Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Tough Reinvent

As I approach my 36th year once again fighting shin splints, I have to face the fact that I am not as young and spry as I used to be.
Not that I was ever actually spry, I think. But I was less prone to injury, so there's that.
I've been running for nearly four years, and I've gotten to the point at which I know I want to run a full marathon someday. I have my sights set on 2017; I should be done with my masters by then, and I'd like to do something to honor the memory of my dad, whose 70th birthday would be that year, were he still alive.
But in order to run that marathon, I have to stay healthy.
For my second half marathon, I used Hal Higdon's Novice 2 half marathon training guide. It really was the perfect plan for me; the weekday runs were kept fairly short, so I didn't need to worry about altering my training times from the early morning.
But running four days a week ended up getting the best of me. I know that many of my running friends run that many days - or more - and have no issue. But it's just a little too much for me.
If I want to stay healthy, then, I need to add Something Else.

Everybody, meet RuPaul.

Please excuse her leaning against Ursula; she doesn't have a kickstand.
RuPaul, meet everybody.

I bought RuPaul from my friend Christie's husband. Their lifestyle no longer really necessitates a road bike for him, so he was looking to get rid of it last fall, and so I happily snapped it up. 
When we lived in Michigan, I had started cycling for a time and LOVED it, so I knew it was something I wanted to get back into, and I've been reading about the duathlon, which is, as you might gather from the name, a two-part race incorporating running and cycling (it's usually a run-bike-run event). While I've learned that I should probably stop saying "never" in terms of what I'll do athletically, I am fairly confident that I will truly never do a triathlon, as I get extremely anxious in water (I don't like to say I'm afraid of water; it's more like I get claustrophobic under water, which leads to panic attacks). But the idea of a duathlon is just up my alley (there are also the aquabike, a cycling and swimming event, and the aquathlon, which combines swimming and running).
Finally, I got RuPaul tuned up, picked up a new pair of pedals that work with my cycling shoes, dug out my cycling shorts, and hopped on last month.
It was exhilarating.
I love running. I truly do. But I had forgotten how flat out awesome it feels to be on a bike.
I'm hoping that reducing the numbers of days I run and supplementing that with days on RuPaul will mean healthier, pain-free shins.

Fab shoes for errbody! RuPaul says.
To answer the question, RuPaul got her name thus:

  • She is a Giant OCR3. A synonym for giant is amazon, and it was only a short jump from there to glamazon.
  • She's technically a men's bike (if you couldn't tell by her selfie up there).
  • She came with all the accessories (she has three pairs of pedals now).
  • She gives me an excuse for more accessories (gloves, shoes, helmet, oh my).
  • She's f***ing fabulous.

But flippancy aside, RuPaul, both the television persona and the man behind her, is someone who is a role model. She is comfortable in her own skin, which is something with which I struggle on a daily basis. In naming my bicycle after RuPaul, I'm reminding myself that I don't have to fit into a specific size jeans to be comfortable being me and that I don't have to be confined to a societal norm in order to be happy or content.
And if anyone can help me fit into that one dress I haven't slipped into in too many years, it'll be Ru.

I may need Ru's fashion help, too.
"When the going gets tough, the tough reinvent."
(RuPaul, Workin' It! RuPaul's Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style)


  1. I love the "reinvent" with Ru. That glamazon looks like a good time. ;)