Surprising Oneself....

I always like it when I surprise myself! Two surprises came up in the last 24 hours.

Number 1: I enjoy cycling! I've had a bike for about 13 years. It's actually a decent Scott hybrid I got for $25 out of an ad in the paper. I road it approximately 3 times before having children (my oldest is 9 and a half) and have ridden it approximately 3 times since then. :-)

Today was the first time that cycling was AWESOME! My husband actually stayed home from work to hang out with me. We only had three kid-free hours while the little one was at preschool. We decided to load up our bikes and drive down to a 4-mile paved bike trail in the woods, the same trail where I'm doing my 12-mile run in the morning. When we got there, I convinced him to go on the OTHER side of the trail--the 3-mile dirt and gravel side. It was such an adventure zooming down this gravel trail on my bike. I was pedaling sort of aggressively and it was just so DIFFERENT from running. It was exhilarating!

I'm apparently not exactly good at it yet though. I nearly went over the handle bars on a surprise steep downhill with a sharp turn at the bottom in loose gravel. I was using the front brakes. (Note to self--don't do that!) I hit a large rock and my top and bottom teeth clanked together. I didn't see a low hanging branch because I was watching for rocks and roots, and it hit me in the head. But it was all in fun!

We didn't know where the trail ended, so we just rode. I wasn't wearing a Garmin and have no idea how fast I bike so we didn't know where we were in three miles. It was just freedom. At one point the gravel trail turned into a narrow dirt path with tall grass on each side. Finally, it ran out at a campground by the river. We parked the bikes and sat on a bench overlooking the sparkling water before the 3 mile return trip. I learned today that there is other fun to be had besides running (or spinning in a dark room, going no where, listening to too-loud music while an instructor yells at you). Next time I go off road on a bike though..... I'll wear bike shorts!

Number 2: I think I've talked myself into doing the Country Music Half Marathon next weekend. I was going to take a little break from distance running, but I suppose I can postpone that for one more week! Reasons: I made enough in trainer fees these last two weeks to pay the way-too-steep $105 race fee. Weather forecast is looking about 20 degrees cooler than last year. I've put in all the training including a 10-miler, a couple of 11's, and a 12 (well, I will tomorrow). It's the single biggest running event in my area. I want to be there at the end to see how all the runners I've trained do (if I can find them among the 30,000 other people). My buddy I met during last year's marathon (and ran the last 12 miles with) wants to meet up and run with me again (we have kept in touch via Facebook). Lots of GOOD REASONS.

Yes, it will be hilly. No, I won't PR. No, I didn't do as much speedwork as I could have, but I did do lots of hills. Yes, the price stinks, but at least the shirt will be technical and the medals are typically good.

Letting go of expectations and just running it for fun will be a good learning experience for me. The Country Music Half Marathon two years ago was my introduction into distance running, something I've come to LOVE and that is a huge part of who I am.

I'd hate to miss out.


Kate said…
run it for fun - that's what it's all about! have fun!!!! i hear that race is a blast. :)
glad you enjoyed your bike ride too. i hear ya on the bike shorts ;)
Casey said…
whooot! way to go!! good luck! and that is a crazy high registration fee!
Lisa said…
Biking like that is a great way to spend time with your hubby. My husband and I did that a few times last spring and loved it. might be time to go on another bike ride.

Good luck next weekend! You reasons all sound like a great way to add up to a fun race.
lawmonkey13 said…
Well awesome! I think that you can totally bang out the half in a respectable time. You've done all the groundwork for it, so why not! I agree that the fee is steep, but man, I love this event. I'm such a crowd whore that I just dig all the support from the community. Come on out DP! I'll be at the expo all day on Friday, and in corral 2 come race day!