Friday, April 20, 2012

Smack my mouth

"Well, smack my mouth!"

I have a family member who, culling from her family's southern roots, uses this expression. I love it; it cracks me up every time.

So, naturally, it was the first thing that came to mind when today, following a 15-mile ride + 1 mile brick, I uttered these words to my husband:

"I think I actually enjoyed the run more than the bike."

Say, what?!?! I didn't really just say that, did I?

Whatchoo talkin 'bout, Willis!

You see, running is the bane of my triathlete existence; my absolute Achilles heel. Running vexes me and challenges me, injures me and inspires me. I tend to view it as the "necessary evil" of triathlon.

But today my husband and I were running an intel mission, riding the course of our first race of the season--a new one for us. I'd been looking forward to it all week and expected it to be great. It wasn't.

For starters, it was hillier than expected (touche!). But the road conditions were poor, shoulders crumbling and non-existent, and the traffic was plentiful; large, loud and uncomfortably close. We thought we'd ride the loop twice. Once was enough.

But the run was different. I've been benched for the past week after an IT band injury reared up a month ago at a race. I thought it had healed, but an "easy" 4-mile trail run last Friday set me back again; climbing stairs became my biggest challenge in the days that followed.

So, another week of rest and I decided to attempt a tiny brick after my leg muscles were thoroughly warmed up. An easy 1-mile run was the test. And it felt so good! And it was fast! And 10 hours later I still feel good; my knee is blissfully silent.

Today's ride made me feel like this:

But the run made me feel like this:

Don't get me wrong; running is still the bane, the Achilles, the evil, but today it was my freedom, my fun, my victory. This is probably the first and only time I will ever say these words so I will say them again: "I enjoyed the run more than the bike."

Well, smack my mouth!

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