I wake up early to feed Makiah and answer my ringing phone. It's 6 am and Sharon is calling to let me know she didn't sleep all night and doesn't think it would be a good idea to do hill intervals as a result.
Sleepily I tell her no problem. You can come next time.
I lift the dog food container down from on top of the fridge and give Makiah a 1/4 cup serving. She quickly gobbles it up as I put the kettle on and grind some coffee.
It's cold in my house. 58 degrees. I turn the heat up as I go put on some lycra as water comes to a boil. A quick glance outside reveals some fog but no rain. I put on wool socks, thermal tights and a long sleeve base layer. Makiah comes into my bedroom to let me know she's done chowing and is ready to go outside to do some business.
My reflection in the mirror shows puffy eyes from last night's late Soba noodle dinner and the scale shows some nice water retention. Great - an extra 5 pounds to lug up that hill this morning. I thought weight training was this afternoon?
After a quick bite to eat and gulping my morning java, I make some bottles with my favorite concoction - Hammer's perpetuem. I've been on a steady diet of drinking it every time I ride and am thankful for its extra calories every time. I give the bottles a quick thorough shake and head out the door.
I wish I lived closer to longer hills. So that my planned ride could start and finish from my house as it's much easier to come home and immediately strip off my spandex and hit the showers to warm up. But today requires 10 minute hills so I start up my diesel engine and drive north to Log Boom.
It's 7 am and the park gates are still locked. I park outside and quickly dress. The sun has come up just enough so I decide to venture without my front light and switch my blinky on. I can't tell if it's the cold air that makes my face ache or the sodium injected noodles from the night before.
The fog made the temps dip a little lower than usual. My normal warm up seems to take a little longer as my quads remind me that they were worked after this past weekend's thrashing. But after 30 minutes that sensation goes away as I quickly approach my first interval up Hollywood.
The first couple of inclines get my heart rate up to LT, and I push myself on the flatter sections by switching to harder gears to keep the watts up. A couple of road workers make a joke or two as I whiz by the first time and before I know it 10 minutes have passed and I'm flipping it near the top of the hill to bomb down and do it again. The descent is exactly 5 minutes so at the bottom I quickly start my next punishing interval.
As the pain settles into my legs, I keep telling myself in mantra like fashion, that it will go away. Just keep pushing. You're alive. Your legs are telling you to stop but you're stronger than that. Keep pushing. You're almost to the next section. Shift. Shift. Push. Push. Look up at the crest of the hill. Keep your breathing going. Inhale, exhale. Next hard section. One mailbox at a time. Focus. Push. It will go away... this is just temporary. Push! Done.
And on the third and final one, I passed all the little kids and their parents waiting for the school bus. It must have looked funny - seeing my pain face and hard breathing at such an early morning surrounded by fog. But I don't care. What I care about is enjoying the fast fun descent that someone recently broke their collarbone on during the last Rocket ride. I weave my way through the back roads of Woodinville and Maltby. The slightest inclines make my legs scream double time in protest - a confirmation that my morning workout was beneficial.
After I got home, I ate some split pea soup I slow cooked overnight and took a long hot shower. My digits were screaming in protest and I emptied the water tank just soaking in the warmth.
And now I sit, looking slightly forward to my weight training workout this afternoon. These double day training sessions are hard but I know that I will reap the benefits in a short time to come. The idea is to make the training harder than the racing...