Hell on wheels

I have been a distance runner for three years, and I know for fact that The Wall is located somewhere between the drinking fountain and the concession stand at River Parks, which translates to something like the 23-mile mark on the Oklahoma Marathon course … so I want to know something:

What wiseacre hauled The Wall out to Red Fork and dropped it in the middle of Southwest Boulevard this evening? I ran smack into the bloody thing a half-mile from the end of what was supposed to be a perfectly nice 5.5-mile bike ride this evening.

I realize that cycling and marathoning are two very different sports. And a girl obviously has to train a little more often than once a month in order to see any sort of progress in a new sport. And yes, in retrospect, I suppose it is probably not entirely accurate to refer to three cream horns as “carbo-loading.” But still … in all the running I’ve done, I have never actually hit The Wall. I’ve only seen it three times, and I can guarantee you it wasn’t sitting in the middle of Route 66, five miles from my starting point.

Ah, well. At least I seem to be getting the hang of using the gears. (It probably helps that I drove Ron’s car — which is a stick — to work this morning.) And I did manage to pedal all the way up the 41st Street overpass once this evening, which I consider a major accomplishment. I had to stop and walk halfway up it on the return trip, but that’s OK. The grade is steeper from that direction, and that was right after I started to feel wallish. And I had to walk up the hill from both directions last time … so I’ll take progress where I find it.

Tiring as it was, it was kind of fun to ride down 66 this evening. Running would have been easier, but I’m not keen on jogging at night. I should probably get over that — I’d have much better finish times if I didn’t use darkness as an excuse to blow off training runs — but the last time I ran by myself in the dark, it was both surreal and terrifying, and while I’m grateful for the experience, it’s not one I really care to repeat. I feel safer on wheels.

If my headlight would quit eating batteries like they taste good, that sense of safety would probably be justified. (Got any ideas, Roger? I think the cold weather is draining the battery, but I’m not entirely sure. If you’ve got a product and/or battery recommendation, I’d love to hear it.)

In any case, I had a pretty good ride, and that little encounter with The Wall just gives me a primo excuse to have a bowl of leftover chicken and dumplings for dinner. 🙂