So much easier than running.

Cross training is part of the official marathon training this time around, so last night I took my bike for a 17-mile loop out in the boondocks.

I liked it. If I weren't absurdly drawn to running, even though it's hard, and I'm not that great at it, I'd totally give it up and take up cycling, instead. But for now I'll have the best of both, and remain mediocre at both.

Gosh. I'm so inspirational, aren't I?

So, the bike ride. It was hotter than piss outside yesterday, but again, cycling in the heat is much easier than running in the heat. So I didn't die. Two points for me!

I mapped my route on Map My Ride, and while I wasn't entirely sure where I was going the whole time, I did make it back. However, there was about a two-mile stretch on a suspect highway with weeds growing from its crevices and vacant farmhouses along its path that made me wish I had brought identification with me for when the authorities discovered my body at the bottom of a swamp, but I survived that, too.

What I did not appreciate, though, other than some fairly gigantor hills and asinine drivers who would not move over in the least as they passed me at a swift 63 mph, were the butterflies. I don't do butterflies. And they were everywhere. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the miles of endless fields. Maybe it was because God Hates Me. But they were small and black and orange and everywhere.

Fluttering in the fields. Smashed on the road. Hanging out on the shoulder of the highway. I even counted - with every three pedal strokes I saw another butterfly, somewhere. And one of them? It hit my bike helmet, I felt it. And I screamed, not just in the depths of my soul, but out loud, for all of farm country to hear.

So when I got home, it mattered not that I was sweatier than a hog, or that my tires had lost some air and that the bike seat left me feeling as though I had delivered a child out of my rear, because I was safe. And inside? The butterflies can't get me.