Monday, April 7, 2008

Drop it like it's hot


I got dropped like a penny heated by a burn-Z-omatic torch



Over the last three months while we have been travelling all over god's gray earth I have let my fitness regiment flag a bit. I decided to remedy this finally this past week so I dusted off my running shoes and hit the pavement a couple times.

I can measure the distance I have run by where the pain in my body is emanating. Right out of the blocks – at the end of my drive - I feel a sharp twinge in my Achilles tendons – sometimes both but always at least one like someone has whipped me just above the heel with a snapped off car antenna.  My knee will buckle a little as if I am going to list and fall over into the tree lawn but then the feeling passing just in time for me to gain my composure saving my neighbors from juggling the decision whether or not to call 911.


As I progress to the half mile mark the bottom of my right foot begins to feel as if a gulf ball has been inserted into my shoe underneath the arch of my foot.  This pain intensifies until I hit the one mile mark where it magically fades away being replaced by what feels like a coat hanger, straightened and heated red hot, inserted right below my calf then slowly threading up my leg against the bones to my mid thigh. Then at about the two mile mark, when I suppose, everything had been sufficiently lubricated and loosened up, all pain goes away and I feel like I could run for hours.  This will last til I reach the five mile mark where I swear I can taste blood in my throat.


Anyway – I decided to get my bike out this past weekend and sans any sense I elected to make my first ride one with a group of riders who were meeting at a new bike shop on Cleveland's east side. The ride was billed as a "Leisurely trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and back at a 15 to 16 mile an hour pace." The round trip was around 22 miles. In midsummer condition I can maintain a pace around 19 to 20mph for up to 40 miles so I figured no sweat. Well dear readers, I done figured wrong.


I was barely able to keep up with the 18 to 20 MPH pace this gang took on the way out to the rock hall. Luckily this bunch believed in obeying traffic signals so I managed to hang with them, catching up at red lights as we rode in our spandex splendor. Like a school boy watching the clock before summer break I watched the odometer on my bike, mentally keeping track of the percentage of the ride completed.  Once the pack turned around at the Hall and began climbing the East 9th street hill back into the rusted heart of Cleveland Ohio I knew I was a goner. This ride and pace was exactly twice as long as I should have attempted first time out.  They left me in their dust – the only person I finished the ride in front off was the guy on the Wal-Mart purchased mountain bike who took a cigarette break every five miles.


I rolled up to the bike shop a good 15 minutes behind the rest of the riders who were already on their second helpings of bagels and coffee.  They were gracious in suggesting excuses for me and I will join up with this group again – give me a couple weeks and I'll be able to hang with them for the whole ride.




The real winner here though was Bill the owner of Blue Skies Bicycle on 185th street here in Cleveland.  I left my bike with him to tune up (I certainly would have finished in front of the pack if my bike had been serviced before the ride – yeah right) and then when I went back to pick up my road bike Sara and I purchased a used tandem that he had for sale in his shop. We're going to run errands on our bicycle built for two this afternoon. The pace will be dramatically much more laid-back than my first ride of the season and Sara – well I don't think she'll have to worry about getting dropped.

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