So, Here's the Thing About Running...

5:17 PM

Beautiful sunrise in WV...then the rain came...

I’ve been running all week.  Ugh.

We went out east to visit family in West Virginia and, after much debate, we decided to leave the bikes at home.  We went back and forth on this for weeks.  Would the weather be nice enough for biking?  Should we bring the cross bikes or the mountain bikes?  We were tempted to bring the mountain bikes because we’ve never experienced WV trails, but with all those damn hills we figured there must be some epic dirt.  With a week to go we settled on the cross bikes for versatility, and then with a couple of days to go we dropped that idea altogether because of unstable weather.

Turns out it was a good idea.  West Virginia was wet and cold.  I can handle wet.  I can handle cold.  I can’t handle them together.  And the mountain bikes would have been a bigger mistake – it turns out that Hurricane Sandy became Super Storm Sandy when it went inland and it has made a mess of the WV backcountry.  A local bike shop owner told us it would be at least five years before they cleared all of the trails. 

So we ran.  Every.  Day.  My knees creaked like old oak floorboards.  Every run took us up those hills, and they kicked my butt every time.  I huffed, I puffed, I shuffled.  I walked more than I should, and I successfully convinced myself that what I was experiencing was simply a side ache, not acute appendicitis. 

The whole week got me thinking about running.  Last year (2011) I put in about 300 hours of cycling and about 75 hours of running.  This year I will easily hit 400 hours on the bike and barely make 30 in the shoes.  There have been years of my life (pre-biking) where I measured my running time in the hundreds of hours.  I started cycling in 2009 and it finally hit me: I am, happily, no longer a runner.

So, here is the thing about running that I remembered this week.  If you can get through a week, just a week, you will feel better.  Your feet will no longer feel weighted with lead, your breathing will be calm and measured, and you will stop checking your watch obsessively.  You’ll still probably hate running, but just a little less.

Also, I remembered this week that you can’t get a good bottle of wine in West Virginia.  Come prepared.  

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