OK, so, there are times when you really want to crush yourself into oblivion (OK so I’ve heard that some people have those desires, whatever), but this what I endured this weekend was completely accidental.

My wife and I decided to have an adventure weekend for our anniversary.  We spent an amazing Saturday at Brownstone Park.  If you like the water, this is the place for you.  You can swim, play on obstacles in the water, kayak, and zip line.  It was a blast.

My wife and I tested out our new wetsuits with a quick swim.  We both bought Xterra Vortex 3 wetsuits (more on those in a later post) and wanted to get used to them.  We are both really tentative swimmers, and with our first open water tris looming in the horizon we needed to get used to swimming in them.

The good news is that the buoyancy that the wetsuits provides makes open water swimming that much more doable.  We had a blast that day and had a great dinner that night.

The next morning had a bike ride on the schedule.  We set out for a 30 mile bike ride through the eastern half of CT.  I knew it was going to be hilly, but we were going to test our limits.  Unfortunately the trip was pretty last minute so I literally mapped out a route minutes before leaving the house with my 2 year old climbing all over me.  We started the ride and it was tough.  We about collapsed (actually my wife literally did) on the way up a large hill in Glastonbury.  We had figured it would be a 2 and a half hour ride.  About an hour and change we were at mile 13.  That’s when things got ugly.  The route turned abruptly into a gravel “road.”  Before long we were walking it.

About 1/4 mile later we passed a jogger and I asked how long before the gravel ended, and he said maybe 1/2 mile further down the road there was a turn off.  Great!  We walked on and 1/2 mile later there was a turn, but the gravel continued.  There was a small paved path leading the way the directions had mapped it, but that was all.  We got back on the bikes to follow the paved path, and when I went to clip in my right foot I couldn’t.  it just kept slipping.  That’s when I realized that my clip had broken off somewhere in the gravel.  I figured it was a lost cause to try to search for it, so I clipped in one foot and headed down the trail.  About 1/4 mile later the pavement ended and so did any semblance of civilization.  The route that I had mapped out had a turn onto reservoir road.  Reservoir Rd. as it turned out, was a dirt path trail through the forest.  We literally forded several streams through the trail.  I took my shoes off and did the best i could to carry my bike, drop it off, go back to my wife, carry her bike, drop it off, etc.  Luckily I had my iPhone so I could check the route and see we were headed in the right direction (gmaps still said we were on reservoir Rd btw.

Finally, through the brush, we could see the road ahead.  For the first time in maybe an hour, I was excited.  That hope was soon deflated when we got to the next gravel road!

My wife flagged down a truck and asked how long before the gravel ended, and he said at least 2 miles.  Ugh.  We tried to ride but we were sliding all over the place.  I was too afraid of breaking of my only remaining cleat and then being stranded with no way to pedal, so I decided to walk in my socks.  We walked the next 2 miles watching google for signs of life.  I noticed that the road we were on intersected another road and thought that had to be where the gravel ended.  When we got there it was still gravel.  The time was flying by, and it was 3 and 1/2 hours since we started the 2 and 1/2 hour  bike ride and we were still on gravel.  Finally, up in the distance, almost like a mirage was chip seal.  I was never so happy to see chip seal in my life.

My wife suggested that we find a more direct route (we still had another 13 miles at this point) and I found a 6 mile route that would get us back.  We rode the rest of the way to the car without too much in the way of incidents.  I did have a lot of issues making up any hills since I was really only able to push down hard using my left leg.  It sure was a great one legged workout though.

As an added reminder of that painful day the soles of my feet hurt so much from walking in socks over the gravel that I can barely walk at this point.

[Update: 2 weeks later my feet still bother me if I step on anything out of the ordinary, like the fringe of our Persian rug.  I can run now, so that’s good.]