The Total Man

Per my post last night about getting serious about my training for the Mountains to Sound race, I did get my butt out the door and onto my road bike today. It was about 80 degrees here today with a slight breeze and my plan was to ride the same 54 mile loop I've done in the past. The first big hill, Tolt Hill Road, comes 14 miles into the ride and for some reason (probably because I've done very little biking in the past month) I wasn't completely loosened up yet. The road climbs about 440 feet in a mile, with most of the elevation gain coming in the last 50% of the climb. Just as I was about to reach the steepest pitch a car slows down next to me and a few guys in the car, roughly my age, start shouting encouragement and telling me I'm a "total man". They then hand me a 20oz bottle of Cool Blue Gatorade, my favorite flavor. It was unopened and I gladly accepted. I don't know what was better, getting a free 20oz bottle of Gatorade on a warm day or having total strangers riding alongside on a steep hill telling me I'm a "total man". I'm not really sure what that means, but it has to be good, right?

Well, the extra fluids came in handy as I had trouble nursing my two water bottles to the end of the ride. And despite downing a packet of Gu every hour on the hour as I always do, I just about bonked 40 miles into the ride. On my second trip up and over Tolt Hill Road, I was wishing those same guys would drive by and hand me another bottle of Gatorade, but to no avail. I decided to cut out the final loop on Tokul and Mill Pond Roads and just head home. Total distance was 46 miles with 2280 feet of climbing. By far my worst ride on the road bike since I bought it. It took almost 2:45 to finish.

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