Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Bet: Episode 1

The Challenge...

If you are reading this you are one of two people. You are either a cyclist or a triathlete (somewhere Mike Kuhn just yelled, "What about Mountain Bikes?") We've all been there, riding along the Skuykil river path minding our own business when one of "those" people buzz by us. We utter something under our breath, making massive stereotypes about an entire sporting event. You all know what I'm talking about. Even here at Cadence the cycling coaches and Tri coaches have differing opinions on things.

A few weeks ago in our meeting, we were discussing the schedule of our new distance running class. (If you're just hearing about this, it's not too late to sign up) It all started pretty harmless. We were trying to name the course and figure out our target audience for the class. The Tri coaches thought it should be called "Distance running for Triathletes" to which I said, "yeah but what about those cyclist who just finished their season and want to do some cross training?"

The cycling coaches were silent and the tri coaches chuckled. No cyclist would ever want to do distance running the cycling coaches said in unison. No cyclist COULD do distance running spoke the tri coaches ...

"We COULD," I barked back, "we just choose not to because our sport is better." Oops, I went to far. It was on. We started going at it as to why our respective sports were better than the other. Cyclist are too mean, cut throat racing, Triathletes are too nice to each other, no competitiveness among the masses. Cyclist are bullies, hogging up the streets and paths with their big group rides, triathletes are all over the road and have poor bike handling skills. Back and forth we went and somewhere in there I, for some unknown reason, took the entire cycling world on my shoulders and hushed the room. "I can and will run a marathon. I will train with the class and run Philly at the end of November. I ran in high school and I could get ready for it in 10 weeks no problem." The cycling coaches had a look like I just signed my death sentence. The tri coaches said the deal had to be more than just finishing. I'm an elite cyclist. I could finish 26.2 miles. It may take me 5 hours, but I could get through it. No, it had to be tough, this was for bragging rights. I would have to break 3 hours to win this bet they decided. Something that, I am now learning, is going to take all my focused energy to train and race for.

My racing season has ended and I am in full running mode. Bought the shoes, bought the gear and headed out for my first run Monday morning. But you'll have to wait for the details of my death march until next time...

Til then, happy riding (or running, i guess)