My last big training session was Saturday in Emerald Isle. I did five hours on the bike and an hour run. It was a good mental and physical test. I fine-tuned my nutrition, I ran well off the bike and I faced the pros and cons of a relentless wind. It launched me into my taper. It was a key ride for me in more ways than one.
See......what had happened was:
I headed to the Crystal Coast with Dirty Spice early on Saturday morning. The plan was to do an out and back from the south end of the beach to Fort Macon and back. Jen would then ditch me and head to a local chowder joint to grade papers, eat chowder and drink a beer while I headed out for the last of my ride and run. I gave her the key to the Falcon in case she needed to come get me or wanted to drive to ChowdaHeads.
We headed out into an AMAZING headwind (hashtagnotamazing) and made it to Fort Macon in less than two hours. We took a nature break (in the restroom), ate a gel, fixed Jen's aerobar arm rest and took pictures.
We headed south and stopped at our favorite park and took our traditional goofy pictures and see-sawed. We hit the road again and ten minutes later, Jen yelled STOOOPPP!!!! Something she heard (tink tink in her spokes) prompted her to reach for the car key. It wasn't there. It wasn't in her jersey pocket or her bento box or her shorts.
We rode on the wrong side of the road, looking for the key in the bike lane - super sketchy - do not try it at home. No luck. We headed back to the park to check the playground. No luck. I ordered her to retrace our route south while I headed north to Ft. Macon (praying for a miracle and forgiveness the whole way). The great thing is that we're pros at finding money - we're obsessed with finding shiny objects in the road. If anyone can find a key on a 26 mile stretch of black top - we can. Neither of us did.
I made it to Fort Macon and checked our photo op stop. No luck. I checked the spot where Jen had fixed her aerobars and checked every stall in the bathroom. No luck. I was about to leave when I thought, I'll just go in and see if they have a lost and found. As I clickety clacked across the rotunda at the visitor's center I asked the two women at the welcome desk, did anyone by any chance turn in a........ and before I could finish, the woman reached for a key, sitting on the edge of the desk and held it up!
Someone had found it in the parking lot and turned it in! Hallelujah. I cried a little and did a little dance. I called Jen, headed south with a tailwind and met up with her north of the bridge off the island. We proceeded as planned before I joined her for chowder. Last big ride in the books!