I’m writing this as I watch the Tour de France and wait for the fog to lift so that I can safely bike on the highway. These are my musings of what I’ve been thinking lately.
Long distance triathlon has many challenges. One of them is that the little things will drive you nuts. A small kink in your socks will turn into blister and hurt for the duration of the run and for days after. A loose water bottle will splash sports drink all over the bike, gumming up brakes.
Since it’s been a long time that I’ve trained for long distance I’m re-learning these little things, especially with regards to the long bike. Maybe it’s because I’m older and my nerves are shorter or maybe it’s because I’m more aware of the consequences of these little things. From choosing my bike route to ensuring my top tube container doesn’t hit my knees over and over, I’m learning what drives me crazy and has consequences:
- Finding a route where I can get out of the city with as little contact with a busy street is worth the extra distance and time.
- My aero bottle is great except I lost the velcro strap to hold it against the bike and it doesn’t quite fit properly in the first place. I have struggled for weeks to try to get the meffing thing to stay. I spent about half an hour fashioning a cut up bike tube to tie it against the bike. Hopefully it withstands the bumps in the road.
- My top tube bag kept hitting my knee because my bike is so compact. Last night I figured out another velcro issue to keep it from sliding to the one side.
Problem solving is so essential for this sport. It’s only taken me a few races and long rides to figure out what needs to happen. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Hopefully this will all transfer to race-day and I won’t have these little things drive me nuts. I need all the energy I can muster without spending emotional energy being irritated by these small issues. I hope I’ve worked out all the kinks for this year!