I'm Back I'm Back I'm Back
BOO BOO BOO BOO!!
Good things about returning home from Tucson:
1. Plane ride. I read A Reliable Wife (It's good, Jen. A literary bodice ripper. Have you read it for your group yet?)
2. I had a nice lunch with Mel in Dallas while we waited for our connecting flight.
3. I was reunited with my man, my bambinos and my old, stinky dog.
4. Andy had CLEANED MY CAR AND THE REFRIGERATOR.
(That earns major points. Major. Way better than jewelry or flowers. Not better than carbon or a power meter, though.)
Alas, that's the end of the good upon coming home.
There is a cold, steady rain that's been relentless for the last 36 hours. In Tucson it was dry, sunny and 70's every day we were there.
Where to begin.....
Traveling with a bike is--- a challenge. I'm too little to deal with those huge-ass bike boxes. But Mel and I got our bikes checked in and then checked out, somehow managed to haul them to the rental car, and somehow managed to make it to our condo which was 40 minutes away. (Thank God for the iPhone with a GPS.) I don't have a great sense of direction. Actually, I'm down right developmentally delayed when it comes to direction. But we got there! After arriving we clumsily put our bikes together--but again, WE DID IT. I'm starting to thinking that disassembling and assembling my bike is... gasp... easy. We met a bunch of other campers who all seemed very nice and looked super athletic.
Then Jen and Jerome showed up. I was a little start struck. (Not by you, Jerome. Sorry:) I have worked with Jen for about a year and a half now, but we've never met and it was funny to actually be there--with her. She is very pretty--and it's not that she is not pretty in her pictures on her website, it's just that she is striking in person. Also, I think it's strange to have a voice, a personality, and a picture merge and come to life in front of you. I couldn't help but wonder if I appeared different in real life than I do on my blog. I got distracted by that thought and had a bit of trouble communicating like a normal person for awhile.
Then Ange showed up, and I was brought back to my self. It's hard to feel weird when you are with a person you've known since you were eight. We put Ange bike together, and then went to bed early so we could.....
Climb Mt. Lemmon the next morning!
I admit--I kinda like climbing. I was looking forward to seeing how it felt to go up for 26 miles. We had a short jaunt to Lemmon, but.... right after we started I knew something was wrong. Everyone sailed ahead of me and I was breathing like I was in zone 100. Every gear felt like my hardest gear. Was it altitude? Was it my bike? Was it ME???? Did I just plain suck? OMG! I DID SUCK!
We arrived at the base of Lemmon. Melissa patiently rode with me and asked, Are you okay? You're looking a little spent....I couldn't even talk I was breathing so hard.
I got off my bike, spun my front wheel. Fine. Spun my back wheel. No movement. Tried again. No movement. Finally, I got it to budge. The brake was locked on my wheel in a grip so tight it was almost impossible to move the wheel.
THANK. FUCKING. GOD.
There was a reason.
Jon, a fellow camper, helped me move the brake so it wasn't against the wheel. We had to leave my brake release open to do this. (scary). Still, I was incredibly relieved when I started riding again. I could ride! I could go! That was the hardest 20 minutes of the entire weekend--both physically and psychologically.
The trip up the mountain was a piece of cake after that. Any time it got a little hard I just thought, Not as hard as riding with your rear brake locked on your wheel...I zipped up to where Ange was, and spent the rest of the day climbing with her, Cheryl, Jen and Rich. The landscape was stunning: all rock and sand and cacti; all browns and yellows and pale, olive green. NOTHING like the northeast. I felt like I was in a movie set. It just didn't seem real.
View from near the top of Lemmon
This is Jerome (Jen's husband) at the top of Lemon.
When we get back we went for a t-run. Here I learned (for the a billionth time) that I am unable to slow down when I think I may be holding people back. I ran with Jen and Ange, and we just kept picking up the pace. It was hot. I was feeling like crap. But STILL I would not slow down. Lesson here. Anyway!
That night Jen and Jerome took us to Blanco. I love Mexican, and I was psyched for a big ass burrito and a beer after the hard day of climbing!
I ate way too much and had to be rolled to the car. But it was still very fun. I began to really get to know the other campers, and I was psyched for the next day--a swim, and then a long run in the mountains.
end of Part 1! This post is getting too long, and I still have so much I want to report and say! Stay tuned mis amigos. Gracias.