Broken Bolts, Bonking and Papers

Not much of a tri update this time around.

As I mentioned in my last post, my parents were driving up from Florida; my dad was to help me rebuild the rear suspension on my 1964 Chevy Fleetside truck. And that’s what we did.

The front end of the trailing arms broke free pretty easily. Almost every other bolt had to be cut off, which took quite a bit of time on Saturday. Luckily I foresaw this situation and had ordered all new bolts and nuts, which were on hand before we started this project. By the end of Saturday, the only thing attaching my rear axle to the truck was one bolt on the rear torsion bar.

Good thing we did this job too. Once we had things off, I found that one spring was broken and both U-bolts holding the trailing arms to the axle were badly worn and that one was cracked about 75% of the way through. What does that mean? If the bolt broke, especially at freeway speeds, the rear axle could have swung wildly and I would have had zero chance of controlling the beast. Not a good thing.

It was quite a bit of hard work. Trying to torque off rusted, frozen bolts that have been in place some 43 years tested my tri-shaped muscles in ways they weren’t used to. By Monday, I was completely knackered, almost worse than after some of my long bricks.

As with any vehicle work, injuries come and go. Luckily we both got out with minor scrapes and a few bruises. Although on Sunday it was touch and go for a minute as I was wedged up under the frame, sitting up with my back and shoulders pressed against the frame. I reached out for a tool and my left arm popped out of its socket, which happens from time to time with me. Unfortunately, it was stuck straight out and I couldn’t move it by myself to let it slide back into place; I was wedged in well enough that I couldn’t slide my butt forward to get the pressure off of my shoulder. Luckily, my lovely bride and mom (who went to nursing school way back when) were able to rush over, stabilize my arm and slowly rotate it forward enough for it to settle back into place. Just a few minutes later I was back under the truck pushing and pulling.

After two weekends with two different sets of parents, today was the beginning of my serious training for my Iron-distance race in September. And I started off in fine form. After a long run this morning and a small lunch, I was up to my old tricks of not fueling enough. Needless to say I bonked on my ride this afternoon. So I’ve been spending my evening trying to make up the deficit.

On top of all of that, I had to submit three topics to write on for my online English class. The topics were due yesterday, but I finally decided on three topics while on my ride today. Oh well, 24 hours late is better than not at all. The bad thing is that of the three topics, we’ll have to pick only one and then write our three papers this term on the same topic, writing from different perspectives. The exercises will be interesting, but like most of my classes, I’ll be bored with it only eight weeks into the 12-week course. Luckily the course will be done in mid-August, a full month before my race.

Twelve+ hours of training this week, my lovely bride’s birthday, and a Tool concert to end the week. All-in-all, good days ahead.

Why We Tri

Endurance Planet just posted a wonderful little video entitled “Why we Tri“. Click on the title to open the video in a new window. Unfortunately I can’t embed it here.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Last week was my first training week after my post-race recovery. My virtual coach had me straight back into high volume Base training with a 15-hour training week. Too bad I didn’t make that, but I’m OK with the idea.

My in-laws dropped in for a few days, which made training at that volume a bit hard to fit in. But that’s OK, family comes first with no reservations. This weekend my parents come into town and it’ll be the same thing. I’ll squeeze in a run or ride if I can, but I don’t plan on it, especially since my Dad’s coming in to help me rebuild the back end suspension of my ’64 Chevy truck. I know I’ll get plenty sweaty doing that. I’ve already managed to break a few bolts and I suspect I’ll break a few more. If not, I know I’ll be cutting a few off too.

One thing I’ve been amazed with is how fast the corn is growing. The back of the yard butts up against several hundred acres of corn planted by the Mennonite family that lives just up the hill. This weekend I walked back and looked at the corn, which was just barely waist high. Today, just a few days later, it’s chest high, perhaps chin high in places. And on today’s ride, I discovered the downside to the fast growth. Where I recently had wide open roads and fields which made it easy to see cross-traffic approaching, I now have a few blind corners on my favorite routes. Oh well, I’d rather have the greenery and scenery.

I hope all is well with you.