Hot hill repeats

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?

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