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BFOS – The Saga Continues

Last Sunday’s run sucked like a Dyson on steroids. I’d had a great tempo run last Wednesday and had a target pace in mind, which I held for exactly 2 miles and then the Butt fell off the bus. I ran, I walked, I cussed, I hurt, I limped. I’d done two slow miles to warm up before the race, did the 5 Miler and gave up. My butt was trying to fall off and I was about fed up with it. I’d hoped to do twelve last Sunday since I’ve got the Tupelo run this weekend; unless I wanted to run the final 5 hopping on one foot – and I didn’t – I needed to bag it for the day.

This race, btw, is my absolute favorite, check it out: The race starts at 5am – pitch dark – from a huge furniture facility and is an out-and-back course through the Mississippi farmland. The half is actually 14.2 miles. The turnaround is 1.1 miles from the start/finish, so the halvers have to run an extra 1.1 to the finish line. They didn’t do medals for the halvers until a few years ago. You could do the half, but no medal. And the medal is awesome, you do want one: a skull with gleaming red enamel eyes. The half medal is even better: it’s a little bigger than a half a skull, with ragged edges as though it were torn in half. The t-shirt is always a long sleeve tie-dye with a skull and crossbones on the front and the race’s motto: “Hurdle the Dead. Trample the Weak.” Last week the RD sent the following announcement, in view of possible bad weather due to Isaac:

Special notice: Tupelo Marathon and 14.2 Miler Contingency plans regarding Hurricane Isaac

After consulting with Tupelo Running club Staff Meteorologist Michelle Rupp and long time, former Race Director Mike Lail I am announcing the contingency plan for this year’s race:

 A. In the event of rain we will get wet
B. In the case of heavy rain we will get really wet
C. In the case of REALLY heavy rain I will wait in the building until you’re all back

I’m concerned about the run tomorrow, I haven’t done more than 10 in a few weeks, and my butt tried to fall off yesterday at 6 miles. I’ve been doing some BFOS research and will report in later; I’m hopeful I’ve found some help but I doubt it’s going to work within 24 hours.

After the pain of Sunday I took Monday off and woke Tuesday with a plan. I was going to run four miles.



I was going to….

RIDE MATILDA!!!!!! This was the day. This was the plan. I was firm in my resolve and when Brain tried to squeak in my ear that maybe we should wait until tomorrow I squished him firmly back into his little dark corner and told him in no uncertain terms to Shut. Up.

I put her in the car and drove to a church about a mile from our house. It’s a great little church, very traditional Episcopalian church, white boxy old-fashioned building with a little steeple on the top, rather like Little House on the Prairie. They are really nice people, allowing a 5k/10k race to be held on their grounds every year, and they don’t mind runners using their parking lot to meet up and head out for a run so I figured they would not mind if I rode my bike in circles in their grass. Plus with it being a church and all, maybe God would be extra close at hand to rescue crazy women learning to ride a bike.

I took a deep breath and saddled up. We can do this. Just stay focused and stay calm. No panicking allowed. One thing I’d noticed when I was practicing clipping the last time is that I tend to stop my bike while still on the seat and then put my feet down. This worked fine when I was 12 and riding my Schwinn Stingray with the banana seat. On a street bike you can’t do that, the seat is too high, you can’t reach the ground. I’d never thought about it, though, when using the regular pedals as my foot was freer to pop off at the last second and land. Voilà – there was the main issue: I was trying to stop first and then unclip.

The ladies coming out of the exercise class at the church looked at me a bit funny as I pedaled in circles, focused: pedalpedalpedal, unclip, brake, slow almost to a stop, put foot down, unclip left foot. I did it! Look, Ma! No Cavities!

Emboldened by my success I decided to take a spin around the parking lot. Two exercise ladies were standing by their cars talking as I wobbled around the corner and almost took them both out – my bad, sorry! I told them I was just learning. They looked a bit alarmed and asked if they were going to have to scrape me off the asphalt, but I wobbled onward, thanking them.

12.5 miles and 51 minutes later I returned to the parking lot, unclipped and glided to a stop. I am a cyclist.

I am a runner, and I am a cyclist. And since I swam 10 laps last week, I’m claiming that, too.

I am not, however, a triathlete. nopenopenopenopenope.

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21 thoughts on “BFOS – The Saga Continues

  1. In my book, swim, bike, run = triathlon…….
    Therefore, a person who performs swimming, cycling and running, is a triathlete!
    Are you sure you’re not a triathlete in disguise…….
    And even if you still claim not to be a triathlete, you are at least a duathlete!
    Awesome work. Glad you didn’t face plant due to the lollipops. I’m so happy that Matilda got a spin out. She must be beaming.
    My Felt, who I am going to name Beatrice (Bea = Bee = black and yellow (her colours)….) is going to be happy tomorrow too when I ride a planned 30-35 miles in the sunshine! As long as the British weather holds out.
    Good luck with the long run……

    • *LALALALA* I can’t HEAR you…(fingers in ears)
      I love Beatrice!! And she’s a Felt, too! How did the ride go?
      I got the run done – slow – but done! More later!

      • Beatrice is great! She managed 39 miles yesterday – an out and back to a lovely little cafe that sells the most delicious carrot cake! I figured that cake was allowed on a long ride! Yum! I’ve started a new blog about my new triathlon adventures ( and there is a pic with me and Bea on there – she’s a pretty creature!
        We’re going on holiday today, and walking up England’s highest peak (Scafell Pike) tomorrow. I did say to the husband that climbing a mountain does not really constitute a holiday, but he sort-of Lalala’d me in the same way that you did! I will post more about bike riding, cake stops and mountains on my return!
        Looking forward to hearing about your run.

        • How cool! Hubs walked in while I was reading your comment. He lived in Liverpool for about 8 months in 2004 and climbed Helvellen twice. How much higher is Scafell Peak? The boys and I got to visit him for a couple weeks, spent a week touring Ireland, stayed in a B&B in Stratford upon Avon and saw a play which was great, then took the train to London for several days, walking everywhere about town. It was so great, so much I still wanted to do. And when two 16 y/o boys are enthused about everything you know it’s a great trip. I want to go back someday.

        • Oh, and I LOVE carrot cake – yum!

  2. Good luck on your run tomorrow! Show us the medal! And really – the contingency plan is plain AWESOME! 🙂

  3. Whatevs… potayto, potahto. I’m going to start calling you Tri.Dog.Cat.Me. You’re my hero (says the runner who can barely complete 4 laps in the pool and thinks clips might be the work of the Devil).

    Best wishes for the race tomorrow.

    • HAHAHA or TRY.Run.Dog.Cat.Me 😉
      I got it done today – very slow, but done.
      Honestly, I was riding in circles in the grass and mentally it suddenly just ‘clicked’ and I could feel how to do it. Not that I won’t dork something up and fall over anyway, but it all fell into place and felt right. I did not expect that.

  4. YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Woooooohoooooo!!

  5. Pshaw, yes, yes, yes you are a triathlete (in the making), just not YET! I am also one, just not YET! I have never tried the clips though, so, not the ones you put in your hair??

    • Yeah, no. Altho I do use the hair clips.

      My bike clips are the ‘lollipop’ kind because they look just like a lollipop, you can see them in the pic in the previous post (or the one before that, I can’t remember) Then your bike shoes have a plate on the bottom of them at your metatarsal area. When you get on the bike you press your foot into the clip and you are attached. The purpose of this is that you basically double your efficiency: when pedaling on normal bike pedals you only have power on the downstroke. Clipped, on the back half of your stroke uses the back of your leg, pulling the pedal up. You get a better workout – strengthens both sides of your leg, and you naturally go faster due to having power on the entire stroke.

      The other side of this is if you don’t unclip before you come to a stop the bike is going to fall over…with you attached. This is where the fear factor entered. Riding in circles in the grass I figured out how to unclip (you slip your foot sideways and slightly down and it snaps out of the pedal) so I can brake and put my foot on the ground to balance myself and the bike. Then I unclip the other foot.

      What surprised me most – and it was a worry to me before I accomplished it – was there was no ‘feeling’ of being stuck onto the bike while I pedaled, other than mentally knowing I was. It made pedaling easier and I did not feel trapped.

  6. Norma Parkinson on said:

    Oh, Terri, don’t fight it. You ARE a triathlete. And so am I, even tho my three are swim, bike and walk really, really fast because of my ruptured L5 disc. And my first tri, I came in third in my age group. Of course, there were only four of us in that group. I was just proud I finished.

  7. You’re my favorite non-triathlete blogger.

  8. Exactly…I knew you would have the “ah-ha” moment (when you “forget” you are attached to the bike and it all feels right). You’re on your way down that slippery slope toward your first tri…Good job, you! Now…about BFOS….are you riding in the drops on Matilda? I also have a ruptured L5 disc and riding in the drops caused raging BFOS for me. Why I’ve already decided it will be a mountain bike for any tri’s for me now. Stay tuned…..

    • Thanks!

      I am not riding in the drops, I have an issue with C3 and C4 sitting sideways upon one another (probably due to an accident while I was in high school). I have no disc issues but in a position like that and trying to look forward, the muscle strain and swelling in the area causes issues and I can only do it for a bit at a time. I did see the Exorcist yesterday and we’re still trying to figure BFOS out. It’s so irritating, I’m sure it’s some simple thing I’m doing, but damn, those spasms hurt.

      Staying Tuned!!!

      • are you doing any piroformis stretches? My PT warned me off anything that would stretch those muscles…something about the piroformis entrapping the sciatic nerve since it lays in that area….I’m with you on the “hurts like h-e-double toothpicks”…

        • Actually, I am – both the therapist and chiro said it’s too tight and stretch it. But not for long at a time, 15-20 seconds. Yeah, when it decides to spasm it will stop you in your tracks!

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