Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Running in the rain....biking to a wedding....

To set the record straight, I actually enjoy running in the rain. It makes me feel tough. People driving by either look at you like you're nuts (which makes me feel tough), or they give you the knowing nod like 'you go girl, you dedicated athlete, look at you not letting mother nature put a damper on your workout' (which makes me like something of a superhero because dedication is the hardest part of 'toughness' if you ask me).

But yesterday, as I headed out the door on what was supposed to be a 10 mile run, the wind kicked up....and it was cold. And then it started to rain. And every ache or pain that I've had throughout my training this season came flooding back. Even some old favorites I'd long forgotten about. And 10 miles turned into 3.

I'm really hoping it was the weather that brought this on. Last weeks 10-miler went really well. My hip has been giving me problems a little since, but the run itself was good. In fact, a bit into the second lap we passed a little girl running for her big wheel on the loose. She stopped and let us pass, but from behind me I heard "good running." And I thought, ya...it is 'good running'.

But last night that little girl probably would have said something like "mommy look at that soggy pathetically slow grimacing girl out in the rain....what's she doing?"

So we'll call that the low point of the weekend.

On the positive side, I found a creative way to get my bike ride in this weekend....I biked to a wedding. Imagine that, biking for transportation. What a novel idea. It felt very productive, and then didn't make me resent being at a wedding when I should be out biking.

I actually have to thank my co-workers for the idea. When asking what I was doing this weekend they joked "probably biking to Fennimore?" (Fennimore's about an hour by car....so the idea of biking there is pretty preposterous to a normal non-triathlete person) And then it hit me....ya, that's a great idea. Rather than bike around in a circle and then head to the wedding....I'll bike to the wedding. I did have the luxury of a date who was willing to drive the SAG wagon with all my stuff, and a place to shower and get ready once at the destination. So it was a go.

I had to change up the tactics....and get up painfully early...but I got it done. I ended up dusting off the old Gary Fischer Utopia Hybrid (I LOVE this bike. I miss it. I should really ride it more. I am not loving my road bike these days.) and taking the Military Ridge Trail, but I got almost three hours of riding in regardless. And riding is riding as far as I'm concerned. And while the trail isn't hilly, I do think its pretty much up-grade the direction I was heading, which was also right into the wind. So its not like it was a cake-walk.

A few miles into the ride, I realized how relaxing it was to not have to deal with traffic and directions. And having not been on a solo ride all season, I really enjoyed just letting my mind wander. It was a beautiful morning, and there were very few people out on the trail to share it with so I just soaked it all in. Blissful selfishness. I think I really needed that.

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