Thursday, November 12, 2009

ok, i'm just going to say it

Riding the bicycle sucks. It hurts my knees, I don't get much of a cardio workout from it, and my butt really hurts when I'm done. I will concede that much like running, when done out in nature it is much more enjoyable. But then I run the risk of interacting with cars, which terrifies me. Let me give you some examples why:

Once, when I lived in Davis I was trying to go around behind a car on my beach cruiser and the car backed up into my leg. Once Mr. Bump and I were on a ride and I tried to shift while pushing down on a pedal and the rear wheel and all its bits came out the back end in the middle of the street. And then, of course, there is the fact that my husband got hit by a car while riding his bike home from work and broke his face so much they had to screw it back together with plates and screws.

So yeah, I'd like to keep the bike on the stand, if you don't mind. Which brings me back to my point at the beginning--the bike sucks. But I keep hearing all this jabber about trying different forms of exercising, switching it up, burning fat at lower heart rate, etc.

Mr. Bump is always very sweet about making sure I have everything I might need for cycling. In fact, this year on Bike to Work Day I actually joined him and biked to work. He was kind enough to take a more isolated yet slower route which required us to walk our bikes up and over a bridge above the railyard. He doesn't sail out in front of me when we're riding, and he even will run interference with cars by edging further out into the road while he follows behind me.

I've always run alone. It's my thing. Maybe it's a little John Wayne (or probably more aptly Clint Eastwood) of me, but I like it that way. I get inside my head, I listen to my music, and I spend some time thinking about myself, my goals, what I want and how I'm going to get it. I don't have to run at someone else's pace, or stop when they feel like stopping. But when Mr. Bump expressed an interest in going for a run with me, I knew I had to step up to the plate.

So yesterday I had the day off (yay Veterans!) and Mr. Bump took the day off. And among the errands we jotted down as possible ways to pass the day was "go for a run together." I wasn't sure it would happen, but hey, I put it on the list, didn't I? As the day progressed, the weather was perfect--crystal clear and in the 70s, and I really wanted to get a run in for myself, so I transitioned into actually going for a run rather than maybe.

So we went for a run. Mr. Bump wore one of his cycling shirts and a pair of nylon shorts, and some sneakers. They were New Balance shoes, but more than likely not of the running persuasion (I'm not sure, actually, what their purpose is). We set off for my normal short 3 mile run from our house to Berkeley lake, around the lake and back home. I was itching for a bit longer run so he said he would just walk while I ran a second lap around the lake, which was fine with me. I decided we should do intervals, so we started out walking 2 minutes, running 1 minute, the progressed until we flip-flopped those two.

Here's how it went (it's getting late and I'm cutting to the chase (ha!)): Mr. Bump is 6 foot 2 inches tall, and about 110% of that is leg. So he has this incredible impala-like gait. I run more like a warthog (the similarities stop there, please). So he tried running shorter strides, and I tried running faster, and so we had some pace issues. But Mr. Bump has all the lung capacity you could ever wish for, and the cardiovascular system to go with it. So he was comfortable with the walk/run intervals--so much so that he wanted to take that second lap around the lake with me. The truth is that it was hard to run with him. I felt like I couldn't keep up. I was the one who had been running for 10 months now, I was the one who had just finished a half-marathon a month ago, and here he was outpacing me on his first run. (I had my vengance later than night and the next day, when Mr. Bump had to pound the advil.) This was frustrating. This was hard because I enjoyed being with him but I just wanted to breathe in and out and do my own thing. Also because I wanted to be the show-off and I couldn't pull that off if he kept running out in front of me. I never settled down and just focused on me, my breathing, my alignment, etc. I was always thinking about if Mr. Bump was ok, if we were going too fast or not fast enough, etc. I imagine his sentiments on a bike ride with me are similar.

But, it was lovely to have someone to talk to. It was lovely to try and match my husband's stride. It was lovely to return the favor for all the care he's given me on all the bike rides we've taken together. And it was lovely to beat him in the sprint on the last few yards home, even if, as I suspect, he let me win.

1 comment:

DBump said...

I didn't let you win--my legs were already pretty sore, and I was pretty sure that if I tried to go faster, you had a lot more reserves than I did :)

I think riding always hurts at first, after a break. If it keeps hurting, there's something wrong with the alignment or parts. We could look at a recumbent...