It's 8 pm and I'm finally out of workout clothes.
Today we climbed Palomar. 12.68 miles, 6.5% grade, ascending over 4,300 feet in a series of switchbacks. The climb begins before you think the climb begins. You're riding as a group and then all of a sudden everyone is strung out, you're in Zone 4 and pushing 60 rpms. You're thinking to yourself - but this isn't the climb. But it is the climb. And you realize you only have another 80 minutes of climbing to go.
I had many thoughts on the climb - mostly of what I became because of it - and what I noticed along the way. I will write a more poignant post about it at another time when I have the time.
For now: We arrived at the top each at our own time and pace. Chris got there first. I set a new CP60. Marit hauled a 500 lb bike and gorilla all the way. Sherpa Thomas found his way even after missing the turn up to the mountain.
At the top, Marit stuffed herself with newspaper. I dressed to descend. Chris talked with some German cyclists about riding further up to the observatory. Thomas acquiesed. Just what we needed - more of a climb. We set off for it and I found myself in a personal hotbox of hell overdressed in two pairs of leg warmers and a cotton long sleeved shirt. That lasted for about 20 minutes before I noticed a vulture circling overhead probably thinking that me keeping a steady pace of 8 mph was looking like a tasty lunch.
The observatory was - a big white building - and the 45 minute round trip to go 6 miles - that I could have done without. Then the descent. And the ride back. Another small climb. More of a descent. A brush with the school bus of death and then back to the van.
Many snacks have been consumed. Thomas suggested the hot tub so we all went for a nice hot bath. Then back inside Thomas begged someone to bathe him because he was too tired. Marit walked in on me and Chris in the bathroom while Chris was either touching himself or applying medicated cream to a saddle sore. Poor Marit - she said she's never walked in and then out of a room before. And then she asked if she could use some of the saddle sore cream.
Now it's time to eat. The chowbox must be fed before the group ride comes too early tomorrow. The weather here is glorious and I have the toxic sunburn to show. I'm excited about tomorrow's ride and run. And I'm just excited to be here with my husband and two amazing friends.