Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gained some weight

Date: Feb. 14
Mileage: 13.4
February mileage: 238.8
Temperature on departure: 37

Yup. It took two and a half months, but I've finally collected and compiled the gear I need for the Susitna race. Today I loaded most of it on my bike (a bit haphazard, but daylight was a-fadin') and went out for a short ride. Including water and other gear I plan to hoist in my Camelbak H.A.W.G., the total addition is about 20-25 pounds. And you know what? I got better traction today.

I also whipped down the hills. And climbs? Well, I'm a slow climber anyway. I probably should have added the weight to my workouts before now, but I don't anticipate the gear making or breaking me. At this point, any semblance of good trail and weather conditions would have me so stoked I could probably set out on a loaded touring bike and be fine. Well, maybe not fine. But if I could just finish the race with a smile on my face, I'll chalk it up as "probably the best one I've ever done." (I know - I have to stop with the Napoleanisms.)

Oh yeah. I nearly forgot that today is the V-day-that-must-not-be-named. Not that I'm one of those people that marches for Single Awareness Day. In fact, Feb. 14 is tied to several of my more memorable anniversaries. Today I realized (because this is the kind of stuff I think about when I'm riding my bike) that it's been 10 years since my first kiss (not exactly the first, but the first one that meant anything to me, so I quickly disregarded the rest.) It was a classic moment of teenage angst: Valentine's date ... sitting shotgun in some beat-up old Buick ... idling loudly ... eyes locked on the windshield ... streams of melted snowflakes slithering down the glass ... sinking into the congested silence ... paralyzed and unable to look this boy in the eyes because I knew, just knew, it was coming.

But what really stands out about the memory is the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing softly through crackling speakers. I ran out to Tom Tom's Music the next day to purchase the "Soul to Squeeze" single for prosterity. And now, here I am, 10 years into a strange future, singing to myself as I pedal across the snow.

"Where I go I just don't know
I got to, got to, gotta take it slow
When I find my peace of mind
I'm gonna give you some of my good time."

T minus three days, 12 hours, 55 minutes and counting.

13 comments:

  1. I just think if it can be done at this point Jill, you'll be doing it. I hope you will have a smile on your face when you are finished, too.

    There's a really great quote from the movie Beyond Rangoon where U Aung Ko (played by U Aung Ko) tells the young doctor (played by Patricia Arquette),

    "We know that suffering is the one promise life always keeps. So that if happiness comes, we know it is a precious gift which is ours only for a brief time."

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to giveyou some of my good time

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just a suggestion, keep the weight on your shoulders to a minimum. I learned the hard way in AR Racing. It does help to tighten & loosen the straps to raise & lower the weight to ease the pain in your shoulders as well. Good Luck. After reading your blog I guess I can no longer complain about cold feet again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jill, remember to REST the day before the race and get some recuperation time! It'll make you stronger! Just enough activity to stay loose. Charge up on FOOD as well, get some surplus energy reserve available to you! You'll be burning 11,000 calories + a day out there, with about 1 calorie per 5 just for thermoregulation! Watch the feet and hands, and KICK THEIR ASSES! I'm pulling for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jill,

    Been following your progress for a few months now and although I'm too poor to have actually sent you any dough - I - like alot of us - have been out here in 'silent support' - so now that the race is pending I thought I'd chime in.

    As a fellow cyclist and someone with a love for sometimes inhospitable climes (5 years living in Atlantic Canada - now in Washington DC and I actually miss all the snow) I've enjoyed reading about your progress and checking out some of the great photos you post. Makes me want to move North again.

    It sounds like you've done your homework and I'm sure you'll do great in the race. if there's one thing I've come to understand from reading about these long distance cold weather races - it's that it's not so much a race against other racers, but a competiton to challenge yourself. Win or loose, finish or not - the preparation and reflection that your training has inspired and the events that unfold on race day will only produce a stronger, better person on the other side - We've all seen that already in your entries.

    I don't know if you read it or not, but on the surlyblog - one of those cats just finished the Arrowhead135 and had a great experience - I'm sure you will too.

    Best of luck. Be careful and have fun. Looking forward to reading about your ride after you're back at home with the Pepsi and Goldfish.

    the buKit

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great song. Long time since I last heard that one, but it's a classic.
    Hey, kick butt in the Susitna this year so that ten years down the line you don't have to talk your nephew into buying a time machine for you to go back and win state or something.
    Besides, you've got us all believing in you. Personally, there's no doubt in my mind ... I could totally see you riding your bike toward a cheap video camera, though, I must say. "I could ride right over those mountains ..."

    ReplyDelete
  7. you'll make it to the finish. have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  8. at some point on ever long ride i've ever done, i've wondered, "is anyone thinking about me right now? well, at some point, i'll be thinking about you on your race. in fact, at several points.

    i offer you one piece of advice: have fun.

    i look forward to your writeup afterward!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Jill,

    Good luck in the Susitna, you are one tough chick. I'm headed down to the 24 Hour TT at Bikesebring.org this weekend. The weather should be 80 degrees and sunny. I'll send you some pleasant thoughts.

    Sincerely,

    Lou

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jill, you totally rock! go kick some serious snowy, arctic butt.
    I can't wait to see the write up and photos

    Gonna give you some of my good time too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. U no I truely love your picts I cant remember how I came upon your sight but I check it often and I love your photography! You have an amazing talent and I wanted to THANK'S 4 SHARING!

    ReplyDelete
  12. In case you check back here before the race: have an amazing time! Your training has been impressive, so I have no doubt you'll do well at this.

    By the way, my mom sent me a glowing email about how beautiful my photographs were. Turns out she was looking at your site. Just passing on the praise.

    ReplyDelete