Three: This is the number of times I have biked to work so far, and I admit it: I’m getting hooked. This is not to say it’s not still scary, but with every ride I learn how to handle a new thing that terrified me the first time. I’m starting to get some kind of sense of when I can be aggressive and when to hang back, when a situation is going to resolve itself and when I really don’t want any part of that mess. And I’m slowly increasing my comfort level with riding new places, or riding in the dark, or doing any of the other things I need to do to really ride my bike as transportation in this city. The second time I rode to work, I stopped by Sports Basement for a bike maintenance clinic on the way home — and managed to get lost twice in a three-block radius — and it was dark and windy but wasn’t ever more than what I could handle. And the third time, last night, I rode through some entirely new territory to get to my triathlon club meeting — the whole time thinking about how ridiculous this was going to sound to anyone there who knew me last year. I think the key has been giving myself permission to put my bike on the bus if I ever feel truly uncomfortable — which I actually took advantage of for the first time last night when I decided that in the dark, with my computer, wearing jeans was not how I wanted to learn the hilly route home from Sports Basement. Instead, I biked a mile to a bus stop, bussed around the hills, and then biked another mile home. Someday I’ll do that whole ride, but right now I’m working on recognizing my limits, understanding where the fears are coming from, and acting on the rational ones. I should also apologize to anyone riding the outbound 43-Masonic around 8 last night for making the bus late; I promise I know how the bike rack works now.
Three: This is also the number of sports bras I am about to throw in the trash. Look: I love running. It takes a special thing to make me want to skip a run. But one of those special things is chafing, and good heavens, I cannot deal with the sports bra chafing situation right now. As a — what are we calling it these days? — well-endowed runner, I have long bowed to the throne of Moving Comfort, especially the Juno, which I heartily and frequently recommend. Hell, I recommended it to someone yesterday! But it’s gotten to the point where I eye my collection warily, because when I go out for a run of let’s say more than 30 minutes, I’m going to come home with some portion of my unmentionables rubbed raw. Yes, I Body Glide. Yes, I Ride Glide. No, neither of these things has prevented what appears to be a permanent hickey on the right side of my neck, a gross rope burn on my back, and some other things that I truly cannot speak of in polite internet company. I don’t know if they’re just old or if I’ve somehow fundamentally changed — and it’s not the size, ahem — but I think it’s time to clear the slate.
Three: This is the model number of the Brooks Ravenna that I am currently stockpiling in my closet. Sigh, shoes. I was so excited when the Brooks Adrenaline 13s came out — I’d just finished my last pair of 11s, having skipped the 12s entirely, and I heard the 13s fit like the 11s, so I was psyched. I’ve worn them on every other run for about six weeks now, and I think the love affair is over. When I run in them, I feel like I’m landing extra heavily, like the soles are just smacking against the ground — but without any of the springy energy return I usually get (and like!) from a stiffer sole. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; I never liked the Adrenalines until the 11, so maybe that model was just magic for me. And I don’t think the 13s are bad for me, so I’ll probably keep using them and see if anything changes. But just in case, I picked up a backup pair of Ravenna 3s, as my original pair is creeping ever closer to 300 miles. I don’t know if they’re the best for me as an everyday shoe — I originally bought them only to wear on shorter runs during Berlin training — but I made it through a half marathon training cycle in them, so they’re not breaking me worse than anything else does. And anyway, I’ve seen the Ravenna 4 start popping up places, so it’s time to hoard older models, because that’s the law of running shoes. (But! Apparently this triathlon season, we’re getting set up with fancy video gait analysis, the likes of which I haven’t had since my pre-PT days. Stoked to see if anything’s changed and if there’s a better shoe for me now, since apparently I’m on the hunt…again.)