Convincing myself that I can climb hills….  

This is just one of the small inner arguments that goes on inside my head.  It’s not the end of the world if I cannot climb, but it is a challenge I present myself often.  If not to prove anything other than to just continue my pursuance of overall fitness.  Okay, I admit it.  I’d love to be able to simply keep up with my friends and teammates, too!

Climbing is hard for some of us.  You’re grinding away in your small chain ring, wishing you could magically turn that crank faster, and up your cadence.  Your thighs are burning and your breathing is labored.  Regardless of where you place your hands on the bars, it’s hard to find any relief.  Dare I try to stand up and pedal periodically or stay in the saddle?  It seems to take forever and all you can think of is the glorious decent that you will have earned on the other side.

A few weeks ago, many others, and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Death Valley, CA. for some amazing cycling and training.  We rendezvoused with the RAAM – Bike Like a Girl 2015 team, two of them who live right here in Reno and are on our local girl-team, the Reno Wheelmen.  The icing on the cake was that the coach for both this team and our girl-team, Julie Young of O2fitness and Silver Sage Sports, joined us as well!  I cannot tell you how thrilled we were to have her with us!


We rode twice the first day.  The first ride consisted of quality intervals.  As Julie rode by our side, she taught me to lighten up a bit!  Being the micro-manager that I am, she taught me quality vs. being a slave to the timer.  This is especially helpful for when you’re doing your intervals on a course that requires some flexibility in your timing.   On day two, we climbed Dante’s Peak.  This climb was the nemesis of my trip; I had a bone to pick with this hill!  Two years ago, I had to walk parts of that last quarter mile, which has grades of 14-18%.  Even though Julie made the summit long before I did her coaching and encouraging voice played in my mind continuously.  The trip was rounded off nicely with a fantastic ride out to Scotty’s Castle.

Because of Julie and her wealth of training and racing knowledge, not only do I have a very strong foundation to build upon, but I have daily expert guidance.  When you are in your pain-cave, it is a coach’s voice and training that brings your focus back to what will help you succeed, however that may look to you.  So much of this is mental.  When you have a coach that you respect and trust, it makes it easier to fight your mind with her/his words.  I have found this with Julie Young and so will you.

I made it up Dante’s Peak without walking once.