View back down the the bottom from 1/3 way up
Too bad the good was so short lived. About 1/3 of the way up the 12 mile climb it started to get bad. Seems that they were doing road work up ahead. The rumble of an engine working hard to climb the hill would get louder and louder and then the dust storm would be upon me. I got passed by several water tankers and dump trucks. I was breathing pretty heavily at this point, I had been climbing pretty hard cause things were still good. Sucking in the exhaust fumes and dust while riding through the deep sand on the side of the road, soured my mood!
One of the many trucks that passed me, luckily this section wasn't too dusty!
At the half way point of the climb I came upon the construction crew. I wasn't sure they would let me through, but not only did they let me through they promised that there were no more trucks up ahead. I got about 10 minutes up the road from them and what do you know, they drove their construction truck up past me. More dust! Around about this point my left glut- who am I kidding, my ass started to cramp up. I changed position on the bike, altered my pedal stroke and it wouldn't loosen up. Now, to be fair it had worked pretty hard in Pilate's class yesterday, and it had let me know then that it wasn't happy. I didn't listen to it last night, so it made sure I heard it loud and clear today. I had to get off and stretch a few times but I was determined to get to the top of the damn mountain! Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I hit the tree line and the gnats arrived. Head down, don't let them get to you. Who was I kidding? I was beyond being able to deal and was so physically and mentally wiped at this point. Finally, I crested the top and was able to descend. Today was a day where the reward did not erase the pain or tribulations from my mind.
Even though it was a day where the ugly was more prevalent than the bad and really outweighed the good, I still will reap the training benefits. I was working my butt off (it wouldn't have been screaming so hard at me if I wasn't) and my mind was put to the test. Undoubtedly, if I continue to push my limits there will be more days like this. I'll take a bad day on the bike any day over a bad day off the bike!
For those of you keeping track, I am now sleeping in Park City, Utah. I did make a stop for a few nights in Colorado Springs.