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The Hills Are Alive…

I’m in the middle of reading “I’m Here To Win: A World Champion’s Advice for Peak Performance” by Chris “Macca” McCormack, and coincidentally, I read this excerpt Friday night, after a big swim, and before our big weekend workout:

Every triathlete, pro or amateur, no matter how fit reaches a point in every race where he has to decide whether or not he will endure more suffering. It’s very simple. Either he will or he won’t. You will get there. The only question is how you’ll handle it.

It’s that simple. Whenever I do these races I always come to that point where my self-doubt kicks in and guess if I’m hitting The Wall. It usually wasn’t The Wall, but I still think, “I’m still running, this hurts… should I keep going?” I always kept going.

Saturday challenge: VERY hilly 9 miles in the South Bay. I’ve never been to this running route before, so I was pretty excited and scared at the same time. I know for sure this wasn’t a flat beach run. As expected, we were introduced to some pretty nasty hills, equivalent to a Category 5 on the bike (the hardest of them all). Immediately out of the meeting spot was uphill… and up, and up, and up. It just wouldn’t stop! See below (and that’s not a forced perspective shot, camera is looking straight ahead):

Sunday challenge: 50 mile minimum, or 3.5 hours + 2 mile run in Santa Monica/Malibu. It was nicknamed “Mari & Luke’s Revenge,” as the team returned to the mean streets of Malibu. The alumni had a modified course, with the return to the infamous hill on John Tyler Road. One experienced rider even said “That was the f*ckin HARDEST hill I’ve ever done!”. Alumni route had to do a few hill loops around Pepperdine with a total of 2 x JohnT + 2 x Rest-of-Team Hill in that day. It was madness I tell ya! Second time around wasn’t any easier. Imagine putting your bike to the easiest gears, having to stand up and pedal, still having the hardest time trying to climb. You know what though? We did it. I didn’t have to zig zag up, nor unclip, nor stop. As hard as it was, it felt amazing to conquer it. I made John Tyler my bitch that morning. Take that! As a reward each time, we were blessed with this beautiful view: