Anyway, back to Beth's Mom and why she's a saint. So while I was there I basically followed Beth's schedule for the five days and that involved LOTS of biking, some running and a little swimming. Did I mention the biking.. oh the biking.. the many many hours pushing those pedals!
Over five days I had around 330 miles in by our calculations and trust me when I say, just like Branden from MADE, my hiney was in PAIN (feelin ya Dog, feelin ya).
It was pretty much eat, sleep, get clothes ready, train, eat, train again (you get the drift). Somewhere along the way we realized that the roads of South Carolina were not the nice to our bike tires and first it was Beth's turn to Flat on a 4 hour jaunt (about 3:15 in so we got rather far!). Our CO2 would just not cooperate so we were left with only one option, call Beth's Mom to come to our rescue! Like the Saint she is, she dropped everything and came after us!
The next and final day was our 5 hour ride and I had two tubes, 2 CO2's and high hopes that we would be fine. I mean come on.. Beth had already had enough bad luck for both of us right?! WRONG... one hour in and I already flatted and the CO2 adapter struck out. We were close enough to home that I rode the flat back about 4 miles changed it, and pumped it at the house. Tag team - back out on the road again!
We treaded lightly and didn't speak much during those first 45 minutes. A couple of times I thought I felt something.. "whew" false alarm I thought! At 47 minutes in it sounded like a gun went off. I said few choice words and we pulled over.
We both looked as deflated as the tire. We'd already spent 40 mins on the last flat and here we were again. I almost gave up and told Beth to go on, but we decided to call on Nadine (Beth's Mom) once again. "Hey Mom" Beth said, "can you drive out here and bring us a pump when you come?" I felt so bad, there we were AGAIN asking her to come to our rescue. She didn't hesitate! Now we were about 1.5 hours behind schedule, but after it was changed we were off again and thanked her Mother profusely! Between us we only had one tube left, and one CO2 but we were going to get this done if it killed us!
That 5 hour ride turned into a 7 hour+ day by the time it was said and done. I determined a few things..
1. Beth's Mom is a Saint (and her Dad is very nice too, but he was on a work trip much of the time so it was more her Mom who cooked amazing meals, did laundry and helped us in our time of need)
2. Snickers bars and Diet Coke at some gas station (where some guy is dressed up the like the statue of liberty and trying to talk to Beth) just might save your life and allow you to get home
3. You can get two flats per person in two days (even though that is against most odds)
4. I have improved my tube changing skills ten fold
5. You can fit two girls in an ice bath at the same time (one with bad hair - that would be me)
6. I am so very lucky to have friends like Beth who I can share the ups and downs, laugh with and sometime cry with and who help me to become a better athlete than I was before.
It was a great trip and I would have never thought I could train that much or that hard and still make it through. I also realized that although I had really glamorized in my mind this life of "training all the time" this @#$# is hard.. like really hard. Your legs are aching, your back hurts, and the LAST thing you want to do is get back on that saddle the next day. You know what you do.. you do it anyway. You do it because you have a friend who's counting on you, you do it because you have a husband who was willing to sacrifice and hold down the fort by himself for a month to allow you to have this time to train and you do it because it's what you always wanted and you're not about to waste this chance to get stronger and faster and see where it takes you.
If those aren't good enough reasons, well, then I don't have any. It is hard, and it's only going to get harder... but I'll take it.. all of it. It will be worth it when I finish my first professional year (that I feel like started about three weeks ago) and say I really put in some time to see how it went. That's a chance I'll take over and over again.
A HUGE thanks to Beth for encouraging me to raise my game and for never giving up on us finishing that ride! A MILLION thanks to her Mom, Nadine, who without, we would have never been able to train like that due to the home cooked meals and SAG service! You rock Nadine!
Now I'm down in Florida mooching off of of my Mom for three weeks while I train in 70 degrees and sunny! It's been great so far and I've been doing a little work too.. really!
See! Thank the Lord for Mothers!