51 mi ride/6 mi run. Good plan gone crazy! I woke up early for a 5am solo ride through to the Tiki hut, followed by a run of over 4 miles in the heat. Early prep and a drive to Marcinski Rd’s “bunker” stop. When I got to Donald Ross Rd and US-1 and it’s pouring rain. I checked my radar app, there’s a thunderstorm right over Juno. Nothing over Jupiter, nothing over North Palm Beach, just where I’m heading! Now getting caught in the rain on a ride, that happens. But there’s an annoying feeling about getting out of the car, dry and ready – then stepping right out into the thunderstorm. That’s me, I say to myself.”It could be like this in any race.” Sure, go with that.
I have the good lights, I have Oakley glasses with orange lenses that work in the dark and the light. They fog up from all the moisture plus my breathing. The sheets of rain blow across the road, making it tough to see, even with a good light, if that “thing” in the road is water or a large palm frond! I ride north to Circle K, then pull over to make sure my car key fob is dry, I swap it from my rear jersey pocket to the booty seat bag. I ride back into the rain – heading north towards the two metal bridges. I really make sure I’m careful crossing the drawbridges and I find the rain slowing and roads clearing once past Coral Cove Park. It’s very dark on Jupiter Island, I see a police car parked at Blowing Rocks – no problems, just patrolman on rest. When I get near the “Y” in the road (at Celine Dion’s home) I find my rear tire is flat. I have all the tools, I repair, find a green piece of glass, and setup for refill. Only problem is, I have one empty screw cartridge from Erica’s last flat, and another one that goes “Pfff” when I install it. Now I have no air to fill the newly replaced tire. I wait 45 minutes in the shadow of the only streetlight around – getting picked at by little bugs, to see my first rider. A guy, he says he has no cartridges with him to help me. A girl with a light on zips by and just says, “Hi.” A thrid man rides over and lends me a CO2, this works and I’m back on the open road, an hour delayed, heading north. I figure it will be great to ride to Sandsprit Park now, then run hard once off the bike. I make a short stop at the park – I am back riding in minutes and heading south. Once over the RR tracks on Old Dixie Hwy, I get another rear flat. Now i’m really in trouble, I know I have no repair equipment short of a tube. I ride 3 miles south at 17 mph with the rear flat. I think I’ll have really strong legs if I have to go 20+ miles on a flat. A girl rides up behind me and tells me I have a flat. I EXPLAIN IT’S MY SECOND FLAT OF THE DAY! I tell her I have the tube, but no air. She offers an air cartridge, so I pull over and start the process over again. Her name is Amy, lived in Abacoa but recently moved with her husband to Hobe Sound. We talk, I make the repair and I thank her for the consideration and the help.
We ride spread apart by 1/4 mile to the bridge on Bridge Rd which is of course, going up. I was pretty annoyed with my plan to go early and not burn my whole morning, it’s evaporating right now and I’m helpless to stop the decay. I’m really looking forward to the run now – that’s going to be easy!
Once over the bridge I meet Dave and Roisin, ridnig south. I stay with and spea to them all the way to Jupiter Island’s end, they head home and I head south. I come along regular A1A and head back south to the duck pond. A quick lap around that allows me to crease the 50 mile mark. I have 51 done by the time I get home to the car at the bunker. I switch out some wet clothes, reapply sunscreen spray and run north. It’s hot out, most people are finishing rides, I don’t see too many runners. I go to Indiantown road then back south. I’ve brought a Clif Bar that I didn’t eat and Clif Shot Blocks which I eat 3 of 6. I take frequent water stops, it is very warm. I run back south along the sea grape trees as shady as I can be. Once done at Marcinski Road, I take off anything I care about and shower in the shade for about 5 minutes of clean, soaking water, just like I started!
Today was a mental test. It’s likely in a race things may goof up – but I learned to keep something positive to look forward to. Today is was the run.