Cycling for the Running Challenged

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I have my gold sparkly headband on, which means one of two things. My hair is really dirty or I’m running. I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with running my whole life. It goes back to when I was 14 and my best friend started running track. We used to walk to this stretch by the creek and she would run to the end and back while I sat on the grass and waited for her. I think I ran with her once or twice and that was enough for me. Several years later I got into cycling and never looked back. Yes, I was 20 when I got my first Bilenky bike. Sad, I know. Take it up with my dad.

I tried running again when I lived in Texas and it was too hot to bike during the day. I’ve never felt super comfortable with night riding, especially in the land of duelies (that’s a pickup truck with double rear wheels for all you city slickers out there – Yes I know, I’m a bit of a hillbilly), so running was my other option. I think I kept that up for a handful of times before swearing off running again.

I don’t know if it’s because I ride slow and don’t compete, but running seems like much more of a chore than cycling. Running is purely a form of exercise, a means of burning calories and moving my tush. I feel good when I’ve completed the run, but in the same way as when I finish a session on the elliptical. When I ride I feel light and free. I feel fast even when I’m not. The breeze is luxurious on my skin and I take in the sounds of birds chirping, streams babbling and trees rustling. I am able to block out unpleasant sounds and smells and I finish my rides feeling exhilarated. When I run, all I absorb is the smacking of my feet against the pavement (making me wonder what it will do to my joints in the long run), the laboring of my breath (making me feel like a fatty), and the dripping of sweat on my face (straight up gross).

I recently ran with my husband and he left me in the dust after half a mile. I meandered my way back and clocked in at 17 minutes for the mile and a half. I know, I don’t think I’ll be entering any marathons anytime soon. I attempted to run again today to keep my brother company on his warm up. I did about 2 miles and was over it. All I could think about was sitting on Granny’s porch in Texas drinking ice tea in a rocking chair with her. When I ride, even when it gets tough, that’s the only place I want to be. I always felt that running and cycling were so different, but many people I know run and ride. They seem to love both equally. What is the secret? I like the ease of running – lace up your sneakers and go. Especially since I’m mechanically challenged and don’t do much long distance riding alone for fear of flats and broken derailleurs. Maybe one day I will learn to enjoy running. But I know for a fact, I will never love it like I love cycling. Although I’m no pro, riding is my passion. It is in my blood.



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