Thursday, July 01, 2004

So, I biked into work again today (it's 12 miles, for those counting). This marked the first time I did not bike out of semi-necessity. My car is running fine, there's gas in the tank, I just opted to trek it in this morning.

It also marked another first. The first time I made it up the infamous Valley hill. This hill had been my nemesis during any of my bike rides into work. Steep, long (about half a mile or more) and at the end of my route (where I'd already burned off most of my energy), it's a stretch I dread from the moment I leave my driveway. But, today, I finally surmounted it, without leaving the bike. Granted, I probably should not have done it. You see, by the time I got to the hill, I was feeling pretty good about myself. The ride up until then had gone really well and I'd noticed a significant increase in my endurance level since I first took the route. So, as I completely ran out of steam 3/4 of the way up the hill, I summoned all the determination and strength within myself and kept going. By the time I reached the top, it was obvious I'd pushed myself too far. Though my legs were strong and ready to go, my heart and lungs, which had been taking the brunt of the last 1/4 of the hill, were about to give out. Through I'd tried to keep my breathing timed and rhythmic on the way up, by the time I finished, it felt like my lungs wanted to expel themselves from my body.

But, I did it.