Change is in the air, Spring is on its way. Winter's firm grasp has finally weakened and allowed more of my two wheel brethren to release the anchor from their indoor trainers and head outdoors without the fear of ice, snow, and bone-chilling cold. The most I did this winter on my rollers was three hours. I never want to do that again! Thank goodness Daylight Savings Time just kicked in, which gives us enough daylight to ride just up to 7PM in the evening.
Yesterday temperatures were hovering around 50F but rain was forecasted to start mid-afternoon. Mother nature did not disappoint. The rain came on-time. Thankfully, it slowly progressed from drizzle to light shower and never entered the territory of "woman and children" first before the end of my planned training session.
This is what was on deck. Hunter, Coggan, Friel followers (who isn't?) will certainly find this familiar:
MS1: Ride to a hill of 5% - 8% grade then do 7 x 90-second Hill Climb Intervals at max effort. Complete the first 75 seconds of each interval seated, then stand and power the last 15 seconds. Recover for 3 minutes between intervals.
Simple, right? Find a hill, ride it as hard as you can for 90 seconds. Do that seven times. In the rain. No problemo. Hills are accessible to the flatlanders of South Jersey with just a 45 minute drive north. They are even closer when I leave from the office and head straight there, which is what I did. After wrestling with my Garmin to program in the workout (why must you make this so difficult Garmin?!?), I donned my new Rapha waterproof race cape in Chartreuse (i.e. hi-vis yellow), and pedaled towards Goat Hill Rd.
Hills and climbing are something I've always enjoyed. I can remember my first ride through the Sourland mountains. I was seventeen and full of vigor that comes with youthful ignorance. Since then, I've searched for the toughest climbs in the surrounding states and for partners in this self-inflicting torture crusade. Few were willing but that has never stopped me and never will.
There is something about hills, mountains, and roads that just go up for me. They are a part of my inner being and define a part of who I am. The air feels and smells different there. You can hear the hum of your tires, the zip of your gears, the inhalations and exhalations of the effort being made. For me, it's what riding on two wheels is all about. Couple that with a very tough workout and well, that's just pure bliss to me.