Look, I am never going to admit that bicycling is my favorite thing. I like it (mountain biking much more so than road biking) but running will always be my thing. So to get me out on a bicycle on a 102 degree day with dewpoints in the 70s does definitely signal either a change in my thinking or the sure end of the world. Which one is all a matter of perspective.
I do, however, recognize that if I ever want to get any better as a triathlete I need to ride, a lot. More than I ever have. I already have more miles on this bike than any other road bike I have ever owned. But I need more. I also have to admit that I am not going to do any longer distances than I have to AND that I am just slow. Only more riding and less weight will help this. Therefore, I ride.
Yesterday I set my jaw and decided to suck it up and ride hill repeats in the heat. I need the miles, and I have to get used to the heat as well. I put on the lightest clothing I own, slathered myself with suntan lotion and took off. I decided to take it EASY on everything except the hills themselves. This ride has a short (1/4 mi?) hill that is extremely steep. There is another 1/4 mile past that to recover, then it’s a quick trip to the bottom and back up again. It’s about two miles over to the hill. I went up a grand total of 4 times and then completely wilted. But I had made a pact with myself not to get upset (last week I did 12 repeats in the cooler temps) and just write it off as getting used to the heat. I rode calmly and slowly back toward the car. But then something odd happened. I started to feel… good…? Almost as if the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. I was kinda comfortable (albeit sweaty). So I rode past the car and added another 5 miles of easy to moderate riding. I daresay it was almost fun. What is happening to me?