At the risk of sounding clichéd (Mike .. clichéd? never) autumn is an awesome season. The campus is already turning orange and red, Whistler had it's first snow fall, the farmers markets are cropping up on Sundays with pumpkins, corn on the cob and country bands playing. That said I do feel like I'm living in a cliché sometimes, yesterday I was walking down the main street on campus to have a blue pick up truck speed past, filled with the varsity football team standing on the outside of it screaming and shouting with Blink 182 blaring through the windows. I felt like I was in a scene from American Pie...or National Lampoon's!
Training is heavy. This week has been solid, NO aches and pains to report which is the first thing, keeping ontop of the nutrition - lots of protein, fruit and carbs and trying to get in at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Monday I headed out with Denise (World Junior Champs Cyclist) for a 90km ride including the now routine Cypress mountain, was good to have some company for a longer ride and she gave me a few tips =] That was all for Monday, 3.5 hours on the sadle was enough to get me in bed by 8! Tuesday I was in the pool early at 0530, 5km later after 16 x 100's I was out and off to class. Later on that morning I headed out with Gordon for a 15km run loop, 1 hour 8 minutes was pretty quick so again called training a day after that.
Today I was planning on a steady 2 hours on the bike but was keen to try out one of the other local ski mountains Mt. Seymour, I had been told it was the hardest climb around so wasn't sure what to expect.
First and foremost it wasn't a 2 hour ride. I thought somewhere in the region of 3 hours but that was without allowing time for the climb...and what a bloody climb! Once you treck the 37.5km through Vancouver to the base of Seymour your greeted with the one road sign you don't want to see when on a bike "Danger road steep ahead, gear down for the next 12.5 km - 12%". Boy were they not exaggerating, you turned a corner into the National Park and the road just climbed, it was granny gear stuff...and hard granny gear stuff. Then the rain came on. Time for "Eye of the tiger"...out came the iPod...on came the Montage music. I climbed and climbed and climbed. After having left campus at near enough 6am in the pitch black, it was now 0830, pouring rain and I was over 40km from home...and still climbing. The hill just doesn't give up, I was on it for just under 1 hour 10 minutes...how good did it feel at the top? Awesome. From the ski station at the peak you could see America, all of Vancouver and through to Vancouver Island, worth it!
But that was before the decent...then the climbing paid off! After over an hour going up I was at the bottom within 12 minutes. 80kmph on the straight bits, 50 on the corners and an avg of 70 for the way down, never been so fast in my life! Two dog walkers waved near the bottom laughing at the grin on my face, nothing could stop me now so I forgot all about the time and cruised on home for only my second 4 + hour ride ever. This floored me as you can imagine so I've been loading up with food all day, napped this afternoon and will have a big dinner before my swim set tonight.
This kind of training is what I love, the long hard stuff, the rain soaked, 12% gradient but "still going to give it a go" type stuff. I was told when I started the sport last year I would get hooked and never want to stop, well I'm definately hooked...and I can't see myself stopping any time soon. I am keeping tabs on my distances so don't worry I won't over do it,
but all seriousness aside ...
this is so much fun!