Sunday, August 30, 2009

50 miles, 8000 ft of climbing = SICK!

Yesterday I set out on a ride with a friend of mine Te Koi and 2 of his other friends. We left the Chevron in Draper at 6:40am and rode to the top of Traverse. What a way to warm up! We went from the parking lot straight into climbing and had some 8-10% grades to contend with most of the way up. It took us 27 minutes and change to get to the top totally cranking away, no spinning here! I asked Te Koi on the way up "Who's idea was this?!" It was his ;)

Then came the first decent. I won't lie. I'm kind of a baby. I held the brakes coming down more than I should have, but I still did pretty good for me. I met the guys at the bottom waiting for me and said "I know, I know, lets go". Maybe if I had more testosterone I'd be more reckless....Anyway, we headed into Alpine and to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. Upon entering the canyon we rode into a fairly mean headwind. I'm not a drafter, but you had better believe I hustled back up to the group to find a wheel to tuck in behind. Luckily the wind faded and we headed on up.

It took us about an hour and a half to ride the 12 miles up to the summit at 8000 ft.
That's called steep!
It got progressively worse as the ride went on and by the time we were almost to the top I remember thinking that this was an experience similar to childbirth in that it may take me some time to forget the pain before I want to do this again :) Seriously, there were some really tough moments, once I thought I was going to roll back on a switchback, but we did it and I'm proud I got to the top!
We hung out for a minute waiting for our 4th rider to make it up, and then the nerves started kicking in. Well really I started to get nervous about the way down when we were about halfway up. We really started climbing some bigger grades and this isn't like Traverse, it's a 12 mile decent, not 3 or 4. Te Koi asked me if i was alright after I finished getting the arm warmers and gloves on and I said yes, just nervous to go down. He assured me I'd be ok, and you know what? I was! I'm no Cat 1 (ie: FAST) cyclist, but I hit my fair share of 32-35mph's and had so much fun riding down that canyon! I hardly ever train with music, on the bike especially out of fear of not hearing traffic. Yesterday I was more scared of the decent than I was the cars (there weren't a ton and they were respectful), so I popped an earbud in, turned on some rockin tunes and let go. I've come to learn it's so much easier letting the bike go a bit than it is hugging the brakes out of fear I'll get rolling too fast. I was able to slow down when I needed to, didn't have any close calls, and just really had a great time! I was actually sad when it was over and it was time to head back into Alpine. That's a big step for me (I sound like I'm in therapy). I'm usually excited to be off the mountain back into my comfort zone. I really needed that ride yesterday - totally motivational. I really feel like I broke down a barrier.

Anyway, I had thought we were going to go around point of the mountain to get home to avoid the big climb back to Draper, but the boys (ok, it was the fast one of us, Shaun. Te Koi and I were spent) talked me into going back over Traverse. We approached the climb and my legs just cried, begging me to not make them do it again. Sorry legs, you lose. Thanks for the ride though! It was really hot by this point, the 30 minute climb back up was rough, but we made it. I had one last mountain to get down, and I was still nervous. The only time I'd been down the Draper side before this was horrible. Anyone recall this picture?
Yeah, I was scared. I was scared today too, but wanted to prove this theory that I can't go down hills fast wrong. Ear bud back in, check. Helmet bucked, check. Brakes still working :), check.
I did soooo much better this time!
Last time I don't think I ever approached 20mph, again out of sheer fear I'd get rolling too fast to control - NOT TRUE! I went down this time at 28-35mph and it was fun! Was that crazy fast? No, I've still got room for improvement, but it was much needed improvement.

Anyway, I'm pooped. What a great morning. Definately the hilliest ride I've ever been on, and probably the hardest. Those 70-80 milers are hard, but just cause my butt hurts from being on a seat that long. The guys were great to ride with and so nice to not make me feel like a slow girl (I did keep up pretty well). Oh and the scenery was fantastic. I always love being around the pine tree covered hills and we rode through Aspens everywhere the last couple miles to the summit. Here are some details from Te Koi's Garmin (can't get mine to upload)

I realized at 9pm last night that I was supposed to run 2 miles that day. Soooo didn't want to go out, but I have this thing called a competitive mind - and probably some OCD - that doesn't often let me skip a workout (and I'm trying to get this foot back), so I laced up the shoes at 9:30pm and headed out. It was dark, I was sore, had to run on the road for safety reasons, and it went ok. I'm hoping my legs were just tired from the day, but I thought I might have felt and inkling of shin splints, something I haven't had since I was 15. I'm really stiff today, but ready to get back at it this next week. Yay for being mobile again!!!

1 comment:

Te Koi & Cherry said...

we need to do that again this year!!!!!