Monday, August 26, 2013

Give or Take a Few Miles and One Big (Rock) Hill

Not much to report since I just posted yesterday...LYING!

Ok, so this will be quick but slightly momentous. So there have always been two "scary" hills that I've avoided like certain death. First, Marshall Wall, which I conquered about a year ago with Miguel. The next "scary" hill was the one leading up to Big Rock on Lucas Valley Road. I've ridden down it on my bike (and driven up it in a car) and it seems to go down, down, down forever. Which means riding up it would be up, up, up forever. Yes, scary.

So today I had a 15 mile training ride on the schedule. I went to my gym after work and changed into my bike gear. I finally remembered to bring my bike to work and avoid the after work "Mommy don't go!" pangs of guilt. Anyway, I changed and hit the road, wearing my Camelbak and hoping the sun wouldn't bake me.  I had a loose plan to ride to Lucas Valley Road and then turn around when I got to 7.5 miles. But when I got to 7.5 miles I had already started the incline of the "scary" hill and in fact, was just at the base of the worst part of it. What to do, what to do?

Ride up that darned hill of course! Truthfully I saw no other option. One does not begin to ride up a hill and then turn around. Not this one anyway. Not even with the wind blowing in my face. So I pedaled and pushed, even engaging my glutes at some of the more challenging spots, and pedaled and pushed. My lungs felt good, it was my legs that were burning from time to time. And at one point I came around a corner to what felt like a wall of wind pushing me back. No! But after a mile of riding up, up, up, I turned a corner and there was the Big Rock! I'd made it.

I didn't have my phone with me (note to self, never ride without a phone) but there were people coming back from a hike so I asked them to snap a pic and text it to me.

Yep, I rode from down there to up there.
I had no idea that today was the today I would conquer this hill. It sure felt good. Now I'll be asking around for some other "scary" hills to conquer since I've defeated the two I know of. Oh wait, I know Conzelman Road scares me, maybe that's next. Eek!

I had a bit of apprehension about riding back down, I've been getting anxious going too fast downhill, but I just kept telling myself, "you're ok, you're fine, you're ok" and that seemed to work. I had a couple jolts of fear but I survived. Who would've EVER imagined I'd prefer riding up a huge hill than down?!

Reminds me, this Thursday night I'm taking a women's cycling class. It's lecture (and only $10), not actual riding, and if I like it I might take the riding class too, which is more $$. Anyway, here's the elevation profile of today's ride.

Novato to Big Rock and back.
Other notable things - my top speed was 31.7 mph and my top heart rate was 157 - I could have pushed a little harder! After the ride I hit the gym for chest/triceps/PT exercises. I was so glad it wasn't a legs day.

Dinner was teriyaki chicken breasts and rice and then I got a bit munchy and eventually had two bowls of granola cereal despite not being hungry. I'm blaming tri training. We'll just have to see what the scale thinks about that come Friday.


  1. What, you crazy woman?! That hill, THEN the gym??!! Reminds me of what it feels like to love, no, crave, the physical challenges. So glad you're loving life being a fit girl!

  2. Very nice website and interesting insights.
    We try doing the same on our site: where we offer our FREE 100 calorie meal replacement recipe that you can share with your followers. We have over 430 videos and articles on weight loss.
    Please come on over and visit and if you like we can share backlinks.
    weight loss

  3. I am happy reading your story. I love biking too, I never consider it as an exercise tool, in fact loving it while enjoying the scenic view. One of the most unforgettable experienced was biking with my sons. Its a healthy family bonding.

  4. I am glad to hear someone else has a fear of riding downhill- I am not exaggerating when I say I have panic attacks when faced with riding down a steep curvy downhill road. I have become close friends with my brakes on my bike.


If you don't want to login, use the Name/URL option (just type in your name...or any name for that matter). If you use the "Anonymous" option your comment won't get posted. - Michelle