I have to admit Thursday mornings are killing me. That steep pitch through the Park puts me into oxygen debt that I have a really tough time recovering from, and it’s not much fun watching everyone else (in this case, just Kevin and Karen) riding on ahead. It’s times like those that make you wonder about your future. Thankfully, once you get to the Park exit (actually, the upper entrance), things get a lot easier. You’re no longer on an 8-12% grade but a pretty consistent 6-7%, at least for the first mile or so. You can settle in and find a pace you can maintain. And that’s how it went this morning, finding that pace and recovering not just physically but mentally too. By the time I got to the top I felt a whole lot better than I had 20 minutes prior.
It actually was warmer up on top today, about 43 degrees, and if felt pretty darned nice. Descending towards West Old LaHonda was a bit rude though, as the temperature started dropping and we were quickly back down to 38.5. The difference between this and other cold days though? Today I felt like I could put some effort into the climb on West Old LaHonda again.
Last Thursday, temperature averaged 39 degrees for the ride. Today, temperature averaged… 39 degrees. Last Thursday, there were 4 of us (myself, Kevin, Kevin & Karen). Today, there were 4 of us (myself, Kevin, Kevin & George). Last Thursday, I was starting to come down with whatever this nasty cold going around is. Today, I’m starting to recover from whatever that nasty cold going around… was. Last Thursday, I couldn’t get my heart rate up and was well of the back. Today, I actually rode up ahead of “pilot” Kevin and George, catching up to (younger) Kevin on Kings and finishing just over a minute ahead of them. To be fair, “pilot” Kevin was pretty worn out from a really hard ride yesterday, but anytime I’m not last on a climb feels like a minor victory!
Yes, it will be really nice when we can definitively say good-bye to the end of the cold & wet season and welcome warmer & sunnier days ahead. I’d hoped last Thursday would have been the last cold day, but at least I did a fair amount better today, giving me some hope. I even took on Kevin on that steep pitch at the end of West Old LaHonda. First sign of real improvement in a very, very long time.