Friday, April 22, 2011

Climbing for Recovery.....

After last Sunday’s race, my legs were pretty tired and actually sore. Evidently tired legs are the normal result of entering a mountain bike race you’re for which you’re not in shape. (who knew?)

So, this past Tuesday as I loaded up the road bike and headed over to meet the group for our Tuesday night assault on the mountain known as the Devil, I have to admit I was less than enthused and even less sure of my ability to complete the entire climb. But being more stubborn than smart, there was no way I was bailing so off I went.

As we clipped in and began our climb I could feel the soreness in my legs with every pedal stroke. I took it nice and easy at the start and by the time we hit the 1000ft sign, I was feeling surprisingly good. It was a gorgeous evening with a slight breeze and temps in the mid 60s, perfect climbing weather, and as the climb continued past the first ranger station and then up to the second, I was amazed to find I felt really good.

Granted, while my pace was high enough to keep me vertical, there was no risk of me breaking any speed records. Still, I felt really good. As we refilled our bottles and enjoyed some shotbloks at the second ranger station I decided I would make the top, but there was no way I was doing the “driveway”….

Lynn took off first, so while Paciano, Xing and I got our act together, clipped in and took off, she was building up a pretty decent lead. After what seemed like forever we ended up catching up to her about half way to the top. The funny thing is that in catching her, I had pretty much blown myself up in the effort. Paciano on the other hand seemed to be getting stronger with every turn and as I slowed to ride with Lynn for a bit (and try to get my heart rate down below 200) Paciano stood up shifted and motored away.

Foolishly thinking he would soon blow up I too stood up and gave chase….unfortunately, he showed no sign of tiring. As a matter of fact, no matter how hard I pushed, he remained a turn or two ahead.

Eventually, we came to the “driveway” and without thinking I just downshifted, put my head down and continued making circles until I finally reached the top… the way, if you’ve ever wondered just how slow you can go without falling over, evidently 3.0mph is still fast enough to keep you vertical….as I came across the top I realized that I had made it and although my pace was definitely slow, the soreness in my legs was gone and I actually felt really good….tired but good.

And, since the only reason I’m willing to climb is that I enjoy descending, we rested a few minutes and turned the bikes downhill…..let the fun begin….

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