Jun 16, 2007

finding my mojo in the hills

given all my issues ... on the bike that is, (there's plenty more issues, but i'd need another whole blog for them) -- there is one thing i do really well: climbs.

i mean, i got it going on in the hills. i love them.

but the thing is - after hearing about the hills that my husband encounters on his rides, i'd been starting to think that the hills i love so much & can just breeze right up as if they aren't even there are probably no big deal - just mere bumps in the road. so i decided that i need to see a real hill - a hill that i had figured would reduce me to tears or vomitting halfway up - whichever came first. i needed to see if i can do it. more importantly, for my own confidence - i really needed to kick the shit out of a real hill and in the process, get a little mojo back.

my husband knew the perfect ride - we planned it all week. i called for sitters (hard to find one that wants to come over at 7 am on a saturday) ... we dropped the kids off at a friends with a couple dozen krispy kreme donuts. nothing like pawning your 3 children off on friends & telling them to get all jacked up on sugar while they're there. good morning!

i had heard about this ride & how gorgeous it is. the quintessential kentucky ride. rolling fields, cows, horses and those endless horse fences all along the way - with the very occasional glimpse of the ohio river. but more to the point & the reason for the ride - i had also heard about the hill and how there is no way to have any momentum going into it - because you make a 90 degree right hand turn onto it & it starts immediately climbing. its actually more than 90 degrees ... i'd say it was more like 100 degrees. and they're not kidding when they say it starts immediately climbing. i had been given all kinds of advice on how to set up for this hill & i had heard so much about it & it was all bad. i spent all week wondering if i could actually do it.
i didn't have to do it fast, i just had to do it.

so - we're riding, we're riding & it is indeed gorgeous - but mostly, i just cared about hitting this hill & getting over it - happily, without losing any steam.

we get to a certain point & my husband tells us to get in the granny gear ... i think, holy shit - now? its here now? (i'd say its about halfway through the ride - about 20 miles in) i didn't put it in the granny gear - mentally, i needed to know i had one more down to go. so i am in second to lowest. and here we are - right hand turn .... and UP UP UP ... holy shit. my husband & friend get out of their saddles & go up ... i get out of mine & up i go ... i saw that they could stay out of their saddles the whole way up .... i didn't think i could make it out of the saddle the whole way (i'm guessing it was about 1/2 mile, 2/3 mile climb?) .... so halfway up, i get back down & put it down one more gear - stay in the saddle & just steadily climb up .... we got to a point at which it levels off a bit & you can catch your breath (and believe me, i had a lot of breath-catching to do)before the next uphill - which isn't as steep, but it's longer ... once i make it over that second climb - the elation i feel over having climbed this hill is overwhelming .... like i just won a 5K overwhelming ... and i am on such an enormous high that i feel like i could climb hills all day. i wanted to go around & do it all over again.

needless to say - making it over that hill did a lot to boost my biking confidence. i may be shit on the turns - but i can kick some ass in the hills.
oh yeah ... and i can run too. today's run was 8 miles. longest since mini marathon. not entirely pain free. but it didn't suck either. i've been leaving the watch and heart rate monitor at home and just heading out with the tunes. it's getting better. slowly, but its moving in the right direction.
so, for someone who is not really running - i've logged 32 miles this week. and for a runner girl pretending to be a biker chick, i logged 95 miles on the bike this week. not bad. not bad at all. must stop beating myself up & worrying about my shortcomings & instead be happy with what i've accomplished.
i got my mojo back yesterday.
it's all good now.


Vickie said...

You certainly smoked me last week! You REALLY need to do something with that talent! I think you've got something there! Let's find a triathlon relay and I will do the swim and you can do the rest.

Gotta Run..... said...

You rocked both the run and the ride!! How is that for kinking some ass?!?!!!