Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wherein I report a ride as if it were a run

Okay, so y'all know that I'm not doing much running lately. Let's not that beat that dead, dried up, almost ashes horse anymore.

Tonight? We ride!

My good buddy Jill and I met after work at a local trail. The trail itself is easy (read: no technicality) but it's hilly. Just what a girl needs to remind her of just how much she's not doing for her heart these days. What? I'm partial to my running. Duh.

Anyway, there are about ten million things I'd forgotten about biking since the poor, poor hardtail has only seen the light of day twice this year (I know, I know) and those were both quick trips around the neighborhood that involved one, no hills and two, no proper biking gear except for a helmet, of course. So, when I dragged little, oh let's call her Silver, out of the dark, dank storage last night, I had some work to do. I dusted and cleaned and lubed for darn near fifteen minutes and man, that's minimal compared to what I'd have to do to maintain Silver if I were actually USING her.

After the once-over, I proceeded to drag all the bike "gear" out. Some people get all excited about this sort of stuff. They get all in a tizzy if you get a new crank or a fork and you don't have a Welcome Home party for it in which you break a bottle of Cristal over your handle bars to christen the newness of the "super special" part that cost $600 but! it will save you 6 ounces and that is worth SO MUCH on the trail. Whatever! is what I say to that. Why don't you just lose five pounds and keep your $600, smarty?

So dragging all the "necessary" bike paraphernalia out was the last thing I wanted to do, but I did it because well, you have to. You can't ride without your shoes. You can't ride without your camelbak. You can't ride without the water in your camelbak. You can't ride without at least two spare tubes, extra lube, air and/or a pump, a chain tool, a tire tool and a patch kit. Well, you can but after you have THREE FLATS in TWO DAYS, you learn a type of preparedness that would make boy scouts seem like Paris Hilton stuck in the woods.*

Let me tell you, all the gear is great but I have never, and I mean never, had to prepare for a run with tools or lube. Ahhh, that running, so simple.

An hour later, I had all the gear ready. I packed it up, put it in the car where it all waited patiently until this afternoon. We rode about twenty-five miles, out and back. The first half is all uphill which is good. Unless, of course, you haven't ridden in four months. Then, it's just the same as having someone reach down your throat and remove your lungs, one at a time. In fact, that procedure would save time and you'd eat less bugs, too.

Nonetheless, the first five miles passed fairly quickly. There was good cloud cover and my camelbak hadn't sprung a leak yet (oh yeah, all the gear? has complete potential for failure! great, right?) so life was good. I was getting my heart rate up and junkie that I am for the heart rate, I was a little high. Soon though, as we approached the biggest climb at mile eight, that high started to feel a little more like nausea. Don't worry, this is NOT a negative thing. I'm not complaining, promise! Rather, it's a good reminder that you can't let your heart be happy at at a max of 100 for six weeks and then expect it to just effortlessly reach 140 without complaint. It's good motivation. Very good.

Miles 9-12 were fairly uneventful. My hamstrings were quite upset as they have yet to recover from a lunge workout I did on Tuesday but other than that, things were good. We made the turn around and headed back in. This is where I get to remember what a complete and absolute chicken I am on the downhill. Wow, do I need to work on that. In my defense, I flipped over the handle bars twice as a kid and have the scars to prove it so barreling down a hill on a 25 lb. piece of metal and rubber is just a liiiiiittle intimidating. Still, I know I need to ride more because the slower I take it down the hills, the harder the inevitable uphill is going to be because I'll just lose all that speed and momentum which stinks because then you're having to quickly gear down and haul your rear up that hill and working a lot harder than you have to. More simply: get over it, wussy!

The last half of the ride was good. The camelbak sprung a leak and I was annoyed for a minute but then realized I was too tired to care. We saw bunnies and puppies on the trail and pointed out the plants and a few wild flowers that were pretty. This is what I love about riding with girls, we notice the pretty stuff and say "oh, look at this. What do you think this is? Could I grow it in my yard?" where as a lot of guys I've ridden with will look at the plant and then say something like "cool, you think if I tried to jump that I could clear it?" So very different.

So, the riding was good. Hopefully, I will get it a lot more while the season lasts. We are usually good till October around here, so that's encouraging. Yes, you can ride in the Winter but, ummmm, buurrrr. Cold? None for me, thanks.

I feel good, too, which is nice because my body needs that- as does my mind. The miles were tough in spots but okay. The knee felt just fine. My heart rate was up and the lungs were working and I think if those two organs were entities separate from me, they'd be doing a little hey-look-at-us-we're-not-dead dance right now. It's a happy time. Is it running? No. Will it ever be? No. But was it good? Oh yes, yes it was.


*In case you're wondering what this would look like it's like flat tires, no tools, no clue how to get out and, the worst part of all, no one to take your picture. The horror.


Runner Girl FL said...

YEA!! It does sound like a great ride!!

justacoolcat said...

Now that's what I'm talking about.

backofpack said...

"Let me tell you, all the gear is great but I have never, and I mean never, had to prepare for a run with tools or lube."

What? No bodyglide?

girlgoyle said...

Oh here we go with that body glide thing again. I don't know why running and lube in one sentence just turns me off. NOw, this seemed like a hell of a ride. And probably covered more ground and saw more things than you would on your ride. That is...when the oxygen was reaching your eyeballs.