The weathermen predicted all sorts of heavy rain and wind for the early half of this week and as recent as Sunday night it looked like my only chance for some outdoor dry-weather cycling would be on Wednesday or Thursday. So I took this into account when laying out my training plan for this week and for Tuesday I scheduled the grueling 3-hour Spinervals video, Tough Love. I did this video two or three times last year and I absolutely hated it each and every time. But it's beneficial so I continue to do it. And hate it.
Yet, as I sat on the couch playing Culdcept SAGA and watching "Pardon the Interruption" on ESPN today I noticed that the rain was going more than it was coming and that, finally, by 3pm it was so bright and sunny out I couldn't ignore it. It was windy and a bit chillier than I like for road biking (much warmer in the woods on a mountain bike), but with the alternative being a 3-hour suffer-fest in the garage, some numb extremeties seemed like a small price to pay. Factor in daylight savings and it was an opportunity I couldn't refuse.
I stayed relatively close to home and chose to work on some of the short-steep hills I've seen but never rode before. I did eventually get a bit cold and wanted to get home by 5:30 so I cut the ride to just 29 miles, but managed to rack up 1815 feet of climbing.
I did a 3-lap hill-climb time trial last year on Snoqualmie Parkway and wanted to see where I was at this year so I tried to push it a bit on the final climb up the road. It's exactly two miles from the railroad tracks near Railroad Road to the new library on the corner of Center Blvd and it climbs 480 feet over that distance. I pushed it pretty hard for the 90 minutes prior to hitting this climb, but still managed a somewhat respectable 9:52 for the Parkway climb. It felt a bit odd to only ride for 1:41, but I have a pretty long week ahead of me on the bike, not to mention I really worked hard on some short, steep climbs today.
All in all, an unexpectedly nice day on the bike. And it sure beat riding the trainer for three hours.