Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Sticking Place

Just over the ridge behind my house, a few miles down the backcountry roads is a short road named McBeth. Only about three miles long, it climbs relentlessly up another ridgeline. I've only ridden it once before, when I discovered it hooked up with another one of my favorite routes and decided to try it out, but failed to notice the arrows on the map indicating that it's quite a hill. Most local cyclists refer to it as "McDeath", April finds people time-trialing up it on Tuesday evenings (which sounds like an exercise in pain to me!), and one of my friends made it a part of his infamous "Seven Hills of the Apocalypse" training ride for Ironman Canada.

Since the day I accidentally wound up its curves, panting and sweating, I've avoided another go at it. But this year, I've decided to take the routes and the challenges that have intimidated me before and meet them head-on. For as long as I've been doing triathlons, running has been my weakest sport, but I've been more or less content to chug along, watching people pass me that I left in the dust on the swim or bike course. This is the year I want to work on that weak sport, and take on the hills on the bike that I've avoided so far. I'm not going to have the big goal out in front of me that I've had for the past few years that I've been aiming at the Ironman, so I want to find my focus on the smaller things I can do to improve in my sport.

With all of this in mind, today found me in unseasonably warm and windy January weather, staring up McDeath and giving it a go. It took me 20 minutes to make it up the three mile hill, which tells you exactly how slow I was going! I think I'm going to try hitting this particular route once a month, just to see my hill-climbing progress in cold, hard, numbers.

As another famous MacBeth once said: "Screw your courage to the sticking-place and we'll not fail". Maybe that will be my motto for 2007.

1 comment:

Bike Chick said...

That would be a great motto. Congrats for conquering McDeath. :)

And thank you for the encouragement on my trifuel blog.