Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Between clouds

Date: Jan. 22
Mileage: 28.4
January mileage: 550.2
Hours: 2:30
Temperature upon departure: 28
Precipitation: .01"

Laura from NPR put together a pretty cool audio slideshow in which I retell the story of Juneau's resident wolf. You can listen to it at this link: "A Wolf Named Romeo." It's been interesting to see a bit of national reaction to the story of Romeo. I hope it's clear that I'm rehashing a local legend, and not presenting a factual timeline. There's a lot that's unknown about Romeo, and I'm certainly not an expert on his origin or needs. But I do know the wolf has co-existed peacefully with the recreational users of the Mendenhall Lake area for a least two years, and nobody seems to be clamoring to upset that balance.

I was feeling quite a bit of fatigue this morning. It could be all the training hours I've put in this week, or it could be the fact that I've been sleeping less, and generally not very well. Geoff and I are moving to another apartment at the end of January. We're trying to put together our plan for transporting ourselves and our stuff to and from Anchorage and hopefully McGrath next month. I'm still working on gear and food plans, and I'm reminding myself to practice my tire changes and bike repairs, tweak some of my gear, play with my stove and study maps. Little stressers start to build. I have this list that shuffles through my head like an animated flip chart. Some days, it moves so fast I can't even decipher where it begins and ends. Training is a good release. Often, I think training is the easy part of preparing for this bike race. Actually, I know training is the easy part of preparing for this bike race.

So I felt lucky to make a hard climb to Eaglecrest, despite some lead in my legs and a strong desire to crawl back into bed ... well, crawl back onto the Thermarest I have spread out on the carpet where the bed used to be. It sure beats packing stuff into boxes and hauling it off to the Salvation Army. And it sure beats researching plane tickets and wrenching around with the Pugsley. I felt guilty about choosing cycling over chores, so I pedaled as hard as my heavy muscles would allow, zoning in on my pain cave as my flip-chart thoughts dissolved into a soft mash. I spent some time playing on the frozen coastal mudflats before ascending the Eaglecrest road. Just like yesterday, I climbed out of a low-lying bank of clouds. Unlike yesterday, there were high-lying overcast clouds hovering above.

It seemed appropriate ... standing in the clear zone between two strands of clouds, unsure what my next step will be.