Crappiest brick ever

My plans for this June, with six weeks to my next race, include enough warped play dates to make me feel absolutely spoiled, starting with this week's medium-effort triple brick: Bike 5 miles. Run 10-15 minutes at race pace. Bike 5 miles hard. Run 10-15 minutes at race pace. Bike 5 miles. Run 10-15 minutes at endurance pace.

Do you even KNOW how much fun it is to hang out in your body while it's doing that? I could hardly wait! Since the previous night's thunderstorms with their heavy rains had rolled away, nothing would keep me from getting on the bike, with running shoes and cap tucked in a light backpack, before 6 AM yesterday.

The five miles to Zip's house starts with three-quarters of a mile of 3-4% grade. I don't ride this very fast. (Every time I don't ride this very fast, I remind my legs that this time next year they are going to ride 20 miles of continual 6% grade. This makes them realize they have no time to waste, and they work harder. Good legs.)

The rest of the way to Zip's is flat, and the bike trips most of the traffic lights. "Here, I'll give you my garage code," says Zip. "Pop in, leave your bike where we won't run over it, good to go." I made a fast transition into the Pumas and jetted out for a hard run around Zip's neighborhood.

By my original math, the full triple brick should have taken me less than two hours. My math presumed I'd be much faster on the bike and hit zero traffic lights. I cut my run to 10 minutes and looked for hillier streets to make up some of the effort.

Back on the bike and punching in Zip's code, and the drizzle started, then rain. I went up the rollers on Lee, not hammering as hard as I'd hoped to as the roads got slicker and the sky got darker. In my mind, I cut back the second and third runs to 10 minutes, with a blink of disappointment that the morning wasn't going to tax me as fully as it might have. I didn't really feel the rain; I felt elated, like a kid.

Don't you remember hating to be called in out of the rain when you were playing? Did you see a good reason for it then?

I was almost to Leawood Park when I saw the barricade ahead, across the two lanes of the neighborhood street: Road Closed, High Water. "Whatever," I said. If there really was high water from last night still standing, I could turn around. Likely it had all drained off. I rode over the bridge and down to the park.

See? No high water. Pffft. Stupid sign. But friends? That "High Water" sign was only there because they don't make signs that say: "DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FECAL MATTER."

I ripped around the corner and smelled the mud just before my front wheel hit it. My brain registered three observations: Police tape. Wastewater treatment plant. Flash flooding. Then a fourth: Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

Which was spread thinly, curb to curb, across about thirty feet of road in a shiny sludge frosting. I didn't relish the thought of stopping and dismounting in it. It was perfectly rideable shit.

As a fine spray of brown gritty goop spattered off my wheel and up my calves, shoes, socks, bike, I told myself, "It's mostly mud it's mostly mud it's mostly mud. But man, I'm not taking another drink out of those bottles until they're boiled."

Smelling more than faintly of sewer water, I headed for the long curvy flat of Mission Road, where I could pop into my big ring and throw myself into the ride. Endorphins were pumping, the rain was abating, my heart rate was up, and I couldn't have been happier. (... as a pig in shit. Don't tell me you weren't thinking it.)

I also couldn't have been more wrong about where I thought the bike rack was in the office park. So I tooled around there wasting valuable running minutes trying to find it. I apologized to my Pumas for putting them on over the befouled socks. I shoved my wet bike shoes into the backpack (now officially a bag o crap that I was going to wear again in ten minutes) and with shoulders back ran gleefully wild for five minutes, then a little more measured back to the bike.

And checked my watch. With wet roads and traffic picking up, thirsty and with no potable water, I decided to bag the third run. Just as well, as I hit all the lights from that point on, including one at a busy intersection that would not trip with the bike, had no cars going my direction, and had no walk button to press, forcing a detour to a turnaround. So I got to ride even more! And the ride was feeling really good! Bonus!

Finally home and realizing I had just enough time to shower and dress, barely time to pack breakfast to take with me, I took my smelly bike to the basement and left her there, shit-sprayed and sadly neglected until I could rush home at five to clean her. Poor Gogo. She stood it well, and, I am happy to report, is now sludge-free, as is my wardrobe.

As for the brick: it worked me pretty well for a morning wake-up, but not nearly as hard as it might have... which means play dates are about to get even more fun. Can't wait to do it again, HARDER.

And hopefully under drier conditions involving less organic matter, but whatever.

I'll still stay out and play.