<An encore holiday post from November 2010>
The wheelsucker was visiting a friend in the Hamilton, Ontario (Niagara Escarpment) area for Thanksgiving, and in addition to a few bike workouts, went hiking with her twice.
She is a very strong hiker. She hikes two-plus hours a day, and usually hikes every day of the week. In recent weeks she has had more than 15 hours of hiking time. Apart from two recent hikes with her, the wheelsucker cannot remember the last time he went for a long walk.
She tired the Wheelsucker out on a Thursday morning hike, but by Monday the wheelsucker had recovered enough to try again.
It was very muddy due to recent snow and rain. She wore her usual hiking boots while the wheelsucker had his Keen casual street shoes and was sliding in the wet sections. He fell early, covering one leg in mud. He quickly overheated and left his jacket hat and gloves behind a tree and let her carry his wallet and phone in a pocket of her light windbreaker. The wheelsucker wished he could have found some heavy stones to put in there too, to slow her down a little more.
The Wheelsucker knew he was ‘in for it.’ Hoping and trying to tire her out and slow her down, the Wheelsucker set a very fast pace early on the drier sections, and attacked on dry climbs. She responded by attacking in the muddy sections, particularly slippery downhills. At times both were running; otherwise just using a fast long stride. Soon the Wheelsucker’s legs were aching as the muscles and tendons in his legs and back tightened and he was reduced to ‘heelsucking’. Each slip was more tiring than the last.
The Wheelsucker spends hours a week on a bicycle and thinks himself to be in shape. But he was not used to sliding in the mud or the long hiking stride and she does this a lot. He was breathing harder and wondering what his heart rate was — and thinking he should have worn the Powertap HR strap and put the Powertap in his pocket — and how this compared to a zone 3 ride with short climbs.
The Wheelsucker was day dreaming of a good hard bike ride; and exacting some revenge on her on a long climb, but mostly he was just trying to hang on.
She called for a very short rest to admire the view at about the two thirds point; the Wheelsucker just tried to recover enough to hold her heels to near the finish. As the finish approached the Wheelsucker thought he could out sprint her, but needed to recognize the finish so he could launch early. Then around a corner the parking area appeared; the Wheelsucker accelerated but quickly realized she wasn’t going to contest it. Sheepishly he sat up and walked to the car with her. He could barely lift his sore legs into the car, and was only functioning later in the day with the help of Advil.
This was a very fast hike. Her normal time for this hike is 1:30. A few days ago she hiked it with some girlfriends and they took 2:30, and she was so eager to get a workout she went back for another hike after they left. The time for the route was 1:15; her fastest time. The wheelsucker no longer thinks hiking is easy and is happy to have a few weeks to recover before the next hike