Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 86: I got my rear kicked today!

It's been an interesting couple of days. I've been all gung-ho about getting my miles in this week, but I've also wanted to try and expand my horizons a little so I decided to do a little hill climbing. Here in Salt Lake City, the east side of the valley is the foothills of the Wasatch mountains. There are a lot of great climbing hills and I decided to take on a steep one, though it's not very long.

Yesterday I rode up 8th South all the way up to 10th East. At about 8th East the grade of the hill begins an obvious change, by 9th East it's getting steep. When I hit 10th, my heart was pounding so hard that I had to turn off the road and head south to regain my composure. From there I just biked home.

Today, I thought, "Hey, I'm gonna surprise my wife and text her a picture of me up by Hogle Zoo," which is above 2300 East! Well, in my excitement I set off heading east again on 8th South. I started climbing up pretty well, but again, the heart is pumping! I eventually have to shift down to first gear as I ascend up the hill. I get to 8th East...9th East...I hit 10th East and I pull off on a side street again, but I don't get off my bike. The heart is pounding!

Looking down 8th South between 10th and 11th East

Once I catch my breath and let my heart calm down, I do a U-turn and get back on 8th South, turning back up the hill. I get about 15 seconds up the hill and just can not take it any more. I'm breathing so heavy, and my heart is pounding harder than I've felt in a long time.

From 10th to about half way up 11th, the hill's grade is about 9%! A few minutes earlier as I was a little lower, some skinny biker rode past me all decked out in his biking outfit. I wanted to catch up to him and say, "Hey, why don't you put a 150lbs weight on your back and we'll see how well you do!" Of course I didn't say anything out loud...but that is basically me, carrying all that weight.

After I regained my composure, I just walked the bike up the hill until I could ride again.

11th East. This was taken yesterday after I reached 10th East, and then went south a block which allows for an easier climb to 11th.
Once I got riding again, I was able to get to 1300 East. From that point, there's another hill that continues up. I made it another block to 14th but had to turn off to a side road. I was spent...and my rear end royally kicked! But, I did make some good progress. From that point, I glided most of the way home.

So to sum up...From my job 16 blocks away, to 14th East, it's an ascent of 300 feet, mostly the last 3 blocks!

Had to walk a block up the hill, but I made it to 14th East!

As you can imagine, during the ascent up the hill, I am wondering if it's even possible to climb through all the mountains during the 60-mile ride from Tokyo to the base of Mount Fuji. There are some spots, probably not more than a half a mile where the grade of the hill is 9%. People do it. So, I guess there's a chance that I can do it. I guess one day at a time, losing one pound at a time, will all play into the final result.

I started this entire journey with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln. I think it's appropriate today to quote it again as encouragement...

"The nice thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time." Thank goodness for that!

Here are my numbers for yesterday and today:

Wednesday-11 miles

So far this week, I've got 51.61 miles in. I need just over 18 more miles to get to my goal this week.

My legs are rubber, and I am very good night!

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