Saturday, March 19, 2005

Expensive Weekend

We decided to put Dan's car in the shop Friday. There had been a problem with the front end for awhile, so we got that fixed and had a few other minor things worked on. With his car still in the shop, I went to do the grocery shopping last night. At my last stop, I came out of the store to find my right rear tire completely flat. The security guard told me it had just collapsed for seemingly no reason.


Without Dan's car available to ferry the groceries home, I could only hope AAA would arrive quickly. In the meantime I tried to fill the tire using a can of Fix-A-Flat, to no avail. Odd. I checked the outside of the tire, but could find nothing that explained what was wrong.

The tow truck arrived while I was struggling with the lug nuts, in hope of being able to put the spare on without assistance. The driver was stronger and had better tools though, so he go the spare on quickly and luckily it was good. But the real surprise was when we examined the defective tire. The inside wall was a solid mass of cracks! I check my tires fairly regularly, but how the heck does one look for cracks on the inside sidewall? I was more than a little disturbed, since it would've been a disaster if the tire had decided to self-destruct on the freeway.

So I drove home and then we pondered our new dilemma. Dan and I had planned to ride the new Tour de Houston bike ride in the morning. But if we did that, it might take hours to get a new tire afterwards, which would interfere with lunch, schoolwork, naps and any number of other plans for the day. I went to bed frustrated and uncertain about what to do.

I guess my brain worked on the matter while I slept, because it was pretty clear in the morning. Dan would meet his friend Neil to do the Tour de Houston and I would drop off the car for a new tire and balancing while I went for a run. It was a perfect solution, since I wasn't very sure if I really wanted to do the bike ride anyway. The longest distance was only 40 miles and it seemed like the type of ride that would attract a lot of slow-moving amateurs who would only annoy me.

So things worked out well. Dan went to meet his friend and ride the three miles to the ride start downtown, and I dropped off the car. As it turned out, the NTB downtown was open early and I could've done the bike ride anyway. (Tip to NTB: Put your shop hours on your phone message!) It was too late to try to get home and get my bike, but I ran down to City Hall for the heck of it, hoping to find Dan and his friends in the huge crowds. I was amazed at how many people had turned out for this ride! It's great publicity for the city, but I had to circle the area twice before finding Dan. He told me the organizers had run out of numbers and ride packets and were giving away wrist bands. I guess even the city was surprised!

So after wishing Dan and his buddies a good ride, I crossed in front of the downtown library and headed west on Lamar, through Heritage Park and onto the Allen Parkway side of the bayou trails. It was fun watching the cyclists go by, watching all the time for my friends. I was almost at the point near Montrose where the trail dips below street level when I heard Dan call my name. I turned and waved to him, and he waved back. It was just like old times when he used to ride with his friends every Saturday morning and I looked forward to the points where our routes would cross.

So I continued on my run in a good mood. I decided to keep things simple and went up Memorial to Chimney Rock, then turned around and came back. It was about 14 miles, but I was having a bit of ITB trouble, so with my walk breaks I ran only about 13.5. I was surprised to find myself getting pretty anxious the further west I continued on Memorial. I'm used to knowing I can always cut a run short if I need to and just go home or even call Dan to come get me. I've never needed to do it, but it's one of those things that's nice to know. Today with both cars in the shop, I didn't have much choice but for my own legs to get me back downtown and it messed with my head a bit. Interesting the odd notions one has sometimes.

So I got back to NTB and the car was ready. Luckily none of the other tires had cracks (I had them check) and I was only out $125 for the one tire. There is no such thing as a budget tire for an RX-7, apparently. I drove home and did a spectacularly bad job of parking it. Long runs damage brain cells. That's my story, at any rate. And after I showered and got myself fixed up a bit, we went and had our customary Saturday Indian food. I was so hungry I had double portions! And after lunch, Dan's car was ready, so now we're a two-car household again and all is right with the world.

I had been thinking of doing the Tour de Cypress tomorrow morning, but my right IT band is really giving me some trouble. Given that it's also a bit rainy, I might just blow the whole thing off. I hate it that I'm skipping so many rides this season, but cycling really messes with my IT bands for some reason. I guess I need to schedule another appointment with the bike fitter.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 45 minutes core/strength training
Tuesday: 45 minutes core/strength training, 30 min elliptical, 30 min run Wednesday: 45 minutes core/strength training, 45 min Spinervals 7.0 Uphill Grind
Thursday: 45 minutes elliptical
Friday: 45 minutes core/strength training
Saturday: run, 13.5 miles

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