That moment you make it up a hill that made you cry a weak prior…
I’ll be honest, I was not confident on Saturday morning as we prepped to start our ride. We started with a triathlon group, nervously chatting about the new course. Most of the group hadn’t experienced it yet. I very proudly told everyone that I had to walk it and wasn’t sure I’d make it up on my second try.
We started our ride with a group that held a very steady 15 mph average. We did end up losing them in Mount Horeb when John needed a potty stop, and I was actually a bit relieved to fall behind the group. I wanted my second attempt at Barlow Road to be on our own. As we neared this monster, dream-squashing hill I took some ShotBloks, got mentally prepared, relaxed my legs, and let whatever it be, be.
While going up it, I remember the moment I passed the spot where I hopped off of my bike last weekend. The quitter in my head thought “Well, you made it past that point, you can hop off and say that you got further this week!”
But I got into a standing climb and kept going. My breathing was so loud. So, so, so loud. I was embarrassed at my breathing, yet climbing this damn hill that made me feel so weak. Best way to describe this breathing is asthmatic hyena. But this asthmatic hyena made it up to the top!
At the top I stood there, still wheezing. John was waiting for me to tell him if I had made it or not.
I… wheeeeze..gasp..made..wheeeze, gasp,..it.
We rode on, enjoying the day. The next 20 miles my legs were trashed from that hill though. I faded hard, making me wonder if it’s worth riding up this hill. I’m glad that now I can say I made it, but walking it might save my legs for the next 75 miles and then running a marathon.
Our day ended after 103.5 miles, John’s longest ride ever. It’s really fun to go into these newest, furthest distances with him. Around mile 90 he was singing behind me “this is the furthest I’ve ever rode, and this is too, la la laaa”
Sunday we slept in. No alarms, no groups to meet, just wake up, eat French toast, and run when we felt like it. It was pretty great. The first eight miles felt strong to both of us considering our ride yesterday. Then we both hit a weird, never-ending wall. It wasn’t hot, we were just tired and wanted to not be propelling ourselves forward with our legs anymore. We suffered through and finished the run at 14 miles, six minutes slower than last weekend. Neither of us cared, we both felt accomplished just getting the distance done.
We even agreed to skip our afternoon swim. No regrets. Sanity and rest are as important as logging a zillion miles in this kind of training. We’ll swim feeling refreshed after some rest.
In the meantime, I live in this shirt now.