Into the inferno...

Okay, it might not have actually been that bad. But it was bad. I'm better at managing heat then I used to be, but yesterday was kinda nuts. It was already 90* when I got home from work and the hottest hours were yet to come. I knew it would be rough and had frozen one water bottle near solid and had plenty of ice in my hydration bladder. I was off into the shimmering heat of Chyenne Canon - planning on two trips up for my workout. I was sweating before I got halfway through Stratton, a glistening sheen of moisture on my arms. And then I reached the gate and started up the first time. That glow of sweat quickly became rivulets streaming down my face and back. The air was heavy and still with the heat, like the blast from an oven. I started out strong, but as the salt caked my jersey and the sweat stung my eyes I was struggling. Despite being on my Fate and having the low MTB gear range instead of my road bike, I couldn't get the cadence up. It should have been easy to just spin up the black top, but it wasn't. At the gravel parking lot, I sucked down some fluids - so happy for the ice in the bladder - it was still cold! Then back down to the bottom to do it all over again. Hoping for smoother and more focused - but it wasn't happening. Started slower, but with the goal of bringing up the intensity as I climbed. My glasses were coated with a salty sheen from the sweat pouring down my face. The canyon walls reflected the midday sun down onto my back as the blacktop burned into my face. Halfway up and I was dying - fighting against the bike instead of being one with the machine. I'd opted to ride my Fate for the traction coming down - there were piles of gravel all over the road from the rain last week. I wouldn't have wanted to hit any of them on my road bike! But for the climb, it was not fun. Workouts aren't supposed to fun, but riding my bike it supposed to be enjoyable. And with the furnace conditions I was facing in the canyon, it wasn't. I reached the top again and went in search of shade.

I still had an hour or two left to ride. My previously frozen water bottle was lukewarm, but I polished it off. I needed the fluids badly. My arms were crusted in white and my sunglasses needed a scrubbing before I could continue. I wasn't looking forward the rest of the ride - my legs were aching from the workout and the heat. But off I went - to be treated to some empty trails, which led me to a longer then planned ride. I guess I was the only one stupid enough to try to ride in the middle of the day! I did bump into to some friends and rode with them for a little near the end - we all agreed it was a little toasty out... Heat training is good, but that was a little crazy. Unfortunately, there are a few more hot days forecasted. Have to keep focused on the goal, not the conditions. 


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