Once I was a Runner…


…or at least I pretended to be so. I never trained for a marathon or even really attempted anything longer than a 10k (unless you count Bay to Breakers – which I mostly walked, watching the crazies) – but I always considered running to be my solo sport of choice. Whether it was the treadmill at the gym, or jogging with puppies around the neighborhood, if I was exercising, I was pounding the pavement.

So it completely threw me for a loop when I was out on my Tuesday night ride absolutely pitying every runner I saw! Charles and I took the bikes down Los Gatos Creek Trail (ahem…still waiting on those alternate route suggestions!) and, per usual, there were a TON of people on the road. Now, to be fair, I was taking it pretty easy on the ride out, but I swear most of these runners looked to be in absolute agony as they were jogging along. Their weirdly contorted faces (and subsequent glares when I blew by them) made me really glad I was cycling. I can’t remember which person I passed when it happened, but at some point I looked at one of those runners and thought “I can’t imagine ever doing that again.”

Do understand – I don’t mean that to be some overly-dramatic vow against ever taking a jog (my dogs would never forgive me!). I just had this moment of realization while riding in which I knew…just knew that I’d never voluntarily go back to running as an exercise regimen again. I thought of Coach Patrick’s “running is dumb” and smiled; I felt like something clicked (part of the cycling-obsession disease I imagine). Anyway, it was weird. A good weird, but weird nonetheless. I mean…I’ve run forever.

Charles and I made pretty good time to the dog park. He had been feeling sick basically all day and really needed to pack for his trip (yes, I dragged him out – I am evil), so he turned back at that point. I knew my body was just barely getting warmed up and decided to push out at least to mile 7 before heading home. I was feeling really good on the bike and probably could have done a full 10 miles out – honestly, I was shocked at the lack of soreness – but there were just TOO many people out and about to continue. I turned back at the lake and headed for home. Dang pedestrians!

The second half of the ride was basically uneventful. I lost count of the number of times I had to call “on your left!” somewhere around 40 (current estimate is a minimum of 200…but I tend to exaggerate – slightly), and had at least 2 full-stop-unclip-to-miss-the-walker type incidents which *killed* my groove. A few miles from home I noticed I’d been out for only 52 minutes. For no apparent reason I decided to sprint back and to try and make it under the 60 minute mark. Arbitrary goals chosen for no reward – bizarre! I had to get up around 22mph on Willow to do it, but I rolled into my driveway at 59:55. Woohoo!

Distance: 14.57 mi

Time: 59:55

Avg MPH: 14.7

Max MPH: 24.3

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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