I have settled into the Alps. It is an interesting thing really: I feel like I have returned home.
I will keep this short so to update all of you without rambling on too much.
Riding has been fantastically intense. Yesterday was a bit of an epic day climbing the Col de Telegraphe, the Galibier and Alp D'Huez in succession. For those of you who know the Tour de France, these are some of the most famous climbs of the tour for being the most grueling.
Now, when you are climbing for hours against what feels like a wall of wind, your mind goes everywhere in search of distraction. Starting on the the Col de Telegraphe with only 4.5 hours sleep under my belt (I blame continued jet lag and "over" training), required my iPod as a welcome distraction. By the time that we got to the Galibier, I was tired but committed. It was the hardest part of the day for me (and for many others that I ended up riding along side of).
Alp D'huez was an entirely different beast: switch back after switch back of 11-12% made it slow going. It was in this hour of thinking that I realized that, with many things that we do in life, we embark on them with the thought of a certain goal and the insecurity that we may not actually reach that goal. It was only at the 5.5km to go on the Alp D'huez climb that I realized I was going to get to the top. My realization came with the conscious decision to make it happen without allowing for another option. The things we want in life are out there:we simply need to make the conscious decisions to get to the top of our vision and see the obstacles as just another switch-back to get around.
Alp D'Huez was epic - the entire day was epic and I didn't really even realize it until it was all done and I was drinking Orangina at the top!