I was going to steal the title from Adam's post from a few weeks ago, but it looks like I didn't remember it correctly. Yesterday was my first attempt at the Big McGowan Hill for the year, but it didn't humble me because I showed up already humble.
Of course, that didn't really help me get to the top. It didn't even help me get 1/3 of the way up. It was way harder than I remembered, but it was important that I got out there in early January. Now I have 9-12 more chances to make it up before the Ouachita Challenge. Ideally, I would be able to climb it 6-8 times in a row before the race, because only then will I get close to the level of difficulty that awaits. A 13-weeks-to-go reality check was just what I needed.
The only bad part is that I discovered an archive of free 60-minute horror films on our cable's "On Demand" channel. It's nice to be able to watch whenever I want without the commitment of a full-length movie, but I probably should not have watched two of them before my ride yesterday. The route goes through some remote wetland and forest in Brown County and it's easy to ride the whole thing without seeing a single car. Not seeing a car is a good thing, except that it does get kind of freaky riding in the middle of nowhere by yourself. There is one particular place that I hate, because there is a sharp turn in the road which leads up a very steep hill for about 100 meters and there is an old abandoned cemetery at the top. Extreme exertion plus old cemetery plus middle of nowhere is not my idea of a good time. I let myself get freaked out sometimes, but it's just such a good training route in the winter that it's hard to turn down.
In other news, I got a haircut over the weekend. I seem to be changing my hair every three months now. I liked my last haircut, but I realized that it looked a little too much like the "the Rachel" circa 1995. So I decided to step outside my comfort zone a bit. The picture below is what I took to the stylist and the final result is pretty similar, except that my hair has less body and I didn't have a professional stylist fix it for me this morning.