Today's ride was BRUTAL! The schedule called for a 45 mile hill repeat ride. 11 miles out to Larch Mountain, which is slight uphill most of the way. Then 6 miles up Larch - which we thought was where we would hit snow and have to turn around. Then 6 down. 6 back up. 6 down. 11 back to Edgefield for burgers and booze.
I started my morning at 4:45am and by the time I hit the road, I was awake...but needing a little boost. Since we were supposed to try something new again this week in the nutrition area, I decided on a little shot of 5 Hour Energy. I've tried it once before lifting weights and I felt AWESOME but wasn't sure how it would do for cardio. Mostly I was afraid it would tweak me out a bit, but I went for it. I finished it, barfed a little back up in my mouth, and then tasted it for the next 4 hours! Blech!
However, I felt INCREDIBLE on this ride - Very strong up the hills. I don't know if the "juice" had anything to do with it or not, but I would probably try this again. SHAZAM!
At 10.5 miles we reached Portland Women's Forum and this incredible view on nice days...
...however, this was definitely NO nice day. It was cold, dark, windy, and RAINY. Rain that felt like tacks pounding on my face. By the second hill repeat, I was just waiting for mile 34 to register on my bike computer. I thought I would be home free at that point, but that is where it got really bad. It was so cold going down, that some people had to call the sag wagon to pick them up because their hands were so cold they couldn't feel their fingers to use the brakes. After the first group of us were down, they actually called the ride and had some people head on back. The weather was just killing everyone. The first 34 miles finally caught up with me and those last 11 back to Edgefield were pretty nasty. I was having uncontrollable shivers and controlling the bike was problematic.
We did finally make it back and because Edgefield doesn't have bathrooms in their hotel rooms, I was able to sneak into their communal Ladies Lounge for a quick hot shower to briefly warm up and remove some of the mud and grime. Drying off with paper towels was comical. Oh boy - the shivering never completely went away until after the first hot toddy was down. A Wilbur Burger and Tater Tots helped seal the deal.
I'll be back at it next week. For sure. This pushing your limits stuff ROCKS my SOCKS off... on occasion :-)