I made it up the Mt Baker Hillclimb. This was the first time in 3 years that the event was able to make it to the top. Last year’s conditions were miserable, but this year was much better, despite there being a cold windy fog at the top. It wasn’t so much a fog as being in the middle of the clouds that were passing through.
This year was a struggle, though, despite the more favourable conditions. Part of my strategy to improve my time was to ride with the competitive field this year, but I didn’t manage to hold the wheels for as long as I had visualized being able to. I was dropped about 8 miles in, as those folks set a rather vigourous pace. Left to my own devices, I battled through feelings of guilt and shame at destroying my rides earlier in the month, and not being able to continue my training due to this. Sometimes, I am my own worst enemy, but of course there was nothing I could do to change the past while climbing the mountain, so I just focused on the present moment and kept going up. Inside the final 1 k, another rider who was already finished and appeared to be climbing up again passed me and encouraged me to put it on the rivet. I was spent already, and didn’t have it in me to push any harder, which was the goal. Leave it all on the road. I did feel satisfied that I had done that, despite the disappointment of not doing my best time.
There are so many lessons to be learned.
The ride back down the mountain was so cold, I shivered and cried.
Apres velo, I met up with some of the folks from the Velominati site for pizza and post ride malted recovery beverages, and really enjoyed the company of like minded compatriots.
The link below is to a photo of me climbing just before the first ski area parking lot. I seem to be enjoying the suffering at this moment, which is nice to see. In cycling, as in life, there is suffering, but we can face it and move through it with positivity if we so choose. Lessons, indeed.