Myrtle 1 Me 0
After meeting up with everyone, a bigger turnout then I expected, we made our way from Oakdale to Stillwater cruising along the highway in a nice fast pack. There were a few rollers and the speeds were soaring on the downsides. I hit the upper 30s without even cranking. In no time we arrived in Stillwater and made out say down Myrtle. Finally getting a sense of what were we up for. Holy crap was all that came to mind.
Here are the stats on Myrtle. She is only about a ½ mile long, but she gets you with an elevation change of nearly 200 ft. Now I know I live in a somewhat flat area and you have to go find the good hills, so this is some serious incline in such a short distance. From the start of the repeats I was hurting. I might have hit the first one a little hard, but then again I didn’t know any better. I was using my easiest 3 gears for the trip up Myrtle but it still wasn’t enough to get away from her grip. I would have given a million dollars for a bike with a triple ring (3 rings on the front) last night. At the moments I dared to look I saw my speed at a crawling 5 mph. With each stroke I wondered if I would get another one or if I would just fall over, slip off my handle bar from the sweat rolling down my arms, or loose the contents of my stomach that seemed to be at the top on my throat. After 3 repeats I knew I was nearing my threshold. My legs and lungs were screaming. I spun at the top of the hill for a little while trying to bring my racing pulse down the whole time regretting the long run from the night before.
After a little rest I went back down Myrtle to start the second half. As I started to climb I rolled over the lyrics from “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters over and over. At the top it was another long rest as the rest of my group continued to look strong and grind out the repeats. I made it down and up one last time before my body came to a standstill. There would be no 6th repeat. Myrtle had gotten the best of me. Myrtle had won.
Now I was more than a little disappointed that I couldn’t finish the workout. It would have only been one more repeat, but the body had thrown in the towel. I got off my bike and had some water and a gel as the group finished up their repeats. I know that there are always good days and bad days, but it still doesn’t take away the sting. So I tucked my tail between my legs and rode back after the group was done. Of course I had a flat on the way back as well which was great. So I will have to return to Stillwater in the near future. Myrtle and I still have a few things to sort out.
Overall it was a great workout and a great night to be out riding with the crew. In the end it’s all “money in the bank” as I venture closer and closer to Pigman. Still stings though. :)