Or that's what Sarah tried to tell me anyway. What a great training partner she is. We took off about 9:30am Friday about 6 miles up Hwy18 from SG and headed into town. Noticed some winds starting out, but nothing bad. Made it through Ivins and turned onto the highway heading toward the reservation. That's where the winds made their appearance, and boy did they ever! Normally that's a quick downhill section with a mild grade uphill to get to the top of the reservation. As soon as we turned out of Ivins the wind just smacked us in the face, hard. That uphill has never felt so hard, and we were only maybe 15 miles into our ride. I asked Sarah how I was supposed to ride 100 miles in this and she wisely said to just worry about one loop right now, just focus on the road right in front of us.
The next 25 miles were brutal. Headwinds that would try to stop you, uphills, and no chance to catch any relief on the few and small downs that are there. My one hope was that we would at least have a tail wind going up the switch back, and thankfully we did! It was still brutal, but sure felt nice to have a few pushes from behind.
Check this picture out. Did I mention things got bad enough we resorted to drafting behind a lady on a mountain bike? Yeah, it's true. But before you get all worked up, let me introduce said mtn biker. This is Lynda Wallenfels, a local pro mountain biker and coach, from Europe I believe. She's amazing! Totally spun up a few hills we were grinding away on barely moving, and just flying down the Hwy back to Veyo. I asked her if she wanted to trade bikes, as mine even matched her shorts, but she didn't fall for it...I mean agree :)
Sarah knew her fairly well, and I got a short chance to chat with her too. She said she will be escorting the 2nd place pro woman on the run course (while on her mtn bike) on IMSG race day, very cool! And get this, she asked me if I was pro - me! Bless her heart ;)
Anyway, back to the ride. Finally had the chance to get some downhills heading back toward SG, and again, had to play with the winds. It was pretty scary. Wind gusts thrown at you every which way when you're already traveling 30-45mph. It was frightening, and I was frustrated. I was definitely not in my aero bars. Sarah toasted me down the initial descent and waited for me halfway to town where we got started. I was really grumpy and upset by this point. The split was horrible. More than 20 minutes slower than my ride 3 weeks ago. And Sarah, awesome-I-don't-deserve-to-train-in-her-presence Sarah, was killing me and it was, get this, her second ride of the season. I was really feeling like crap now. I've been training ALL winter! I passed her quickly and told her not to let me hold her back and that she didn't have to do another loop just for me. She followed me back in for our second loop however.
I was scared of the winds, and couldn't believe we were going back into them. We experienced a little less wind once headed back toward and into Ivins, but I was still leery. We made our first stop of the day at a park right before the reservation Hwy (I will learn the name of it at some point). Sarah used the bathroom, we both put in music, I refilled my drink, and broke out the Hammer Endurolytes. I hadn't planned on using them because the drink I use, HEED, contains Endurolytes, but I have come to learn on a difficult course like this is, with winds like we had as well, I'm gonna have to supplement them. And wouldn't you know it, 20 or so minutes later I felt so much better! Sarah could tell too without me saying it. I was finally riding a little stronger, a little more confidently. The winds were still there but calmer up until we got to Gunlock Reservoir where I think they picked up again. We rode pretty strong, barely made it up some of the couple standing climbs, but saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
I was feeling well enough to slow down a bit and take some pics of these big toys to send home to our boys (my Talmage is 4 as is her Noah).
The last switchback was absolutely brutal. I wasn't sure I'd make it up without climbing off, but I did eventually. It's not a great pic, but here is the view looking down of where we were only a scant 1/2 mile earlier
We were able to get aero past Veyo before the top of Snow Canyon, feel a wind at our back, ride on smooth road, and say "THIS is why we ride these bikes". I enjoyed the last of the descent to our starting line, and we meandered back to our homestay and ended the day with a quick 15 minute post ride run which I thought felt great! Sarah, I'm not so sure.
Total riding time (not including our 2 quick stops) was 6:05, NOT where I would have liked it, but the second loop was only 5 minutes slower than the first, so that's not too bad. We'll just pray for less wind come race day.
My awesome training partner hammering away.She is so tough! I'll be honest. I was upset and jealous of how well she was doing. Not because I don't want her to be fast, but because I was doubting myself since I wasn't doing as well and had been training all winter. Sure she's been running a lot lately and she has a huge endurance background, but like I mentioned earlier, this was her 2nd ride of the season! She was only planning on doing one loop with me and the crazy girl did all 100 windy miles flawlessly. She put up with me when I was whiny and grumpy, made me lead most of it, and was a great motivator and just a great friend to talk to along the way. Couldn't have done it without you Sarah!
Here we are enjoying an ice bath (Sarah's 1st!) not much ice, I know.