An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

The invisible hill

Yesterday I went on one of the most draining rides in a LONG time.

The weather forecast said 40% chance of rain (almost a sure thing in the Cascade foothills), but the wind had given me fitful sleep for much of the night. I got up about 6:30, watching out the window for showers... I got ready to head out, and by 8:10 I was on my way.

The wind was still blowing, and once I got through the first 4 mainly-downhill miles, it was directly in my face. For the next 10 miles. What would have been flat rail-trail became a seemingly uphill slog. My speed was dismal.

I got to the section of the trail that was mostly uphill, and felt my speed ease a bit. Five miles later, I turned around and had the wind blasting me in the face again, rendering my downhill run into more exercise in trying to make myself as small as possible. I turned off the trail and headed toward another town... More into-the-wind riding.

Another 7 miles later, I finally got into a crosswind section, and then the last 12 miles finally truly downwind.

Fifty miles in three hours and 10 minutes. And I was beat. I felt like the entire ride had been uphill, when in reality it had far less altitude variation than the 60 miler I put in last weekend.

At least with a good hill, there usually a nice descent waiting on the other side. Or a decent view.

They say it's the things you can't see that are the most frustrating.

Wind... The invisible hill.

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