I've neglected my blog this past week... I know... I'm embarrassed. So, updates since the last post. My knees kept getting better after Thursday. I took Rusty for a long walk on the Greenbelt trail, and drove down to Galveston that night. Andrew and Mandy came down to meet me the next day, and we bummed around until Take a Hike Ike! on Sunday morning. My knees felt pretty much entirely better. Me = ecstatic. I was so stoked for that race, despite the high winds and 40 degree weather. Then, when we got there, we're informed that it's been turned into a duathlon - and at the time this seemed like more cause for cheering, due to the close-to-freezing weather and dark, choppy Lake Houston waters. I'll not lie. I cheered. Loudly. People might have looked at me strange. I did not care. So I'm prepping for the race - now a 3.5 mile run, 12 mile bike, 3.5 mile run (supposedly the runs were 3.0 miles... but not according to a friend's fancy Garmin thing) - and trying to figure out how to keep from freezing in a tri suit packed when it was 85 degrees outside. I end up in a long-sleeved race t-shirt, short-sleeved cycling jersey, and a pair of tights borrowed from some random guy at the race who said "Oh my god you don't have tights?! I have some in the car! Hold on!" Ok. I like tights. The race went well for the most part. Managed to keep a pretty steady training pace throughout the whole course. Had plenty of trouble in transition, mainly due to frozen hands and toes, but still was quicker than I used to be...
Finished with plenty of energy left, 8th over-all woman, 2nd in my AG... Man, I was on cloud-nine! Not too shabby for a training race! And I got lots of compliments on the bike - Big Tex - and on my race, too. The weather had warmed up, and I had a hot shower waiting for me at the hotel. Talk about awesome. So I said good-bye to my mom (she came up to Houston for the race), and hit the road.
Not an hour later, I'm in a gas station parking lot in Huntsville, crying hysterically, with my poor, sweet, $4,000 TT bike's broken little body hanging off my now useless bike rack. And because of the situation in the parking lot, no one knows who is at fault. Chances are, I'm taking the blame for chipping the bug protector on homeboy's giant-ass, Texas-sized truck which crunched Big Tex like a a thin piece of cardboard. I don't care about the new plaque in my front seat. The Sonic Blizzard in the cup-holder is forgotten and melting. I am frantically calling my coach/bike shop/random cycling friends to see what can be done TODAY - not tomorrow, TO-DAY. I finally get home to Denton, after driving 3 hours in a complete daze. I go straight to our team's bike shop, wheeling Big Tex like I would wheel my child, if I ever had a child with wheels. All the regular guys crowd around the repairs area as they hang my bike up... and...
"I'm really sorry Morgan... but... the frame is cracked..."
My beautiful carbon-fiber bike that I dreamed about for months and months and treated like my own child, who had survived my first major cycling wreck with me, who made me 3mph faster on average in my first ever race with him... I cried. All of the middle-aged cyclists in the shop were torn between comforting me and gaping at the disaster that was my once-perfect time trial bicycle. Asking what kind of insurance I have. Telling me that sometimes Specialized will do a crash replacement discount on bikes that new. Awkwardly patting me on the back. Telling me they know exactly how I feel. As I, who have completely lost all control and self-respect, stand there crying like I've lost my first-born. Well, I assume that's what it was like since I don't have any actually children.
I stayed at the shop for almost half an hour, just staring at my bike. It was like if I walked away, it would really all be over. Like that was it - but as long as I stayed, there was still hope. I understand if you're not a cyclist that I sound borderline insane at the moment. It's ok.
I later find out my insurance won't give me any money, and I'm still trying to figure out how to replace the frame and crank set.
Back to my knees.
My knees started hurting again on Monday. I think doing the race on Saturday in racing flats was an unfortunate decision. My knees have gotten progressively worse all week. This has not helped my mood regarding Big Tex. I'm a fast runner - but I need my knees. I'm a fast cyclist - but I need my bike. I'm a fast triathlete - but I need a little luck. Have you ever had one of those seasons where it just feels like you can't catch a break? Like as soon as everything get's better, it's going to get worse again, and maybe worse even than it was before? Like as soon as your knees are better and you place in your second multi-sport race of the year, your TT bike is going to get crunched, your knees are going to be jacked up again, and you're going to lock your keys in your car? I'm there. I've been there for about 6 months now. It's been a long 6 months. I know times like this can't last forever, but it's tough to stay positive when you just can't ever seem to stay on top. What do you do when it seems like things just keep falling apart?