Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rode "Alpe d'huez" today!!

well at least the utah version of it. little cottonwood canyon. i do this hill every two weeks(or more) as training for widow maker hillclimb race in the fall.

felt a bit unrested today as i didn't fall asleep right away last night and my resting HR was higher than normal. i should have called off my hill work off, but i am not the one to wuss out. besides some race days are like this.

so off i rode to the shopko down below the canyon to reset my time and start the TT.

started off in a higher gear than normal, which is fine as i would like to progress into climbing in higher gears anyways. got to the mouth of the canyon(the start is hilly too) and i noticed that HR was a bit high at 180 and speed as well. "oh well" i think, whatever..... what i should have thought was "no, thats not right".

one mile later i notice that i am feeling more tired than i should be, but my split time is up from past rides. i look down and i am in the right gear. middle chainring and 5th in back.
but wait a minute. i switched to a 36t in front from a 32t. so instead of running a 32x18, i was in 36x18.

thats a big difference on a 12-14% grade hill of that length. so i switch to 4th, then 3rd.....whoa!!! i broke one of my own rules of pushing too hard in the begining and was paying for it. my thighs were burning and standing up was a chore. darn. should have turned around right there and saved that hill for tomorrow, but i am on a schedule this week.

so i mush on. slipping all the way down into the easiest rear ring in back and 36 front. i punish myself with all kinds of mental lashings for such mistakes, but i am getting a good lower LT workout either way.

make my way up the hill in my embarrasing gear. the whole time thinking "geez i hope nobody sees me". right.... people are honking the whole way up, i pass a couple of sets of roadies that have encouraging words as i zip by. we are actually in the same gear, its just that i am sitting spinning and they are standing up slowly mashing.

last fall i was incorrectly stopping my time at this sign and proud of myself that i was doing the "widowmaker" in times from 42:00 to 44:00, as the record by levi is set at 43:16.

but i found out that its the second entrance that the time clock should stop at, so train harder i must. whip, whip, "ouch not so hard"

here is the place to stop time and of course i did not expect anything even close to good. just please, oh please let it be under one hour. 58:34 well at least there is room for imporvement and i wasn't even at my LT and i am running my bike at 35 pounds instead of race weight of 22 pounds and have a ten pund backpack and i didn't feel rested today and and and....waaaaaaa, waaaaaaa, mooooo moooo.

what a slouch i am. further punishment as follows.
i spin in the parking lot for one minute and then continue up the rest of the hill for another 20 minute TT at just above my LT. 184 HR.

ok, that required some pushing and pain as it gets flatter and more rolling up there to the top and the elevation/thinner air is apperent.

snowbird looked like a postcard today in the sun. all the resorts looked pristine.

"alta". just realized that "alta" means "high". it sure is. at least above the dirty air.

at the end of the paved road starts the nordic road and it was quite hard, so i rode for a while and that was a really good thigh/strength burn as riding in snow is slower than riding in the street and even dirt.
didn't want to get yelled at as it is used for skate skiing, even though i wasn't even leaving a mark on the snow.
the pics were taken on the way down as i was freezing my a$$ off and had to stop a few times.


Sandblogger said...

What elevation does that thing go up to?

OilcanRacer said...

ya know the paved road stops around 10,500 feet
i'm guessing. so i went another 1,000 feet higher.

i could see the top of the highest peak and i wasn't that much lower when i stopped on the snow road. that peak i was looking at is about 12,000 and some change.

i know that it was a good 20 degrees different from top to bottom.

OilcanRacer said...
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