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Amy’s Blog

AMY’S BLOG: 6/23/17

Hometown Bicycles' Amy Gluck at IRONMAN

Luckily, with the hot weather, I don’t think wetsuits will be legal at my next race – the T-Rex Triceratops Triathlon. This year, the T-Rex Series are my “A” races (basically, the peak races for my tri season). I’ve never had a Sprint Tri as my “A” race, since I started Ironman racing. In my mind, Sprints are too hard because they demand 100% speed all of the time, even through transition. Ironman made me too lazy to put 100% speed on all of the time. Ironman is more about proper pacing and avoiding 100% effort to save yourself for the end of the race.

I am guessing now that I will be wearing a swimskin for the Triceratops triathlon. That way, if the water is still cool, I’ll have some protection from that cold, and I will have my triathlon kit flattened down to my body, much like competitors wearing wetsuits (if they are allowed). The swimskins are not as restrictive to breathing as wetsuits, and they are much easier to get off. I won’t be stuck in my wetsuit at Transition-1 like I was at my first race. Six minutes is way too long to spend in T-1! My goal at this race is to be out of T-1 in under 4:00 minutes!

I’m looking forward to the Triceratops triathlon. I am hoping to swim well and get out of my swimwear quickly. I hope to just hold the bike section of my last race status quo. And I’m hoping I will be a lot faster on my run. The run course will be a little easier than at my last race. We will still go up the big hill in Island Lake that goes up from the beach to the road. Then we run up the path to Grand River and back down the path to the finish line. I’m hoping that the flatter run course will allow me to hold a pace better than my last run pace (10:43). This time, I’m shooting for a sub 10:00 min pace.

In addition, to make my running easier, I am also planning on wearing CEP tri shorts under my tri kit to keep my hip secured to my body while running. This is a crutch I’ve been using to help me run with all my new fake body parts, and muscles that have recently been cut through during my surgeries to put my leg back together.

Come on out and cheer on the Triceratops triathlon at Island Lake on Wednesday night at 6:00pm! I’m sure it will be a lot of people’s A race. Come on out and cheer them on putting 100% out there!

(Editor’s Note: Sorry folks, this race was yesterday, so you won’t be able to cheer Amy and her fellow triathletes on as requested. But you WILL be able to read about her race experience in her next blog. Stay tuned!)

Amy is a 5 time Kona qualifier who has done 9 Ironman races, has been named All American by USAT 5 times, and is a Certified Ironman Coach.  She has done countless triathlons and won several of them, including sprint distance races and half Ironman races. Amy is currently conquering unique challenges on her journey back to IRONMAN following a life-altering accident.

AMY’S BLOG: 6/15/17

Amy Gluck in wetsuit at a competition

I mentioned in my last blog that my swimming was the easiest thing to get back after my accident. However, I just found out that swimming does not feel the same.

With the weather getting into the 90’s this past week, the triathlon club FAST planned an open water swim in Trout Lake at Island Lake State Park. I haven’t been swimming much since the weather turned nice – though I’ve been able to get out on my bike – so, I felt it was a good idea for me to get a swim in. I pulled out my wetsuits and packed them up, ready to go.

At the park, I SQUEEZED into my wetsuit. They’d made me gain 40 lbs. in the hospital – I was 120 lbs. upon admission and they discharged me at 160 lbs. – but they did not offer to replace my wetsuit! With my wetsuit all zipped up, my lungs felt crushed. As I started swimming across the lake, my goggles fogged up and I had to stop and tread water to clear them out. By the time I figured out where I was going and put my face back in the water to swim, I was so out of breath after treading water and being suffocated in my wetsuit, that there was no way was I was going to swim back to the shore! What was I going to do? I was in the middle of the lake with no oxygen coming into my lungs.

I did the only reasonable thing anyone would do in my situation. I flipped over and started backstroking. One of the FAST members saw me and came to my rescue! Thanks Allen! He guided me to shore as I was backstroking my way in. As he was guiding me and I was backstroking, I reached back and unzipped my wetsuit. I thought it would feel a lot better than it actually did. Probably because the neck Velcro was still attached around my neck! Good times! (sarcasm) When he finally looked at me and said I could stand up now, I was so relieved!

As this first started happening, I had decided that I would swim the perimeter on the way home (along the shore). However, after making it in, I decided I was going to shed my wetsuit and walk back. Much safer! After crapping out on this section of my workout, I decided to get a good ride in. 25 miles later on the bike, I was ready to throw in the towel and give up my prime parking spot at Kent Lake Beach on an 88 degree day.

Looking back, I should have been swimming with a New Wave Swim Buoy, or swam the perimeter. Even though I had a wetsuit on, which helps support buoyancy, it wasn’t helping me to get back to shore…..always remember to flip to backstroke if you need to when swimming in open water, never swim alone, and keep some other type of flotation available to which you may resort!

Amy is a 5 time Kona qualifier who has done 9 Ironman races, has been named All American by USAT 5 times, and is a Certified Ironman Coach.  She has done countless triathlons and won several of them, including sprint distance races and half Ironman races. Amy is currently conquering unique challenges on her journey back to IRONMAN following a life-altering accident.

THE FIRST

If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ve found it! Hometown’s tri clinician, Amy Gluck, is tapping on her years of top-level IRONMAN training and competition, and the life-altering accident that put her passion to the test, to share something soul-stirring in the form of blogging about her recovery, her training triumphs and challenges, and her personal mission to get back to IRONMAN. Welcome to her first blog!

Hometown Bicycles' Amy Gluck at Island Lake TriathlonI’ve been training to get back into shape for the past few months, after taking 4 years off from doing absolutely nothing (while recovering from injuries caused by my accident). The easiest thing to get back was the swim. I was never a truly gifted swimmer, so that was not a big accomplishment, nor a big concern. Biking was the next to come back. Not quite as hard as running because I don’t have to support my weight, but still a challenging feat, especially compared to the shape I was in before. My running is still a work in progress. I’ve been using the Alter-G treadmill – which supports part of your weight through air pressure, and keeps you upright and running in a straight line – trying to find it possible to support my own weight on my fake hip, femur, and knee.

When I got in my accident, I had had the best pre-season training I could have possibly hoped for. I went with a coach to France and trained in the Pyrenees mountains for a week. The week after that, I had gone down to Atlanta to train with my coach, Laura Sophiea. Following that trip, I knew I was in much better shape than I had ever been in my life for Kona. Thinking back to this time, I am realizing that I never needed to ride on the day I was in the accident. Not only that, but I really didn’t feel like it that day either. I was dragging about getting started on my workout that day. I had decided that it was not acceptable to ride 100 miles at my usual – Island Lake State park. The thought of repeating laps out there was unbearable after having the advantage of training in the mountains for weeks that summer.

Not only did I not want to ride that day, but I did not need to either. Old habits die hard though. I had gotten in the position I was in by not skipping days of training, and couldn’t justify doing it on this particular day.

As my running has been the toughest thing to get back, I have just decided today to run the international half marathon in Detroit in October, pending my getting my passport. I believe using the Galloway method, it might be possible for me to finish this within a reasonable time. At this point, the longest I have been able to run is a 10K, which was a walk/run. I’ve been nervous to register for anything longer than a 5K since my accident because 5K’s alone seem so tough to me!

I did the Island Lake Triathlon on June 3rd, testing out my triathlon racing abilities. The same thing that I thought would hold me back did… my run! A 10:43 pace on a 5K does not lead to stellar finishes! I’ve been using the Alter-G treadmill with Ron Warhurst coaching me. This has been a great benefit for me to get back into running. He now recommends that I start running on my own, in addition to running these treadmill workouts I’ve doing 1x per week at ~5 miles at a time. With my future triathlon training and my ½ marathon training, I’ll be sure to put 100% effort into this next challenge! Stay with me and see how these things pan out………

Amy is a 5 time Kona qualifier who has done 9 Ironman races, has been named All American by USAT 5 times, and is a Certified Ironman Coach.  She has done countless triathlons and won several of them, including sprint distance races and half Ironman races. Amy is currently conquering unique challenges on her journey back to IRONMAN following a life-altering accident.
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