No, not fixing the tooth. Remember, I've got the best dentist in the world. Not only does he understand triathlon, he's got deft fingers. He took one look at my tooth and laughed.
"You had me a bit worried when you said a huge chunk had fallen off; this is no big deal at all."
And it wasn't. Less than half an hour after lying down, I was up again, ready to go. And yes, it really was a huge chunk; almost half the filling was exposed. No followup needed. It becomes another thing to keep track of during the regular checkups.
The painful part was the bike ride today. Maybe I should have skipped it. With the last few weeks of good rides, I'd built my confidence up and was feeling good about the bike. After today's ride I'm not so sure anymore.
It was overcast and cool when I started out. I felt fairly good, and was looking forward to a fairly strong 5 hour ride. I wasn't out to set any records, but wanted to maintain a good pace and finish strong. By the end of the first hour I knew that wasn't going to happen. I was already hurting more than I had at the end of the 180+ ride last weekend. I could not get comfortable. My toes hurt, my legs were weak and feeble noodles. My right knee was really, really down on this whole bending thing. My hands hurt. My triceps were just killing me, especially the left, and in fact it still hurts now. My neck and upper back hurt. And my butt, holy crap did that hurt! It felt like someone had installed a couple of pointy bits on the saddle right where they would go into my sit bones.
I rode out 22X and down 22, a route I'm really familiar with in all sorts of wind conditions. The first hour was about what I had expected, but instead of building on that, I knew I was going to be lucky to hold onto that pace. Down to Millarville and west, doing not too badly, but struggling to stay focussed. I turned around where the road turns to gravel just after the Quirk Creek gas plant. Then went up 762 to the very top of the hill, and turned around. I got back to 549 right at 2:30.
So technically, what I should have done was turned around, gone back up the hill and down again, back to Quirk Creek, then headed for home. I couldn't. I just couldn't. I headed for home. Already my average pace was dropping off, and I felt weaker than ever. No matter which way I faced it seemed like I was into the wind. Normally I don't mind but today I was taking it personally.
I struggled along, wondering why I was feeling so weak, and so down about the ride. I'm not sure if the physical weakness drove my attitude, or if my lack of enthusiasm for the ride translated into the physical feebleness. At the 90 K point I was about 3:35. If this had been a 180 K ride I think I would have quit and called Linda to tell her which ditch she could find me in. As it was, there were a couple places I wanted to call it a day. One in particular, standing up to give my butt a break had my knee screaming. For a few seconds I thought I'd actually broken or torn something.
As I've been doing lately, I had thought carefully about nutrition. I'd had a good breakfast, and was even with the plan at the very least, and if anything was a little ahead of it. By and large it wasn't a bad day for riding. The clouds cleared a bit, and it wasn't cold. No rain at all, despite a 60% chance in the forecast, and threatening looking clouds at the start.
I am trying to retain my confidence about the bike ride. For some reason I've really struggled with the bike this year. If I'd known how slow and painful it would be, I think I would have skipped it. After all, workouts are supposed to build confidence and fitness, right? This workout didn't, and didn't. I don't think one builds fitness riding way, WAY slower than normal. How slow was it? 4.5 hours to go 108 K. That's about 24 Kph on roads that I typically average 26 to 27 Kph on. Even that's deceptive since the first two hours were mostly on track.
When I got home I put Estela into the basement and told her that she's a good bike and it's not her fault. Then I hit the showers. I simply didn't see the point of a T run. I'm going to try to put it behind me and think positively about the upcoming storm of workouts. One last build to go. Only a few more workouts, in the grand scheme of things, till taper, and the big day. But I'm feeling it today. I've been working at this fitness thing pretty hard and pretty steady now for 3 years. Almost all of it has been fun. Today wasn't fun, not even close. At this moment, this very moment, I think about IMC and it's "uggg, one more thing to do." As in, one damn thing after another.