You know when you see a snake or think a mountain lion is coming out of the bushes (or for you urbanites, see a guy following you at night down an empty street), and your body goes into fight or flight, and your heart rate sky-rockets and you get all focused and intense; and then the moment passes and you’re still ok, because of course you’re ok, so all you’re left with is an absurdly high heartrate that seems totally out of place and uncomfortable now?
Yeah, that happens to me all the time. It’s probably all the goddamn nature around here.
Last week, I ran on the ridge above my house. It’s a hillier run than I usually do, which says a lot around here, and it goes forever. I ran and ran and ran and then eventually I just turned around even though there was miles left to explore. It’s also a less well-trafficked, less manicured and groomed, less tamed area than I usually run at. Once you get past the first crest where everyone walks their dogs, you could get bit by a snake or attacked by a coyote (even though coyotes don’t really attack people) and no one would find you for hours if not days.
Then, Monday, I decided to jump back in to training with a 4 hour ride. Because, since I had only ridden longer than 1.5 hours in the last month, I figured why not.
I headed north to try a new route into Sonoma. This is what it looked like from the top of Wilson’s Hill:
The other thing about heading north is it is hot. Really HOT. And I was wearing a long-sleeved jersey to “heat acclimatize”. The last hour of the ride was really ugly. I maintained the same pace and power, but the internal struggle was fierce and brutal.
I stopped at a little shop about 45 minutes from home and grabbed a Gatorade and started drinking while I was standing in line. Then I saw they didn’t take credit card and I only had credit card. But, I looked so bright red and sweaty and about to drop dead, the guy told me just to drink it and come back with money next time.
Other than that, first week of training is well underway.