Tuesday, August 26, 2008

body - four, mind - zero

Saturday was not a day for the faint of heart FYI: date completely off at the bottom of the pic - Tina, you should def update that ;)

the plan - meet at 6:30 AM to ride by 7
the course - Iron Mountain loop X2 = a total of 60 miles
the nutrition - CB said no less than 300 calories per hour
the feeling - pure and utter fright

i hadn't attempted Iron Mountain since having knee surgery and quite frankly, i wasn't sure i was ready to tackle the feat once, let alone twice. i was the one who thought up the ingenious route. i was the one pumping everyone up to get ready for the arduous ride. i was the one fueling this fire and when it came down to it, i was scared. i mean i ride an 11-23. that's a time trial bike set up to the max. it was hard for me to imagine completing a 60 mile ride when my longest mileage to date was only 42 in a chain ring and gearing that was made for the flat and fast not the mountainous and brutally slow. as we gathered, a shot of nervousness pierced my heart and i wasn't sure i could do it. i started telling the others that maybe we'd need to regroup after the first loop to see how we felt. to then decide if the second loop was possible. if we could do it and then take it from there. i heard myself explaining that i had a scary set up and i wasn't sure if this was possible. i doubted myself more that morning than i had in a very long time. i couldn't find that inner strength that has been coming so easy to me as of late. i don't even have to ask if i can do something lately, i just do it with the sense that i can do anything. i just have to put my mind to it and it will be done. i don't know why it seemed to be missing that morning. Dana kept chiding me about being a wuss and backing out of my own workout plans and so on and so forth. i finally told her she could attempt the workout without using her last 3 gears or shut up about me not being sure if the second loop was indeed do-able. that way we'd both be on the same page and we'd have a level playing field throughout the day. she laughed in my face and said "yeah right" so off we were on the first loop.

the plan - take one loop at a time
the course - start at Poway Rd, head up to Highland Valley Dr, u-turn and head towards the Circle K and finally make the ascent back to the cars to regroup for round 2
the nutrition - water bottle filled with 1 1/2 scoops of Accelerade + one GU at the Circle K = about 370 calories give or take
the feeling - get it done

going up the to Highland Valley Dr did nothing to mollify my qualms. i found myself working hard early on. i was in the small chain ring, easiest gear and still having a hard time keeping my cadence high and my legs spinning. i took it really easy on this first leg of the ride and when i would start to feel myself pushing too hard, i'd ease up in order to save my legs for the monster ahead. i did drop to the big chain ring a lot, but it was because i needed it. i felt the need to push at certain points to get the lactic acid built up so i could ease off at certain points to work that lactic acid out. it was a very steady and precise balance i imparted on this leg of the workout. i listened to my body and obeyed its demands in order to produce the expected outcome - conquer Iron Mountain.

the down hill was a rip roaring good time. Ryan, Tim and i battled the winds and each other to be the first one down. it was this high spirited and fun demeanor that would lead us into the tough climb ahead. we regrouped at the bottom, pottied, took our GU's and headed out - or up if we're being technical. Ryan and i led the pack with Tim, Dana, Cindy and Robby close behind. i stayed on Ryan's tail end the whole way up the mountain -


we tackled that mountain like it was our job. i'd never felt better. stronger. more powerful. i was taking it all in. the sites of dirt hills, open fields and beautiful landscapes. the sounds of roaring cars, birds and nature moving. the smells of freshly chopped Oak, Douglas Fir and Riparian saturating the air. i took it all in. i felt my spirit climb along with my legs and as i reached the top, i shouted "WOOHOO! let's do it again!" we still had quite a way to get back to the starting line, but i was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that i could do this again. that i would do this again. my body had just out done my mind one more time and a sense of awe overcame my center of attention. i was an animal. no thoughts entered my mind. no fears trespassed my heart. it was me, Muffassa and the mountain. we were one within the other and moved to a beat unheard by the likes of the others on the ride.

as we neared the beginning of the end, the adrenaline rose and i was indeed ready to not only start that second loop, but take it, wrangle it and make it mine. CB texted me to see how the day was going and when i told him, his one word response was "hammer" and that's what i did. i waited about 20 min for the rest of the crew to catch up and then we headed out - again - only this time there was no question in my mind, no doubt in my heart, no mercy in my legs. it was time to attack. to take no prisoners along my path of destruction. to lay it all out on the line and reap the benefits at the end. first loop: 01:51, just under 30 miles

the plan - divide and conquer the halves of this loop
the course - start at Poway Rd, head up to Highland Valley Dr, u-turn and head towards the Circle K and finally make the ascent back to the cars to celebrate the victory at hand
the nutrition - new water bottle filled with 1 1/2 scoops of Accelerade + one Accelgel at the start + one GU at the Circle K = about 490 calories give or take
the feeling - excitement

Tim, Dana, Cindy and i headed out. Cindy and Tim were to only do the first half of the loop - Poway Road to Highland Valley Drive and back. Cindy had to be somewhere and Tim wanted to run Iron Mountain with the TNT team. Dana and i were the lone rangers on the second half - neither of us were backing down. because i was really wanting to see what i could do on this loop, to really see what i could accomplish - what i was made of - i rode like the wind. i didn't stop to regroup. i didn't stop to chat. i was a woman on a mission and that mission was to see what the hell my limits were - if i had any - and if i did, to break them into a million little pieces so they could be swept up and discarded with the trash. i made it to the Circle K and was so excited to see Tina there with a huge cup of ice and an even bigger smile. she hugged me, told me i looked great and that she was proud of me. hell, i was proud of me. who knew i had it in me all along?! i stopped and replaced the empty space in my water bottle with ice, thanked her for surprising and supporting me and began the ascent.


the second loop proved to be a horrible time. i was alone. i was hurting. i was tired. i was hungry. i wanted to be done. the good news was i only had 9 more miles to go and it would be over. the bad news was i had 9 more miles to go and it would be over. i played games with myself. sang songs to occupy my roaming mind. i thanked God for being able to feel this pain and push through it. i thanked him for allowing me to train with the passion, intent and fortitude i do and thanked him for giving me the sense to break free of things holding me down. i even talked to myself out loud at times of delirium. the temps were steadily creeping and were easily reaching the 90's. i had to get out of my saddle on at least 3 occasions - not to adjust my very sore and very achy bum, but to actually make forward movement possible. i was there pushing my body, learning what i could do, tearing down walls and breaking past limits. as i crested the last hill and saw the cars, i smiled. i cheered. i whooped and hollered. second loop: 01:55, just under 30 miles

the plan - celebrate my accompishment with food. lots of food. and sleep.
the nutrition - 2 water bottles filled with 1 1/2 scoops of Accelerade each + one Accelgel at the start of the second loop + one GU at each of the Circle K stops = about 800 calories give or take (i didn't completely finish either of my nutrition bottles)
the feeling - pure and utter awe

total workout: 03:46, just under 60 miles completed

i came. i saw. i conquered.

Iron Mountain what?! ;)


tinaparker87 said...

very proud of you Katie B!

Benson said...

Now that's the way to nail it.
Great job.

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