My race results

This past Sunday, while the rest of America was still dreaming about the Super Bowl, I did a brick. Well, not a real brick. I rode my bike fourteen miles to a Superbowl Sunday 10K starting line, and, then, after the race was over, I rode home. I was pleased with myself. Despite the cool weather (it was overcast and in the low 40s), the ride was no problem, and I did the run in record time: 48:56, or about a 7:53-minute mile. The ride home was no problem, either — that is, until the turn-off.

We were riding the American River Bike Trail, and I was supposed to get off around mile 20. By about mile fifteen I was burning out, though, and then at mile seventeen a guy blaring a radio decided to draft on my wheel. Gee, thanks, buddy. But whatever. Just a few more miles . . .

But then I didn’t see the turn off. I’d left my dad and his girlfriend behind, and I’d never gotten off of the bike path at this spot before. The guy behind me had me flustered, and . . . I missed it.

Dammit! I had no idea where I was or how far past it I’d gone. The guy with the radio finally passed me, and I found a place to turn around. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Shut up, legs! You’re not tired! Zooming down a hill: Mile 22 . . . mile 21 . . . Suddenly, “Daaaaaddddd!!!” I saw my dad and Elyse coming at me the other way. “Daaaddd, I don’t know where to go!!!!”


I did NOT look this happy on Sunday.

But my dad didn’t stop. He didn’t even turn his head. Whaaa-? I turned around again and pedaled like a madman. “Daaaddd!!!” “Daaaddd!!!” Why wasn’t he responding? “Daaaadddd!!!” Was he deaf?! “Daaaaaddddd!!!” What the hell?!

Finally, I caught up to them. “Daaaaa — oh! I’m so sorry! You’re not my dad!!!”

I have NEVER been so embarrassed.




Note: After passing the unknown couple, I pedaled like Lance Armstrong himself and finally found a place to get off the bike trail. I was too embarrassed to turn around on the bike trail so I back-tracked to my car by road. By the time I reached my car, I’d ridden nearly seventeen miles . . . and I still beat my dad and Elyse!

Have you ever done something embarrassing?


22 thoughts

  1. Hahaha! This is a funny story! Shows how fit you are, Jess! I wish I could be as fit as you, but I am a tiny skinny person with not much energy to jump around miles and miles that far. Also shows how determined you are :)

    Embarrassing stories? Last month it was 40’C or 104’F on a summer’s afternoon here in Melbourne. I was crossing the road and my left slipper broke. I shuffled along hoping it would stay friendly with my foot but it decided to lie on the road behind me. My foot touched the hot asphalt and I jumped around like an idiot. Had to walk without one slipper to the nearest store to buy a new pair. And yes, people stared.

    Not a glamourous description of what happened to me, but you get the picture. Also, I brought the broken slipper home and my mum fixed it. Wore these old slippers out the following week…guess what? The right slipper broke :)

    • Oh, Mabel. That sounds terrible! Hot pavement is the worst. I’ve been burned a time or two, too. I’m glad you’re okay now. Perhaps it’s time to throw away that pair of slippers?

      To be honest, I’ve had something like that happen to me, too. I remember walking the streets of Hong Kong one afternoon when the sole of the front of my right shoe came undone. It was nearly impossible to walk in, the way it was flapping around. It kept making me trip — on itself! People stared at me for sure.

      And you should consider yourself lucky. You are small and thin and don’t have to work hard to stay that way! If I didn’t exercise, I could easily gain weight. Luckily for me, I love exercise! It just makes me feel better — about everything. :)

      • I’ve only been wearing that pair of slippers for a month. My mum fixed them up both with superglue…but I haven’t worn them since :) Will not wear them in rainy weather, for sure.

        You and I have so much in common, haha. I don’t think I’m lucky in that I’m small – I have the body and weight of an average 12 year old, I do think this is abnormal but I’m relatively healthy. I like walking around A LOT though, and so maybe that burns off what I eat :)

      • I’m sure that has a lot to do with it, Mabel. I know a lot of Asians your size, so don’t feel bad! You will look young forever, too. ;)

        And, yes. Be careful in those shoes! I usually wear mine until they are literally falling apart.

    • Oh, Vance. No wonder we are friends. My elementary and high school friends (I went to the same school all my life) never let me forget the time I spilled chocolate milk all over my white jeans and pink sweatshirt (yes, I was rocking white jeans and pink — I don’t wear either now!) one lunch time in 3rd or 4th grade. I was mortified!!

  2. Brick workouts are great. When they are over. Now getting lost on the bike is not fun after also running a 10K (you are awesome by the way, I wish I was that fit right now. Maybe a few duathlons in the spring up there in Folsom will be what I need. Just need to start training NOW.lol). I know the American river bike trail. A cycling relative in Carmichael and I have ridden there often. Anyway, getting lost on the bike minus the 10k run can sometimes be the best thing in the world. I can think of a few of the most epic rides of my life (both Mtn, and road) that involved getting lost and seeing trails or countryside that would have been sadly overlooked otherwise. I actually think this is also a pretty good metaphor for life. Thanks for the story and inspiration (kick in the ass) to get back on the bike and running trails again. Hibernation needs to be over for this guy. LOL. Be well my friend.

      • I *almost* said something about that in the post, actually. On Sunday, nearly *everyone* out there was in a florescent yellow windbreakers. And that included my dad!!

    • Haha, well… I can’t say I was *totally* lost. We rode from Sunrise to Sac State and back. Usually I take off from Hazel, so that’s where I was headed, and it *is* a pretty kick ass part of the bike path. I was just tired and ready to get home. I really like doing bricks. I’ve been doing a lot of riding and running in a row lately. The unusually good weather recently (bad, actually, since we’re in a drought) has made it easy to get out. I really don’t like the dog days of summer when it’s a million degrees outside… I fully agree that getting lost can be awesome, though, so I know what you mean. Definitely a good parallel for the many things we often overlook in life.

      You be well, too! And yeah, when you have time, get out on that bike! :)

  3. That’s an incredible story Jess! 17 miles and a 10k, huh? Sounds like you are in premium shape young lady. I booked an 8k for my next run next week..but I think I am gonna drive there…its greater than 17 miles one way. but you did give me an idea with your ride. You probably ran like the wind as your legs were good and loose after a brisk ride there. Great job Jess!

    • Actually, we rode 14 miles there, and I rode 17 miles back, so it was a total of 31 miles in addition to the 10K run. But really, cycling is no big deal for me… I was so impressed to hear about your recent half marathon in the rain, Andy. Really!!

  4. Wow! You deserve some real kudos for that many miles. What an accomplishment! As for ‘have I ever done anything embarrassing’ my answer most times is “when have I not?” This usually occurs when I speak before I have properly thought it through. There is an author who writes about the Navajo (Tony Hillerman) who addresses this situation. They (Navajos) not only wait to be sure the speaker has said all he wants to say before taking his turn to speak, but this courtesy extends to visitation. When one arrives before a hogan he waits until someone comes to the door to see who it is, then he waits some more to see if that person wants visitors at this time which he will demonstrate by returning to the door, or not. I’m not sure I would always like this arrangement but it is an interesting concept.

    • Very interesting concept, Marie. I’ll bet my friend Hoss knows about this. He’s lived on a Navajo reservation and now lives with the Crows. I understand the embarrassment that can come from not thinking something through clearly enough before saying something. I vividly remember being put in my place by one of my English professors, a man I have come to very much respect and dearly love, during my freshman year. He taught me a very important lesson… And, nah. Didn’t mean to boast about my athletic accomplishments. I love to run and ride. It’s as simple as that.

  5. Wow you have mad riding skills.
    When I was a kid, I was waiting in my parents’ Suburban while they were at my brother’s track meet. The back window was slightly down, and for some reason, I decided to squeeze my head through the opening. I couldn’t get it back through the other way, no matter how I shifted it. I crouched there in the back of the Suburban for something like an hour, waiting for my parents to come out and lower the window for me.

    • Oh, that’s terrible Lucas! And yes, funny! I’ve done things like that, too. Usually they involve getting my arm or wrist stuck in between the bars on the back of a chair… I did that really recently, too!

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