It’s true: I am now officially a lover of hills. At this point, I might as well love ‘em, because I can’t avoid them and race day is looming ever nearer on the horizon and I need to be ready to face some big ones.
The WTH bike course description is enough to strike terror in this flatlander’s heart, with 5500 feet of elevation change and a 12% grade monstrosity at Mile 50. On the one hand, I’m still working my way up to riding the Half-Iron distance at all, but with only a month to go it also seems prudent to work on my mountain climbing skills, so flat bicycle rides are now a thing of the past for me. When I’m indoors, I’m working on one of my “hilly” Spinervals and when I’m outdoors, I’m making the 30 – 45 minute drive to hilly terrain (the biggest hill in the town where I live is a highway overpass – not quite the training I need).
Yesterday morning, IronHubs took me out for a ride on a course where he trained for Silverman and, oh yes there were some hills! Check out the elevation profile from Garmin Connect:
And because I know you love crunching the numbers as much as I do, here are the stats:
- Total Distance = 28.96 miles
- Time = 1:47:54
- Average Speed = 16 mph (ouch. Kinda slow, but did I mention that there were hills?)
- Max Speed = 32 mph (wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)
- Elevation Change = 3,236 feet
- Steepest Grade = 11%
- Average Cadence = 86 rpm
This ride was a total booty-kicker, for sure, but I’m so glad I did it. First of all, it was a lot of fun to ride with IronHubs. We almost never train together because he is so much faster and stronger than me (which got a little frustrating toward the end of this ride when I was wiped out and he was still fresh as a daisy), but it was excellent training to go with him, because I learned a lot from his example. When he changed gears, I changed gears. When he got in aero, I got in aero. I found myself riding a lot more aggressively than I probably would have if I’d been alone.
You know that feeling of accomplishing something you weren’t entirely sure you could accomplish? Yeah, this ride gave me that. Hills?? Bring ‘em on!!