4:45 AM (alarm goes off)
You’ve got to be kidding me.
Ack, what time is it?! Ugh, must get clock that has snooze button, rather than on-off switch. Okay, suck it up, time to start getting up early, dammit. Still feel like a fraud. Only athletes do this crack-of-dawn thing, and I’m clearly not an athlete. Who am I kidding?
5:35 (driving out to Huntley with bike)
Wow, I’m actually on the road within my time frame – will wonders never cease? Alert the media! What the heck’s with those black storm clouds though – shoot, should have checked the radar to see if rain was moving in. Well, no matter. Even if it’s pouring rain, I’m still riding – it’ll be good practice for IMMOO. Besides, I am NOT a wimp, I am an Ironchick. A wanna-be, at least. Rain, storms, bah, I scoff at your feeble attempts to throw me off track.
6:20 (arriving in Huntley at mom’s house)
Ay caramba, what’s with this WIND?? And it’s COLD, brr! It must be 40 degrees outside. Maybe I’ll wait just a tiny bit until it warms up, have a cup of hot tea.
6:35 (inside, looking at computer)
Crap, it really is only 40 degrees – with a “real feel” temperature of 36. Great. Just what I need – hypothermia. Maybe another cup of tea, just until I wake up a bit. Besides, if I look at the hourly forecast, it should be at least 5 degrees warmer by 7.
Mom wakes up, asks me if I could look up some forms for her online and print them out.
Okay, it’s not going to get any warmer; time to get this show on the road already. I put on another layer and head out.
Fingers are frozen. Note to self: always have full gloves with you, not just the fingerless ones. This wind is crazy – who the hell decided to build houses and roads out here on the frozen tundra, anyway??
I’m forced to take a different route, since the little road I usually take is closed because of more ugly house construction. Boy, drivers are a lot meaner during the week than on weekends! Hey bub, thanks for the whole 2 inches of space between me and your 2-ton Midlife Crisis! 99% of the people whiz by like that, so I’m shocked at the one car that creeps along behind me at a blind curve until it’s safe to pass. Thanks, whoever you are!
Whew, finally I can turn off onto a smaller country road. What the heck, could this be a bit more torn up and potholey? Talk about needing a repair job, now. I’m composing a letter in my head to the local Huntley municipal board (“To the good people of Huntley:”), when suddenly I hear a loud POP. Shit. Did I drop something? Blow a wheel? Just then, a car veers past me, and I see that HE has the flat tire. Ouch. See, told you about the roads.
I’m riding along this road that’s still surrounded by fields, thinking about what an old curmudgeon I’ll sound like in, say, a year or two when it’s all McMansions: “Sit around, children, and I’ll tell you when there used to be actual FARMLAND right here in Illinois. Yes, it’s true,” I’ll insist, as the kids snicker and shake their heads in disbelief. I then notice that most of the fields already have fire hydrants in them, all ready to stick those ugly houses in there. Sigh. So much for a couple of years.
Okay, time to do some hills. I’ve managed to find the one stretch of road around here that has real hills, a couple of miles of all kinds of painful and sucky hills. Yeehaw. I do an out-and-back, and contemplate the suckiness of that. I ride it again, so I don’t feel lame. The smart thing now would be to stop, so I’m not tired for Galena. I think about that, agree with it, and then do the hills again. No sense breaking with tradition.
At least my bike is working properly. Still hard to shift, but doable. Thanks, GAG. Smoochies!
Okay, made it back in one piece, now off for a run. Should I take some bread crumbs to mark my trail? These subdivisions and trails are a bit Soviet-esque, all looking the same. They’ll probably find Jimmy Hoffa wandering around the Sun City lake one of these days.
I’m doing a fine imitation of Adaptation, with the following running through my head: “Well, I’m trying to cut back on carbs, but all this working out should warrant at least some oatmeal. Okay, I have my recovery drink too, but that’s only about 145 calories. Oatmeal is 120. Yeah, I can have oatmeal – besides, they say that the carbs you have right before or immediately after working out don’t count, because……EEEEEEEH!”
At that point I tripped on some huge bump in the pathway and went tumbling to the ground, like a clown at the circus. At least now I can be happy it’s so damn cold, because the fuzzy gloves kept my hands from getting scraped up.
Okay, so what’s the deal with this trail?? Does it ever end? Have I actually discovered the 7th Circle of Hell?
Well, that wasn’t too bad. At least I feel like I can take on Galena now. Seriously, after all this madcap chaos, how bad can THAT be? I am so ready for that race.