The intensity button was cranked up a notch or two on todays club run. With The Cheshire Cat sportive looming, it was time to throw a few more hills into our ride out. Looking at the ride profile for the Cheshire Cat, there are a few nasty hills with Mow Cop being the most infamous of them all and first to appear on the route at the eighteen mile mark. Concensus was to start building the intensity of the club ride to get us ready for some climbing. You can see from the profile that we achieved that.
At the 21mile mark we did a sharp climb of 770 feet straight up and followed that up with another four or so climbs on a rolling route. I felt pretty good today and a few of the guys noted that my fitness had improved climbing up the hills. I basically spun at about 85 cadence up the hills, in a low gear at around 9.5mph. Whilst I wasn't the quickest, I was getting up the inclines without any major dramas and my confidence for the Cheshire Cat sportive is improving (given that I plan to continue to do around 100 miles per week training between now and then). Whilst the route was hilly today, I really enjoyed it, primarily because I felt physically fitter and mentally I attacked all the hills, deciding that I would get up everything, no matter what. I'm really learning that you have to accept that at some point you have to suffer and it's how you mentally deal with it that can dictate where you get up it or not. One of the benefits of going up, is coming down. We did a couple of fast descents, hitting 36mph at one point, it was a bit hairy with so many potholes and the roads still being a bit slippery but great fun (talking of which, I figured out why I fell off last week. Big oil patch on the roundabout which todays rain exposed). Whilst todays ride was challening in many aspects, I really enjoyed it and came home to a steaming hot bath. Legs are certainly letting me know that I've been up a few hills today!
Ride Stats; Total distance 56.55 miles (90km). Ride time 4hrs 19mins. Avg. speed 13.1mph. Total climbing 1993ft. Calories burnt (estimate) 3966. Avg. cadence 85.