anything until Friday.  But, let me tell you, the minute I pulled off exit 30 on I-87 towards Lake Placid, I was ready to ride and run again.  Woo-hoo!

Recovery Ride Attempt #1

Saturday morning started out great.  We rolled out of the house around 8 am.  The plan was for me to do one loop of the IMLP bike course.  About 56 miles.  We hit the road around 8:45 am.  But by 9:15 am, I was in tears.   

On the first descent on Rt. 73 out of Lake Placid (just before River Road), my bike started to shake uncontrollably.  I felt like I was riding a nervous horse that was ready to throw me at any second.  Angela said the rear wheel was wobbly.  I tried to ride a little further, but my confidence was shaken.  Thankfully, Mom and Dad Strope were in LP for the weekend.  They got the “rescue me” call. 

I took my bike into High Peaks Cyclery for a quick check up.  The guys tightened everything up, changed the tires, and even took the bike for a spin down the block.  Everything checked out ok. 

Recovery Ride – Attempt #2

I decided to try the hilly cycling route again around 11 am – with my parents acting as my sag vehicle.   The first few descents felt alright – not nearly as wobbly.  But, I hit above 30 and a little wind, and felt the wobble again.  My parents waited for me after each descent, then followed me along.  I made it to the top of the big descent into Keene, then lost it again.  With tears flowing and my whole body shaking, I flagged my parents down and said, “I CAN’T DO IT!  I can’t do it!  Take me back to town!”

On the Road Again

I spent the remainder of Saturday afternoon cycling around the IMLP run course and Mirror Lake.  It was flat and easy, and I felt much more confident.  I test rode some tri bikes at Placid Planet on Sunday.  The tri bike geometry allows for more weight on the front part of the bike and makes me feel a lot more steady.  My friend Matt said I looked much stronger riding on the Felt B 16!  And, I  joined Kimberly and AJ for a quick ride along the run course on Monday morning. 

In retrospect, heading out on a 56 mile HILLY ride was probably a bit ambitious for my first ride post-crash.  And, it seems like my bike (a Giant TCR) might have picked up a case of Speed wobble post-crash.  The causes of speed wobble are too numerous to count…but it also seems that the more tense, cold, or shaky a rider is, the more pronounced the wobble will be.  Perfect for me coming off of a crash, right? 

So, here’s my new plan to regain strength and confidence on the bike:

  • Do a few short and easy rides over the next 2 weeks
  • Talk to some coaches and experts
  • Buy a new bike.  I’m looking at the Felt B 16, Felt S32, and Quintaroo Dulce now.  Other suggestions are welcome.  Just looking for something other than a Cervelo – great bikes, but I want something different.