Friday, February 17, 2006

Down to the wire

We drove up to Anchorage today for the Susitna 100 mandatory pre-race meeting. Despite no real weight planning, my required gear barely made the minimum. The scale fluctuated back and forth between 14.9 and 15.1 pounds, before finally resting on 15.1. The girl let me go despite the fact that I had closer to 5,000 calories (I had forgotten that I had Geoff's race food in with my required calories.) Keep in mind, the 15 pounds doesn't include extra clothing, water or any food that I plan to eat along the trail. Still, I'm pretty stoked I came in that light.

I didn't learn too much at the meeting that I didn't already know. The race officials traveled the trail on Sunday to set up markers, and supposedly rain dumped down the entire time. There's still a threat of rain on Saturday, but if what some of the checkpoint volunteers have been saying about recent nighttime temps is true, the trail could be deliciously solid. Bad for the skiers - but good for me, if it stays cold (if not, bad for everyone.)

Right now I'm feeling a surge of optimism. Watching my gear pass the test, listening to race officials describe the trail, looking at their slides and comparing the images to my memories of the portion of the trail I've traveled - all this has worked my spirits up and right now I feel more excitement and less anxiety. My comfort level was also boosted by their description of the sheer number of markers they put up and the volunteers' heavy patrolling of the race course - basically nullifying my chances of getting hopelessly lost out there (even beyond cold, fatigue and injury, this has actually been my biggest fear all along.)

Now I guess all I can do is go out and Git'R'Done, as my friend Jessica suggested. (Jess actually worded it "As we like to say in Canada, just gid'er'done." That's pretty much the funniest thing I've ever heard. ) But to everyone who has supported me along the way, and who has been sending me good energy this week, I just wanted to say thank you. It means more to me than you know. That's the kind of energy that really makes or breaks life's hardest battles, and I just want you guys to know I'm feelin' the love. Now, it's just about time to go out and represent.

T minus one day, 10 hours, seven minutes and counting.


  1. You're gonna do great! Best of luck. Four words of advice for you to remember when the going gets tough and your mind makes all the little signals your body is sending it seem too much to handle :


    JB (I'd still rather be in Florida)

  2. Git'R'Done is exactly what you need to do. Funny, that's what we say on the trail when we come to a big climb or scary decent.

    Git'R'Done Jill.

  3. I'm sure you will do fine - you'll finish for sure! Looking forward to hearing about it after you're done. Good Luck!

  4. I've been reading your blog and keeping up with your training from lil' old Ireland for the past few months. You've been an inspiration to me when I have been pushing my own bike around the block and further. Best of luck with the race..I'm sure you'll do great!

    p.s. what are you gonna write about after?

  5. Holy cow Jill,

    I think you're not only going to finish . . .

    I think you might win!

  6. just started reading your blog a few days ago. I love it and hope to move to alaska someday soon. Good Luck!!

  7. Well, you know you got a cheering section here! Good luck Jill and ride hard!

  8. Wahoo! This is so cool, Jill. I thought I'd check out how it went yesterday - am so glad you're going into it with confidence because you certainly deserve to do that, you have earned that right with all your training.
    We are, however, going to have to find you another race to keep you busy for the second half of winter!
    The Trib Tribe is rooting hard for you. Everyone is talking about it - when does she start? How long is the race? Do you think she needs medication or is this just temporary insanity? The jury's still out on the last one, but we're proud as heck anyway.
    Go get em'!

  9. Good luck and have fun!

  10. Nothing better then the Cycling Community, always lots of love. Jill go and kick azz, finish with a big smile knowing you did your best:) You are hardcore sista!


  11. I hope the trails are nice and hard for you. We know you'll do great.

  12. Best of luck to you from chilly Chicago. No matter how you finish, you are still doing better than the rest of us cowering from the cold.

  13. Yee-ha! Kick trash, Jill! Good luck sleeping tonight too. I'm sure when your preparation meets your performance, you'll be pretty satisfied with what you find.

  14. Jill, Gid-er-done is a hoosierism as well, so gid-er-done! Here's a shot of the pent up energy I've had bottled up for the past few weeks not being allowed to ride......

    You are going to do great, I have it on good authority, a Gypsy Fortuneteller told me so!

  15. Your gonna do awesome!! GO JILL!!! I read your blog everyday and am really looking forward to the post Susitna report.

    Be safe and have a great ride 8-)

  16. 15 pounds.

    I'm joining my son this weekend for his first ever Boy Scout winter alpine camping trip. I'm looking at the gear list with some amazement -- they take this "Be Prepared" stuff seriously. If I can keep it below 30 pounds I'll be happy. They're going a half mile and spending only one night out.

    Get'er'done, Jill, and good luck.

  17. Git'erdone, Sister!
    You will kick some serious Ace!

  18. ok, no.....really, the best part is that I read it in my head and pronounced it there "gid'er'done" and didn't even notice the fact till I reached the next line...

    good luck from Ontario

  19. From (another random Irish) person in the blogosphere - best of luck!


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