I was planning to run my first bike/run combo today, which is called a “brick” in triathlon lingo, because your legs feel like bricks when you try to run after riding a bike. But when I checked the forecast yesterday, it called for thunderstorms all day today, with an extra special treat of severe weather this afternoon, which here in Minnesota usually means tornadoes.
In the middle of the night, I woke to crashing thunder several times, with lightning flashing through the openings in the curtains, and every time I thought, “Go on weather. Get it out of your system now so I can wake up to clear skies.” I really didn’t want to ride and run in a lightning storm.
And when I woke this morning at 7 AM, this is what I saw through the slats in the blinds:
You’d better believe I jumped out of bed to take advantage of it. Because what I couldn’t see from my bed was the ring of black sky all around the small patch of blue.
My bike ride was awesome, as bike rides always are, and I was tempted to take it even longer than my training schedule suggested (only 30 minutes – what’s the point in that?). But the sky was darkening back up, and I figured I should get back home and run before my luck ran out.
I dropped my bike off, changed shoes, grabbed my headphones, and took off running. At first I thought, “Bricks? What bricks? My legs feel totally normal. Like I didn’t even ride my bike!” By the end of the block it felt like someone had opened me up and poured lead into my waist. The heaviness seeped down my hamstrings, into my calves, all the way down to my heels and toes. Picking up my feet was like uprooting trees. And I thought, “This sucks.”
I looked at my watch and 4 minutes had gone by. Only 4 minutes? I’ve got to do this for 26 more minutes? What the hell was I thinking of signing up for a triathlon?!
The sky was grey and gloomy. No more blue skies and happy clouds. All I could think of was my friend Liv’s blog post, Three Ways to Make Blogging Suck Less, and how I wanted someone to inform me of three ways to make running suck less. Besides doing more running.
So I suffered and complained in my head, thinking about how much running sucks, until this song came through my headphones:
The clouds parted (for real!), I found my stride, and the Runner’s High commenced. My right foot fell on every down beat, in perfect rhythm with the music. I was swift, I was light, I was running, and it didn’t suck! I ran like a track star, like I’d been running all my life, like my legs were feathers. My stride lengthened. My shoulders loosened. My lungs opened. I grinned a stupid grin while I ran.
In short, I kicked ass.
I have no idea what the song is about, because my Spanish is no good, but I do know that that song lifted my feet and lightened my load, and it put me on cruise control for the remaining 20 minutes. The next thing I knew, the run was almost over, and James Brown’s Make it Funky came through to take me home. I feasted on homemade crepes and a perfect cup of coffee with my family as the sky opened up and poured its deluge onto the roads I had just ridden and run.
Originally written May 22, 2011 in Minnesota, when I was training for my first (and only) post-children triathlon, I thought this would be a good fit for this week’s Daily Post photo challenge: Good Morning! Also, Calle 13’s “Pa’l Norte” has this effect on me every time it comes on my iPod when I run. I’m kind of sick of my other workout music though. Do you have any favorite running tunes?