Nine times out of ten it is completely excellent to have a husband who also runs, bikes and swims. A husband who pushes me to my limits and beyond, a husband who understands why I want to eat pasta three nights a week and don’t keep sweets in the house. A husband who knows what it’s like to give up most of your Sunday to a long run, a husband who can converse for hours about lactate thresholds and electrolyte replacement. And then…well…there’s that tenth time, when it leads to a day like yesterday.
The Hubs and I are kid-free this weekend (I take back almost every nasty thing I’ve ever said about my in-laws; they adore my children and take them off my hands for a few days every summer), so we planned a nice long bike ride on a beautiful nearby bike trail. The Hubs is training for his first Half Iron distance tri and this weekend called for a 50-mile ride. Since my previous longest bike ride was a 20-miler and I ride significantly slower than my beloved, we agreed to do our own out-and-back distances, but meet up several miles before the finish and ride in together.
The bike trail is an athlete’s dream: the main path is over 30 miles long (and there are miles and miles of offshoots), the scenery is fabulous since it follows a river, it’s nicely paved, clearly marked, wide enough to ride two abreast, and there’s a hard dirt shoulder for runners, too. It’s a moderately challenging path, with lots of hills and twists and turns. Most of my experience with the trail has been as a runner, so I was really looking forward to approaching it this time on wheels.
We set off nice and early from the bottom of the trail, our thought being that the net downhill on the return would make the day a little easier overall. We stayed together for the first two or three miles, but I knew The Hubs had a time goal in mind, so I cut him loose to ride at his own (much faster) pace. He said he would call me at his turnaround, so I could turn around also, then we’d meet up about ten miles from the end.
Even though I thought I might take a leisurely ride and just enjoy the trail, as soon as I started pedaling I started to push my pace. Bike in the distance? Well, you know I have to chase that slowpoke down! Here is the inherent problem with being a racing athlete (even an average one): the competitive juices never stop flowing.
The Hubs called me just about when I expected he would, so I turned around and started chasing people down the hill, too. I arrived at our meet-up spot a few minutes before him, so while I waited, I got off my bike and stretched my legs a little. When I saw him approach, I smiled broadly and waved, ready to enjoy a chat on our ride back together. He braked abruptly next to me and snapped, “I thought you would just keep going and I would meet you!” and then took off. TOOK. OFF. I didn’t even have my feet on the pedals and I had been dropped. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!
I didn’t take this turn of events very well, I admit. I spent several miles contemplating divorce or dismemberment. I plotted revenge and I swore I would never, ever get over being this angry. When The Hubs was waiting for me at the end of the trail there was some swearing from me before I initiated the Silent Treatment.
After numerous heartfelt apologies from The Hubs (which I ignored because – hello! – I was the wronged party here and I was planning on pouting all day), he explained that he had been playing leapfrog with a group of cyclists all the way down the hill and he just couldn’t let them pass him without giving chase.
Yeah, okay, I totally get that. And just like that, all was forgiven.
Final stats for the day: 42.62 miles @ 16.9 mph.