My 45th birthday was Saturday. I enjoyed a late lunch with my brother at Flossmoor Brewery. He was up for the day from Champaign. He and a cousin went to a memorabilia show to get a picture together with Dick Buckus. That evening Abigail and I kept it simple going to Cracker Barrel for dinner. This was an un-birthday. What I mean was that is truly was like any other day with the exception of seeing my brother and calls from parents and siblings. There was a part of me that wanted to feel special, to have cake and a party. Since that wasn’t the case I locked into it’s my birthday, a good day, living a good life, it’s all okay. Living within a budget there was nothing extravagant to plan while we focus on 3 year debt free plan or a milestone (I have 3 years to plan or at least may sure I save up for my wife’s 60th).
To occupy myself while I waited on my brother, I turned my attention to some bike maintenance. Bike as in the pedaling kind. In particular, I hadn’t paid an attention to the mountain bike that I have used to commute to the train all winter long. The most that I have done is to keep the chain oiled. The bike got a good wash and the drivetrain took a while to degrease. There was all kinds of grit in the chain, derailleurs, and cassette. I ended up sudsing it up and spraying off with the hole some of the debris. Then came out a bike chain cleaner contraption that finished the job. I still spent more time with a rag getting the stubborn stuff out of the derailleurs. After a couple hours of drying, on went fresh lube. The bike has many nicks, scratches, and rough spots but looks good for a 10 year old well used bike. With the cleaning a lube, it looks solid and rides smooth. The bike will get me to where I need to go with a smile as well as take me through a second triathlon. I somehow am identifying with the bike.
My workouts are increasing a little. In particular, I know that I am not a runner. I haven’t been one (a runner) for over 20 years. I jog a couple days a week. For the last 2 months I have added long slow (12 minute miles) on the weekends. I do set the stopwatch to get a sense on how slow I am running. Being a competitive person, it’s hard to keep the “you should be running faster” monster from harassing me. I am running 10 minute miles for the short runs. For the longer runs, I am just enjoying the movement, the process of slogging along. If I am able to keep up the slogging, I may consider a Tecumsah Marathon in Bloomington Indian. The entries are around 400, the route is 90% dirt trails while 3800 ft ascending and 3500 descending through 2 state forests. I did it 6 years ago in 5:30. For much of the race I was simply running by myself through forests.
Side note, I ran across a coyote on the side streets while riding the bicycle to the train this morning. It was almost like it thought I was chasing it for a moment until it made a quick exit after running for a block in front of me.