I had to work late last night. It's not hard laborious stuff, lecturing for a 5 hour workshop: I find it immensely satisfying talking my trade, but those bland stares coming out of all those 20-something tired faces, has a rather soul sucking effect on me. I don't know if they learned anything, but I enjoyed it and will be paid for the trouble, yet I woke with that characteristic didn't-get-enough-sleep feeling. Since I don't have to go into work again till this evening, I wanted to work in a real good workout. I know now that intense exercise can shake the cobwebs out of my head by noon if I just get out there and do something.
It's a near perfect day for a bike workout around the neighborhood. My neighborhood is hilly, quiet, and mapped out precisely for nice 3 and 5 miles loops. I tried to remember the words of my triathlon mentor Jedi-Jawa, to just keep a nice easy cadence on the pedals, resisting the urge to grind heavy gears, because as soon as I'm done with the bike, I'm hopping off the bike and making a transition to a 5K run. It's a feeling I don't relish--leaden legs turned marionette. It's a real weird feeling, but something the triathlete needs to get accustomed to.
I don't know what cardinal sin of gear shifting I committed, but I popped my bike chain gearing down lower for a hill climb. What the hell? Do experienced cyclists do this, or is this just my own mechanical ineptitude at work? Dang! I won't be able to get that blasted chain back on and I'll be walking my bike 3 miles back to the house, with my neighborhood friends giggling behind their blinds! To my utter astonishment, I managed to get the chain back on. I was very pleased with this. Maybe there is hope for me yet. I was just telling my class last night how proud I was of my recent refinement of my computer skills, when one of my smart ass Information Technology students pointed out my affinity for breaking printers. "But I haven't broken one in a long time!" Don't they understand the concept of progress and not perfection??? One of my nerdy goals that I have on the back burner is to learn how to dismantle a bike and put it back together. It seems a goal as insurmountable as climbing Mt. Everest, but I'd love to learn how to do that. If there are any bike gear geeks out there, I would like an explanation of what the heck I'm doing when I pop my chain, because if this happens in an actual triathlon; I may be screwed.
I was having a great ride, but when I was climbing the last hill I felt the vaguest sensation in my outer knee. It wasn't outright pain, but rather the merest whisper of sensation. I babied my right I-T band all winter, but this was the left side. I haven't had I-T problems with the left side in 3 years, so now the paranoia of injury was starting to set in. Once I finished the eight miles, I decided it would be safest to come in and stretch with the bands before I head out on the run. I ran a half mile to Melissa's house and decided to stop in for a chat. I haven't talked to her all week. She had a crew of men at her house putting up siding. Need to check out the man scenery, but no---nothing good. We chit-chatted for a good half hour and then I went off to finish the run. Lead legs...definitely...and every once in awhile those little kisses of faint pain in my outer knee. A cloud of gloom threatened to wipe away all the effects of this wonderful day. I came home and stretched like a mad women. I don't feel anything now, so maybe it's just one of those weird things or maybe it is my I-T band saying, "You're doing something different to me...slow down." So, I didn't feel bad that a workout that should have taken an hour and fifteen minutes took me a shade over 2 hours, with all the chit-chatting, and the stretching mixed in.