Strava Link: Everesting: Nevada 844
This is my 3rd successful Everesting attempt and it took place one year to the day from my 1st attempt on Geiger Grade. Here are links to the first two: Geiger Grade, Monitor Pass
This is a great little climb out in the middle of the Nevada desert. It gains 1,104 feet in 2.8 miles, which translates to 27 repeats. It's just about perfect for Everesting. It starts with a straight, flat section, which (a) gives you a little time to adjust to climbing after the descent and (b) makes for a nice place to slow down during the descent. It also finishes with an easy section, which is a nice spot to catch your breath before the descent. The middle portion is steep with a fairly steady gradient. There are just enough turns to keep things interesting, but none of them are too tight to slow things down much on the descent.
I rode the first climb too fast and couldn't find a good rhythm on the second climb. From the third climb on, I was starting to get into the groove. Climbs 3-8 were all at a similar pace and I didn't feel myself slowing down until the 9th or 10th climb.
I took my first break after the 10th climb. One of my big goals for the day was to keep the off-bike time to a minimum. I wasn't able to reach that goal. The first break seemed short to me, but looking back at the data I can see that it took 17 minutes. Not a good start.
I felt good after the break and rode the next 4 climbs at a decent pace. As you can see from the graph above, things really started to slow down on the 16th climb. I've seen this on my past Everests and I should have been ready for it, but I wasn't. I think I expect to gradually get slower over the course of the day, but for whatever reason that's just not how my body reacts. At some point I hit a wall and slowly recover from there. It happened to me on climb #11 on Geiger and climb #7 on Monitor. This time it happened on climb #16.
I'm not going to lie. I went into panic mode. My legs felt terrible and I still had 11 climbs to go. How would I ever finish? My easiest gear was a 34x30 and I was already using it. I decided to take a long break and hope for the best. Long is an understatement. The break lasted 35 minutes and I even fell asleep for a short period of time.
I wish I could say I had an epiphany and decided not to be a quitter, but the truth is that I was at 95 miles for the day and only needed one more climb to hit 100 miles, so I decided to just ride one more climb. The 17th climb didn't feel great, but it felt better than the 16th climb, so I tried for 18. After 18 was done I decided to go ahead and do 2 more to get to 20. Once I hit 20 I started to believe in myself again. I was feeling better and falling back into a rhythm. It hurt, but I believed. That belief makes all the difference.
I took a 19-minute break after climb #20 then a 24-minute break after climb #24. As you can see, all these breaks started adding up and by the end of the day I was up to 2 hours and 18 minutes of off-bike time. I was hoping for less, but that's actually my lowest total. I had about 2.5 hours for Geiger and close to 3 hours for Monitor.
During that break after the 24th climb I changed into a clean set of clothes. It doesn't sound like much, but it made me feel a lot better. It felt like starting a new ride. At that point I knew I was going to finish. I was still in a good rhythm and all I had to do was keep eating and drinking and keep a consistent pace.
The last climb is a funny thing. I've always felt relief, not euphoria. More than anything I was glad that I didn't quit. I think that's what Everesting teaches me and why I've done it multiple times. It's amazing what you can do if you put your head down and just keep pushing.
Total time for the day: 15 hours and 52 minutes. That's my best time so far (Geiger: 18:30, Monitor: 18:54) on what felt like the toughest Everesting I've done.