Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunday's TdC Chicagoland Bike Ride

Continued from yesterday's post...

Instead of getting to the start of the Tour de Cure bike ride at 6:30, as originally intended, we instead arrived fashionably late at 6:55 AM.  Cleaning up my knees was more important than being on time.  Plus, my team knew what happened because we texted them.

After parking, getting all of my biking stuff out of the car, and finding my team, I wanted to get my Red Rider jersey.  I found it a bit odd that they did not give these out ahead of time.  I went into the venue to get it, asked a man where they were, and was told the wrong way to turn.  Then I asked another volunteer where to go.  Instead, I got this response:

Old Man Volunteer: "You shouldn't ride with your knees in that condition."

Me: "I'm fine.  I fell running this morning."

Old Man Volunteer: "It is not safe for you to ride."

Me (already pissed off at this point): "Where are the jerseys?"

Old Man Volunteer: "There is a medical tent outside.  You need to go there."

Me: "I'm fine.  Where are the jerseys?"

Old Man Volunteer: "You shouldn't ride."

At that point, my frustration had gotten the better of me.  I was already late because of falling, and now this old man was trying to tell me not to ride.  If he only knew that whenever someone tells me something is not possible it only makes me want to go prove them wrong even more, perhaps he would have stopped talking.  Instead of yelling at him, which is what I wanted to do, I simply turned and walked away.  I eventually found the area, got my jersey, and headed back to my team, my friends.

At this point it was already 7:30, and the first wave was long gone, as they started at 7 AM.  Me, my running friend, and another guy were starting together.  After getting to the street, we contemplated which way to go, and ended up following the arrows.  We were the only ones on the path, which we thought was odd.  We weren't even biking that slow.  By the time we reached mile 6.5, both of their phones rang.  We pulled off the path to see who it was, only to find out that our other team members, still at the start, called to tell us we were going the wrong way.

At that point, we turned around and made our way back to the start.  By the time we got back, we had already biked 13 miles, and I knew the century would not happen.  However, I was okay with it.  It could happen another day instead.

By the time we got to the first rest stop, they were packing up.  All of us, runners first and cyclists second, found it a bit funny.  The there of us run well, and often finish near the front of races.  It was like we became the slow runners.  It was a different feeling, one that I didn't particularly like.

When we reached rest stop 2, the same thing happened.  By rest stop 3, we had finally (!!!) caught up to some other riders.  By rest stop 4, we caught up with two other people on our team and biked with them for a little bit.  At that rest stop was the dividing for the century and metric riders.  However, the century riders had to leave that stop by 11 AM to continue on the course.  We got there at 11, so we knew the metric was what we were going to be doing.

My running friend was starting to feel tired and her legs hurt at this point.  She started to bike slower, with one of the other teammates, and by the next rest stop decided she would rather take the sag vehicle back to the start than finish.  This was at 100k, or 62 miles.  However, the guy (D) who was biking with us and me and the other two continued on.  D and I biked the last 13 miles together.  I was getting tired, and on the hills he would pull me up so I didn't have to work as hard, which was very kind.  We ended up crossing the finish line together, wheel-by-wheel, 75 miles later.

My knees did not hurt at all during the bike ride.  I did, however, get many interesting questions asked:

Many times, people would look at me, up and down, and then say, "what happened to you?" or "does that hurt?"

My canned response was: "I went running before the ride and fell this morning.  I feel fine, and I am ok."

D and my running friend joked that I should just put a sign on my jersey that said "I am fine."

Even though the day did not go as I thought it would, I wouldn't have done it any other way.  To live with diabetes is to overcome an obstacle every single day.  Therefore, biking with scrapped knees is only fitting.  It was just one more obstacle to overcome.  And I can say that not only did I overcome it, I demolished it in the process.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday's Run Before the Bike

One of my friends always says that when her family says her training is crazy, there is always someone out there who is crazier.

Yesterday was the Chicagoland's Tour de Cure, an event that I had a small role in helping out with and  was also a team captain.  My friend and I had these grand plans to ride 100 miles in this event ever since we signed up.  We both have never completed a century ride.  My farthest was 75 miles, done last fall, and hers 98 done at Ragbrai a few summers ago.  Plus, a century ride is on my bucket list for the year.  I thought it would be meaningful to complete it at the Tour de Cure ride.

However, as much as I love to ride my bike, running is my true love, and yesterday was the kick-off of marathon training.  I was supposed to run 12 miles yesterday, however, my friend (also a marathon runner) and I decided 10 miles would be good.

She came over to where I live at 4:15 AM on Sunday morning so we could fit our run in before the ride.  We promptly left at 4:20 and ran out 5 miles, had some GU, and started to come back.  Then, at mile 7.5, this happened to me:


I tripped on the uneven sidewalk and scrapped my knees.  After laying on the sidewalk for a minute, my friend promptly told me I had to get up because if any cop cars drove by they would think she beat me up, which made me laugh.  Luckily, one of my hands landed in the grass and the other, which held a handheld water bottle, was unharmed.  The handheld, though, sustained all of the damage and broke. 

We ran the remaining 2.5 miles back to where I live, and maintained the same pace as my pre-fall.  My friend so kindly posted the picture above to Facebook, where the comments were entertaining to read.  I changed into my bike clothes and off we went to Aurora, the city where the Chicagoland Tour de Cure started.  Who says a little fall will deter me from riding my bike?

...To be continued tomorrow...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

5k is not the same as a Marathon

I had the pleasure of viewing this conversation on Facebook.  Two people I went to high school with recently got into running, and have been running all of the local 5k's or similar back in then tristate area.  

This was the conversation that happened under a picture that they posted.

Runner #1: I ran the race in xx:xx and placed 13th out of 75 in my age group!!!  I am starting to get the hang of this marathon thing :)

Person #1: You flew by me at mile 1 and I never saw you again

Person #2: I love your matching shoes!

Runner #1: You should join us for one.  We are doing the race in (city) next weekend.

Person #2: I can't because i have to work.

Runner #1: At the end of the month we are doing the Color Run.  We are also running two more marathons in July in the area.

It amazes me how Runner #1 interchanged the words 5k and marathon, acting like they were the same thing.  Personally, I have always known the difference because I grew up around running.  Marathons were a great distance, 5ks a short run.

Having trained for both 5ks and marathons before, I can, as well as anyone else, say that there is a gigantic difference.  It takes a few weeks to train for a 5k, but months and hours upon hours to train for a full marathon.  It would be like saying that you got a home run in baseball when really you were walked.  You still got on base, but it was only to first.  You did well, but could have gone farther.

This isn't to say that running 5ks is easy.  I think they are incredibly hard if you run them all out.  However, they are nothing like a marathon.  5ks are done in 30 or less minutes, while marathons take a few more hours to finish.

Are there other things that you often hear people confuse? I have heard 5k and marathon before, but also biathlon and duathlon often get confused.