The Beacon Hill Debacle

So, my husband and I were discussing the enormous hills that I encountered Sunday while checking out the bicycle portion of June’s triathlon course in Pennsylvania. “You know,” he tells me, “you could ride up Beacon Hill Road. It’s close to home, and it would be good practice for the Pennsylvania hills.”

Now, I’ve driven up Beacon Hill Road. The road, in case you missed it, is named for a hill. I have to downshift my Jeep into third gear to ascend.

“I can’t ride that!” I protest.

“You won’t know until you try,” he says with a smile of encouragement.

And so it was that I found myself, around 5:30 yesterday afternoon, slumped up against a guardrail gasping like a carp for oxygen about two-thirds of the way up Beacon Hill Road. I’d literally kicked my new road bike to the curb in disgust. My fancy clip-on bike shoes, as I later trudged on foot to the top of the hill, made me sound like a tap dancer on the verge of paraplegia.

By about 9:30 last night, as I lay in bed praying to the gods of ibuprofen, my thighs burned with the intensity of a woman scorned. I awoke today to my husband smiling and telling me how proud he was of me for trying, even though I couldn’t summon the lower-body strength to roll over and give him a good morning kiss.

Today’s training is supposed to be a five-mile jog. I’m going to check Mapquest for “Flat and Easy Lane.” If there is any justice in the universe, it will exist somewhere within easy walking distance.

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