In the month or so that I have been living out in Napa Wednesdays have become "hill repeat" Wednesdays. What fun! I headed out this past Wednesday ready to play on some big hills. I chose Atlas Peak Road as my hill for the day. I had to do 6 repeats of 8 minute climbs with each one better than the previous. So, number 1 set the mark and on each of the following climbs I had to get further up the road. Now, I could not totally bag the first one to set an easy target but I had to be somewhat conservative so there was room for improvement. It was great fun. I was strategizing while going up the hill each time on where to attack, what gearing to use, whether to sit or stand, etc. It was like reconnaisance for the my own little tour de napa. I got better on each one and I even became less of a brake monger on the descent. After the repeats I had some more riding and then a run off the bike. The legs were sufficiently heavy and slightly empty but I still had a great run and ended the workout feeling like I made some progress.
Thursday was a "lighter" day with a steady run and an easy long swim. Today I got to do some more riding. The weather was beautiful and I headed out for a hilly ride---not hard to find around here. It would be hard to find a flat ride. Silverado Trail is about as flat as I can find here and it still has hills when you come from the midwest. I headed out into the Pope Valley and went by my favorite little market. Pope Valley has the market pictured here, an auto store and a fire station. So quiet and quiant. I went up Ink Grade and over Howell Mountain and then stopped for a root beer. It just looked so tasty. I actually refilled my water bottle with it. Terrible I know but it was awesome to have all the sugar and taste in my water bottle for the remainder of the ride. And, I think it was a slightly old root beer because it was relatively flat so that was good for my tummy. I descended off Howell Mountain (the Tour de California will actually come up and over Howell Mountain as well) and then headed back towards the house ending with my 3.1 mile climb up to our place. Nice way to end a ride. I circled our driveway for a few minutes to cool down and then ATE! Tomorrow is a hard run and an easy bike and Sunday is just a swim. I am knackered but in a good way.
I am heading to Chicago next weekend to hit up my favorite restaurants (Spacca, Urban Belly, Sweet Mandy B's), attend our end of year banquet for the UIC swimmers and then to bring my cats out to Napa. I am getting a little worried about having to take them on a plane. It is not going to be an enjoyable day for Storm and Jaromir. However, other people do it and they will survive and forget all about it when I get them out here. They are going to love basking in the warm sun!
A Beautiful Valley Day!