They won’t leave me aloneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Who has a bike race on a rainy day like today? Okay, I did go out running but it wasn’t raining when I left and I have a lot better traction than bikes do. I was determined to erase a bad memory from yesterday! Instead of running the Swamp Rabbit it would be up and over the hill on Chinquapin down to Cherokee Valley and then up and over the hill back home. Easy! A mere seven hundred feet in elevation gain and that one and a half mile “Hill from Hell!” Easy! It is in the bag. I just hope it’s not in a body bag.
Up at five and lets take time to make sure our legs are in fact attached to our feet. They were but I thought the same thing yesterday before losing a duel with a very pregnant lady pushing a double stroller. Out at six thirty, wait what is this falling out of the air. According to the weather map there is no rain in the area. Maybe it is just a glitch in technology? The little voice in my head said “I think the running gods are going to frown on you if you go out that door.” I should have listened to my little voice but instead I decided to just wait it out. An hour and a half later no rain is falling and no rain is showing in the area. Out I go and forty seven minutes later I am a very large, drowned rat. Thank goodness I put my IPhone in a plastic bag but I sure wish I had packed that poncho.
The “gods” of running were frowning on me. I believe that if you believe in the Holy Spirit, which I do, that an argument can be made for the existence of “unholy” spirits. Not the devil or evil incarnate, just little ah…I don’t know…gremlins or what I call gods with a little “g.” Football fans understand what I am talking about. A little imp called a “football god” that made the field goal kicker miss two easy field goals after breaking the record for consecutive field goals. What about the “scrum” on fourth and less than a foot with just a little more than a minute to go? I am sure the little gremlin moved the ball one centimeter in the wrong direction as in “the football gods were frowning on us tonight.” Please understand I am not worshiping these gods. I have already broken too many commandments to break that one. I just believe that they might exist. Just in case they do exist sometimes I pray to God and ask him not to let the “little g” gods interfere. My little voice whispers to me that I should realize that God is really too busy to intercede on my behalf in such trivial matters.
As I made my turn around in the rain and began my seven hundred foot ascent to the top of the small mountain that Chinquapin Road runs over I saw a sign that read “Bike Race Today.” Okay it must be left over from the last one, because only an idiot would race today. When I got to the Baily Mill Road crossroads I found out that I was incorrect. There were about five hundred idiots on the road besides me and they were moving a lot faster than I was. Not just the cyclists were out in mass but their fans, pace cars and police were also present. As I ran weaving through Baily Mill on the wrong side of the road, I knew the cheering fans were not cheering me. I was amazed how fast the cyclist came screaming down the “Hill From Hell” while making the turn on to Baily Mill. All of those cyclist with their hideous colors and spandex were going so fast and leaning so deeply in to their turns I worried that they might drag a pedal and cause a dozen bike pile up. I was terrified for them and worried about the little “g” gods causing a blowout. As I continued my snails pace up Chinquapin they kept coming and kept coming. Flight after flight flew by me, each group a little slower than the last. I think I feared for them more that those who were obviously the elite riders. I hope the cycling gods were kind to them. At least it quit raining.
I made it home safe and sound albet quite wet. Considering the conditions and the hills, 11:30 miles were pretty good. Suddenly I feel that what I accomplished was not very important. As I type this I hear sirens heading up Highway 11 toward the race area and I say a little prayer for whatever has happened. I hope that the cycling gods were smiling today and not frowning. Please be smiling.