Car-sharing leads to weirdest brick ever: 25 miles cycling + 400-meter repeats

I didn’t tell my sister I’d just rode my bike 25 miles home from work shortly before getting together for a session of 400-meter repeats because I didn’t want her to be furious if I wasn’t able to keep up.

Inspiring as the ride was – my first of the year – I was determined to put it out of my mind while we ran because I didn’t want any excuses for not giving my best effort.

The amazing thing was, it mostly worked. We hit our goal of 2 minutes or less on all seven quarter-mile repeats. It wasn’t until afterward that I revealed my secret – and reveled in the weirdness of a pseudo brick that included a speed workout.

I wouldn’t have attempted this pairing if it weren’t for our current car-sharing scenario. But with my husband and I scheduled to start work just one hour apart early Tuesday morning, it didn’t make sense for us both to drive to Fort Wayne, even if my copydesk shift was significantly shorter than his reporting/editing duties.

My conundrum was that I wanted to ride at an easy pace so my legs wouldn’t be too cooked for our early afternoon speed workout, but I also needed to make sure I got back in time. Naturally I had to stay over a bit at work, and then the shortcut I’d planned to take – involving several Greenway sections that pass under bridges – were closed due to flooding.

That meant a potential 21-mile ride would now be at least 25 miles. But I didn’t try to make up for it by peddling harder. I just tried to enjoy the ride, and it wasn’t hard, given that it was a beautiful day and probably 10 degrees less than the promised high of 70.

This commute went much more smoothly than what I remembered from last summer, probably because I wasn’t constantly thinking about what route to use, how long it was going to take, and how much farther I had to go. Worst case, I figured I could get Rowan or Ben to come pick me up if I ran out of time.

But I didn’t. I got home about half an hour ahead of when I needed to leave (this time by car) to meet Traci for our run, and because I hadn’t been cranking – sticking to around 11 mph for the most part – my legs weren’t the least bit trembly when I got off the bike.

They felt well-used but not balky during our warmup jog, and when we tackled the first quarter-mile, on our parents’ gravel road, I really focused in, determined to keep up with my 8-years-younger sister. We finished that first quarter in 1:52, and while it was work, I knew then I was going to be able to finish the workout if I just put that bike ride out of my mind.

It wasn’t until we’d finished quarter-mile No. 7 that I spilled the beans – and savored the odd satisfaction of the weirdest brick ever, at least in my limited experience.

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