Friday, March 12, 2010

Dollar Bill Boot

I had some time off to burn at work this week so I have been taking off at noon. Yesterday afternoon I met up with a friend for coffee at the Hub in downtown Springfield. The greatest part about the shop to me was the indoor bike parking! No worries of your ride disappearing.

The friend was Jamie, the guy I recently met who ran the OT 100 last year. This was the first time I have really sat down and talked with someone that has completed a 100 miler. Until now, all of my education on the subject has come from books, magazines and the internet. I feel fortunate to have found a source to ask those questions that the reading hasn’t answered.

He told me about a group that trains together sometimes and there are several members who have completed ultras. This would probably be an invaluable experience for me to learn from others with real knowledge about success in such events. I have never participated in group training though, either in running or cycling. I’m good with one or two others but 99.9% of the time I am alone.

I am not sure what my hesitation is in seeking out a group to train with. While I enjoy friends and group settings, I have a fierce loner streak in me that makes me often prefer to train alone. Antisocial or shy, it could be a combination of both. I also see endurance work outs as a facilitator for a sort of meditation. I can just zone out or work through the days problems. But in the end, I feel it might really be a benefit to my training so I may have to jump into one.

After talking about the running for a couple hours, we set out to ride back home. A couple of miles from the coffee shop I rode through some rocks scattered in the bike lane and blew out my rear tire. The bike lane on Trafficway is absolutely full of rocks and glass. I would avoid it on a skinny tire bike if possible. I haven’t had a flat for several months so I was probably due. They seem to come in sets of 2 or 3, I may get some more in the next week or so.

The rock put a half inch gash in the sidewall of the tire. Took the tire off and put in a brand new tube. I hate patching on the side of the road. After inflating the new tube, we noticed the tube was ballooning through the gash in the tire like a blister waiting to burst. A better blogger would have captured the moment with a picture. To ride like this would mean another flat almost immediately. I used a dollar bill boot to fix the problem. I folded a dollar into a strip and placed it between the tire and the tube where the gash was. It worked! It held the tube in and provided enough strength to get the remaining 7 or 8 miles home.

Finished off the day with a 5 miles to the gym to watch Jakob.

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