It was a beautiful day!

Don't let it get away...

I almost let the day get away from me before it even began. After being a bit overreached after my last cycle and not feeling too great during regen, we were questioning the ride for today. We talked about doing a different ride, but I hadn't done Palomar since September, so it was an itch that needed to be scratched.

Friday night Justin gave me a killer massage and then I sat with my legs up and we had a amazing and anti-inflammatory dinner.

The beer is for James

We shared another tonight!

The alcohol goes straight to my legs, though.

So, I felt pretty good after the evening. Woke up this morning and had my super stout oatmeal and was feeling good. Then I realized it was kind of raining outside. If I were Superman, rain would be my Kryptonite. Not *really*, but I'm not a fan of rain. Luckily earlier this year I did a few rides in the rain, and I didn't melt or get really weak, so I just packed warmer clothes and off we went.

By the time we were on our way to where we park the skies were clearing and I managed to get in a positive, "If this weather holds, it could be a great day!"

It was pretty warm by the time we finished getting ready, and we'd seen a big group heading up the hill before us. Justin wanted to catch some carrots! I thought I wouldn't need my cycling cap for awhile, so stuffed it in my pocket and up we went.

The climb starts out literally right away.

Justin was already pulling away, but I decided to hang back and get in a solid warmup at my own pace.

Yeah, I had to stop to put on the cycling cap pretty much 8 minutes into the ride.

I made sure to check out the sights this time up... It was such a pretty and green climb (as opposed to the end of summer).

Long road ahead... and a few other climbers along the way

Photos from the road...

Breathing hard after a 60s effort

Moto photographer

I got about 2 miles from the top and realized I was not going to beat my previous time up South grade. I thought that was really weird, cause I sort of felt like I'd been booking. I'd passed quite a few people, put in 2 hard efforts where I totally was on, and amazingly enough, I felt *really* good. Oh well. I put in an effort, and then realized that I wasn't going to break my time anyway, so I shouldn't burn the matches. So, I slowed up a bit. Then I put in another effort. I think I did this 2-3 times. Got up to the stop sign and hit the lap button (from the left turn/pavement change). Well, that was it!

Met up with Justin who was sitting down munching on his PB&J bagel (trying to eat real foods instead of bars). I immediately sat down and started to chow on mine also. I did a minute or so of stretching after and Justin was getting cold and ready to head down the East grade.

About 20 minutes later we were turning around (at the lookout, instead of 76) to head back up. I switched around my cycling cap from descend to ascend.

Immediately upon starting to climb back up (we had over 8 miles) I felt horrible. My legs were not coming around, and what was stomach was severely unhappy. I'd taken in a lot of readily available carbs and fats and calories, and none of them felt digested. I had no idea how I was going to make it back up the hill.

I was barely hanging on and Justin turns around and says, "Let's do a 5 minute effort; hold my wheel."

That just about broke me. I mentally felt like I was right back on the edge. I tried to steel my resolve.

A few mintues later I was pulling around Justin and feeling pretty good, somehow. My legs didn't feel great, but I went for it anyway. Kept it sub-threshold, but was still working plenty hard!

This one is for LMN...

Tried some new "recovery" strategies. Drink mix that was posted up on empty beer and then cereal at home. I've tried the cereal before. We'll see how the legs feel tomorrow!

The beer went straight to the legs again tonight. On the plate? Chicken, salad, whole wheat pasta, and more beer!

FWIW, I came home and downloaded the Garmin. Realized looking at my splits that I beat my time by just over NINE MINUTES! I had the times wrong. Ha!