I can’t believe I got from last weekend to this weekend without writing about the fabulosity that was those 2 days, a week ago. I think that’s how it goes. I figure I’d better spit it out before I have another weekend to recount because I know you all yearn to live vicariously through my incredible weekends. You know – the ones that start with me sitting at home alone on Friday blogging.
Anyhow – last weekend I did 2 things (in addition to sitting in front of the TV playing on my laptop). On Saturday I went for a long ride with my new cycling BFFs Sharley and Kelby. And to my already existing cycling BFFs no worries – I have room for a legion of BFFs in my life, particularly those who attempt to rescue me from Friday nights at home alone as Vali tried to do last Friday when I turned her down on going out for Margaritas. But I digres….
Our ride took us out to the wilds where the windmills whop, whop, whop their way to lighting our lives only it wasn’t windy and the windmills were still – all of them! We didn’t pre-plan the route and extemporaneously decided to ride the infamous Patterson Pass Rd. I had never done it before but I had heard it was a pretty good climb. If I had had any idea exactly what that meant I would have changed the plan but innocence really is bliss some times.
The climb starts with a ‘false flat’ that is so very false you swear you are going downhill based on what your eyes perceive and yet you are in the granny gear working your ass off and not moving very fast. It was bizarre to the point of being mind altering. The physical experience did not match the visual – it was sort of like one of those pre-race dreams where you are trying really hard but something surreal keeps getting in your way.
After that it just starts climbing up and up and up and then you get to the the top – only you aren’t. But there is a flat spot where we stopped for a minute and when I looked up and saw that we had an even steeper climb ahead of us all I could think of was ‘holy crap balls – that is Dr. Suess land!’ (click here to get to a page of pictures of the real thing)
I stood there, looking up thinking “No can do – I just can’t get up there” and I begged to turn back and I was turned down because back was going to be as hard as forward and I said “I can’t do this” and Sharley thought but didn’t say “and what do you think you’ll do?” and I thought but didn’t say “I’ll be walking my bike up that hill”.
But I did not walk. I rode. I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled and I told myself ‘just turn the cranks 10 more times… oh wait – 10 more… okay fine, 10 more” and then I was at the top. I redlined my heart rate on the way (178) and I got that creepy, hair standing on end feeling on the top of my head but I did it and life got very, very good at that point. Mostly because we got to go downhill but also because of the way I felt. It was a perfect day.
Sunday I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I ran it like I will run the marathon at Beach 2 Battleship which is to say at a very slow pace. I practiced that pace 10:30 – 11:00/mile and I came in at 2:29 something which is 11:22/mile but it’s hilly and I forgot to account for that. It wasn’t a PR by time (although not a PW, either) but a year ago if someone had told me I would do a hard, “I can’t do it”, redline ride for 3 and half hours the day before I ran 13.1 really hilly miles I would have told them ‘no way – no can do’. I would have whined and refused to even consider the possibility whereas this year I looked forward to the opportunity to test my legs and I was comfortable with the test results.
And that is why I am over the top giddy with excitement for my race. I can do this. I can push through and I can pace myself and I will finish and it will be another perfect day.