Because I don't have kids, I can't say I know what it's like to feel badly for one's child when they are sick. But I do have a tri-bike, a Gwen, and this past week she has been "under the weather". Ok, actually Chicago has been under the weather, Gwen just hasn't been able to go outside because of the snow....and flooding.....sigh. But even more so, I was still struggling with this tire issue, why wouldn't it stay inflated? I had changed the tube twice, checked the tire tape and the tire....nothing made sense. So I gave in and took her to Performance. Or well, I took the back tire into Performance. By this time I had taken her apart and put her back together so many times that it was exhausting, and it was clear she needed not be put back together until this was fixed.
Shout out and props to the coach lady and her soon-to-be-hubby, Jeff, who showed me the ins and outs of how to change a tire. The first time I had to do it alone it took an hour almost and I thought to myself, "If this happens in a race I'm just going to pull out the 'damsel in distress' card". But it got easier, the 4th, 5th, and 6th time around. And at this point I can honestly say that I would have a fighting chance of getting her all fixed up in a decent amount of time that it wouldn't set my bike time back an hour :) Honestly I would recommend anyone who is doing a longer race, half or full IM pull someone aside and have them show you how to do it. I hated training for Racine last year, hitting the bike path and thinking in the back of my mind, "If my tire pops, game over." It offers a good sense of control and eases the mind.
Anyways, the point of this post is that after all of this, one of the guys at Performance had found the TINIEST hole in my tube. I couldn't even see it, but he put it up to my face and asked if I could feel the air. I felt kind of silly, especially after coming in to the store telling him and another sale's associate that I had taken it apart too many times to count. They didn't seem to see it that way though, they were actually more impressed with my ability to take the bike apart. So much so that as we kept talking they offered me an application to the store. I had to laugh, didn't I just go through this? And didn't I just decide I didn't have time? The guys were awesome though and assured me they would work with my schedule if I really wanted it. And, well, next thing you know I'll be starting at Performance in May. Oh geeeeze!
As I walked out to my car, fully filled tire in hand, I felt a great sense of accomplishment! The tire issue was solved and I had in my possession 5 new tubes (hopefully I don't need any of them for a while!) and a new connection to the endurance world. We'll see how this goes....stay tuned!