So naturally the Rapha Rising Challenge took place in the midst of our longest streak of 90F+ days this year. I tagged it Mercury Rising!
|Redemption Rock 200km|
Monday continued hot and sticky, but I had a day full of appointments, and made it a bike-rest day.
|Harvard Tuesday Ride|
I selected one of my hillier routes for the weekly Tuesday ride to clock up another 1300 meters. Fortunately it wasn't brutal in the morning, when we had most of the climbing, but the return leg proved hot enough for water/AC stops every 15 miles! And then I spent an hour or so back at Ride Studio Cafe drinking cold coffees and getting my core temp back down before riding home.
I had a busy week of appointments with a vet visit for the cat, physical therapy for me and followup with the surgeon to check progress on my collarbone, so aside from Tuesday I couldn't really get out for all day rides. But thanks to the nearby climb up to the Arlington Water Tower, I was able to clock up a few meters in very few kms. This was also a good kickoff for some proper Mt Washington training. As I mentioned in the last post, I really haven't been doing the types of rides I should be doing to prepare for this event later in August. But this would all change thanks to the challenge.
|Frenemy X 6 Wednesday|
I decided to start slow, and by slow, I mean lanterne rouge notifications were sent from Strava while I was riding. I didn't just get the usual slew of emails proclaiming yet another slut, OK - fast woman, had stolen yet another QOM. I got the emails that I was now positively the slowest person ever to go up this climb!
But it was not my goal to go out and reclaim any QOMs on day 1 of hill-climb camp in 90F temps. My plan was simply to go reacquaint myself with a few of the dozen different routes to the tower. I pride myself on tackling this climb as many different ways as I can - thereby temporaily claiming QOMs for routes no gal had ever thought of taking. So the first day, I did Prospect, Robbins, Rt 2 Access Road, School Street, then Somerset to Concord Ave to Marsh, and finished off with Eastern Ave. I took breaks every time I got to the tower, took photos, tweeted and FB'd my return to visit my old Frenemy. I guzzled water, and washed salt from my eyes. It was great to be back at this place, but it was hard. I love and hate this spot - my Frenemy!
|Frenemy X 3 Thursday|
I had hoped to get out earlier in the day on Thursday to beat the heat, but of course I didn't. But this wasn't just about hill-training. I need heat-training too! So I can claim, that I did these rides in the heat on purpose. I probably had a worse time with the heat at Newton's than the climb! But in a concession to both the heat and my renewed affair with the Frenemy, I only climbed up three times, starting out gradually on Marsh, then Menotomy/Grandview (an new QOM), followed by Eastern Ave. Later that afternoon, I saw my surgeon and got to see the new x-rays. I was surprised to see that the bones have not yet fused. A growth has started, but it will take more time. Given that I have full range of motion and am able to function normally, I really thought it must be all healed. That plate is amazing! The surgeon prescribed "no full contact football." He did tell me riding was okay. I didn't actually tell him I had ridden up Mt Washington already! Or what I'd done that morning.
|Frenemy X 6 Friday|
|Hundo - bonus loop|
With those short, but condensed climbing days, I had ticked off a few more meters on the way to the challenge, and I only had just over 1000 meters to meet the goal of 7235 meters with 2 days remaining. I knew with the 2000 meters from Grand Fundo coming up on Sunday that I should be able to make the target. So Saturday, we just decided to head out an explore some dirt roads near Conway. Of course the dirt roads we chose were actually part of the Grand Hundo loop, and I knocked off another 1000 meters, hitting 98% at the end of the day.
Thanks Rapha for the inspiration. But could you pick a season without such extreme weather for the next challenge!