Thursday, July 19, 2018

Scorcher Torture

Skiers are made in the summer, the smart money tells us, but summer is also when it's, you know, hot.  I am not a lover of heat (by which I mean anything over about 70 degrees).  No, I'm with Jeff Cox when he says:
"So bring it on, baby.  Give me the blues, make 'em bitter, make 'em sweet.  Let the cold wind blow.  Make it sting."
But winter doesn't care about my whining and complaining.  Winter says, I'm coming, crybaby, ready or not, and I'm going to be a lot more fun if you're ready.  So I fill up my water bottles with ice, dig out my sunglasses and SPF 50, and head up to the mountains.

Saturday: another Women Who Bound workout at Cabin Creek.  Six of us this time (including a couple of new faces, which is always fun) and Coach Ozzie.  There are so many things I love about this workout: I love having the trails all to ourselves instead of dodging hordes of hikers; I love seeing my friends pour themselves into the effort, working hard but still laughing and joking; I love getting to spend the morning with Coach Ozzie.  I love the trees, the birds, the trail, the cabin, the sweat dripping sunscreen into my eyes.  I'm proud of my Bounding Women; it's a long drive and a hard workout, and yet, there we are, laughing and sweating and bounding and moose-hoofing and checking heart rates and comparing training stories.  It's so good.

Sunday: back to the Denny Creek/Snoqualmie Summit loop with my roller skis.  This time, instead of the Tall Boyz, I had the Elite Boy, elite Birkie waver Chris Q, as my training partner, and Mandy Q as domestique.  Our plan was to meet at the summit gas station to organize bikes and cars, but I was a little ahead of the Qs, so rather than making them come all that way to get me, only to turn around and head back to Denny Creek, they headed straight for the start of the loop and I loaded my roller skis into my Birkie pack, strapped my poles to my bike, and rode down to meet them.

I told myself I would only do one loop if it was too hot, and it was too hot by any definition of the word: in the 80s when we started, and poking at mid-90s by the second loop.  But I brought lots of water this time, and in my first loop, I stopped often to drink; my goal was to get to the top with an empty water bottle, and I did!

Mandy Q photo
Mandy was biking with me as I worked my way up the switchbacks, which was such a welcome diversion, and I told her I thought I was going to live and I was willing to tackle a second loop.  So she texted ahead to Chris, who was waiting at the car, and said I was coming back down, too.

We piled ourselves and our equipment, including Mandy's bike, into the car and headed back down to the bottom, then turned around and started back up again.  Definitely hotter, definitely less shade, but I had guzzled a full bottle of cold Nuun on the way down and I was feeling ready for the challenge!  I finished another whole bottle of water on the second loop back up.

Chris started his loop at the Denny Creek exit; I started about a mile up the road, where it begins to be steadily uphill, and made a game of seeing how long I could stay ahead of him (and still keep stopping to drink water).  He and Mandy caught me at the top of the switchbacks, not far from the top, and with an encouraging "We're almost there, Debbie!" from the Qs, we finished it off.  Toys back in the car again, we drove the remaining little bit to the food truck for lunch and conversation in the beautiful delicious I-could-kiss-you shade.

Then it was time to head home.  My bike was locked to the guardrail at our starting point, so I stopped there to pick it up and I was done.  Cooked.  Smoked.  Broiled, but happy with the effort, and another wave at winter, not that far away.  I'm whining, but I'm doing it.  Now if I can only keep doing it through the next two hot months!

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