yesterday's power camp workout was the 'snowbird hill climb', our coach's indoor condensed version of the race up little cottonwood canyon held each august.
it consists of many 5 and 10 minute sections in zones 4A, 4B, and 5 (ventilatory threshold), and is just a darn hard workout. total heavy work time is probably about 45 minutes or so, which is certainly less time than it takes me to do the real climb.
yesterday was also a sunny, decently warm day.
indoor, outdoor, indoor, outdoor . . . hmmm . . .
I made up my own hill climb.
my plan was just to ride out to draper and back, a 40+ mile ride that would give me opportunity to push hard on a few short hills, trying to create some intense intervals to make up for what I'd be missing in the spin room (besides heat, loud pounding music, the smell of everyone's sweat, an uncomfortable saddle . . .)
it was 40 degrees when I began---with a predicted high of 47 or so---and I stuffed my wind jacket in my pocket in case I found myself brave enough to try a hill. I headed south.
as I approached millcreek canyon I thought about giving it a try.
and rode up to the locked gate where the snow begins covering the road.
I floated down on adrenaline and headed south again, aiming for big cottonwood canyon, thinking I'd ride just up to storm mountain, one of my favorite places on earth.
up I went, chugging away, the sun shining down, the creek crashing and splashing, snow thick in shaded spots and barely existent on the south facing hills. some february in northern utah.
storm mountain welcomed me, then spit me forward and up---well, maybe I'll ride to the S-curve. my legs faltered and then caught, and I kept pedaling. I love the S-curve.
then the S-curve took me and propelled me up again---well, maybe I'll ride to another mile or so. then, maybe I'll ride to the flat section.
clouds started to paste a thin film over the sky and as I climbed up higher the air got cooler, and finally, at the end of the flat, I decided to turn around and head down. I ate the cookie I'd brought, I donned my wind jacket, turned up the volume on my ipod, and headed west, downhill, homeward.
this was a most glorious day.
I arrived home starving, my leg muscles tight and screaming at me, goosebumps coating my body, my face red with exertion.
I kicked my own personal double half-canyon hill climb, spending a ridiculous amount of time in zone 5, feeling pretty darn great out there.
that being said, february is not june, and the truth is those 3.5 hours on the bike kicked my butt.
the snow came last night, it's a beautiful white world out there today. no canyon climbs today, just a whole mess of gratitude for yesterday's perfection.