Thursday, February 21, 2008

Leaving Juneau

Date: Feb. 21
Mileage: 30.1
February mileage: 297.7
Hours: 2:00
Temperature: 40

Head finally (nearly) clear, preparations finally (nearly) complete, I went for one last ride in Juneau. I began to question the wisdom of my (nearly) complete taper, with my legs pumping endless fire into the (nearly) spring air. I wondered if maybe I am too rested, too complacent, too fat and lazy for the daunting day that now is just below the horizon. But today I felt like I had a hundred million miles in my legs, and I rode that feeling effortlessly to the end of the North Douglas Highway.

I stopped on the Mendenhall Lake wetlands to take one last look across the Channel. The valley stretched toward the city, the thin strip of familiarity through a crush of wilderness. I let my eyes drift up to the ice cap and linger on the great unknown beyond. I felt like this would be the last time I would ever see this view of Juneau - not because I am really overdramatic like that, but because I feel like, no matter what, I will return from Anchorage in two weeks as a different version of myself. It seemed like I should say goodbye.

I hope I will be able to post from Anchorage before the race, but just in case I don't have a chance, I wanted to leave the Web sites where information about the race will be posted. It begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. The best source is here: The Iditarod Trail Invitational Latest News. Someone will post the time and date each racer comes through each checkpoint. There also are sometimes comments about racers' and trail conditions. There will also be a daily report from MTBCast about the race leaders. As I understand it, there will also be updates at Sleepmonsters.com

Thanks again to all who are following along.

49 comments:

  1. One last time Jill...Good Luck out there. You're ready for this, you know what you have to do and have the experience. Make good choices, keep eating and drinking, and just Keep Spinning!!

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  2. vw Dave7:12 PM

    Jill ~ ~ ~ All the best to you and Geoff. It's going to be a great experience, no doubt. The weather seems to be cooperating too, none of that 45 below zero crap! It's all coming together, now it's time to head on out there with your Pugster Surf board and catch that big honking wave.

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  3. Best of Luck Jill, My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Ride On!

    Nigity - "Always keep a smile in your heart."

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  4. Hey -- still following, albeit a bit silent about it. Here's wishing you well: have a wonderful, challenging, life-affirming experience!

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  5. Anonymous7:52 PM

    hmm,,,,collectively you two have logged soooooooooo many miles. This is cake walk with your conditioning :) Rock on you two !!!

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  6. I'm so glad that everything has finally come together for you. Did Pugs have any chop suey or curry while he was away? Perhaps he spent some time at the Golden Pagoda Massage Parlor? I can’t wait to hear Pugs’ side of the story. In any case, good luck to both you and Geoff. Have a great time and be safe!

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  7. Good luck! Stay safe, stay strong.

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  8. Kick some A$$ Jill! If you get tired, just start riding blogs in your head...it will be guaranteed bloggable gold! I myself got a new ACL this morning. Very exciting.

    Hannah

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  9. So glad to hear about Pugsly being found. Good luck and be safe.

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  10. Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. -Zen Master Dogen

    Stay strong and find peace in your journey, this will be an unforgettable time for you. Life changing. And remember, in your case, a journey of 350 miles starts with a single step! Best of luck.
    -Namaste Jill

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  11. Central Florida9:19 PM

    Good luck :)

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  12. Never put it together. I've always thought of you as "Jilleo" - but after reading the Jared Eborn piece I can't help but drift to the obvious "Homer's Odyssey" (and the Simpsons aren't what I had in mind).

    Hope your trials aren't - but know you are up to the task!

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  14. Jill, here's the link to the Anchorage Forecast Office if you're looking for weather updates. Zones 145 and 151 are the ones you should look at. I think the weather will be pretty good for your ride; it looks like it will clear out from the west starting about Sunday.

    Good luck to you and Geoff! When things get cold or discouraging, just think of how inspiring we all think you are!

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  15. Bonne chance ! Each minute of these coming weeks is going to be pure gold, you're going to love each one.

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  16. Oh Jill, the news that the Pug had been found has made my morning. I am thrilled and delighted for you in equal measure. London feels a litle less grey today!

    Good luck in the race. Take your hundred-million-mile legs...

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  17. All the Roes Family from NY4:55 AM

    Go get em Jill. We know you can do it - stay safe, stay warm and have fun. We all love you and are thinking of your great trip ahead.

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  18. Good Luck Jill! I'll be cheering for you from Michigan!

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  19. Good luck! I'll be thinking about you this weekend. Stay safe and warm, okay?

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  20. Rock this thing!

    We'll all be there cheering you on when you cross the finish line--in spirit at least. Thanks for letting us be a part of this, even if it is only through sending our supportive vibes in your direction.

    Be peaceful and well!

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  21. Don't ride too fast you will melt the ice! You have worked so hard towards this goal that I think no matter what happens it seems your only option is success. Be careful - have fun and thank you for letting us all live vicariously through your pursuits. Ride on!

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  22. I put my sarcasm aside and for once say clearly to you, "Good luck my friend."

    (And do you bring a book? I would want a book for the downtime in the bivy.)

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  23. Good luck Jill! I'll be cheering for you too (from The Netherlands)!

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  24. Godspeed Jill. It will be awesome!
    - Randy

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  25. Rock n roll, wind, ice and snow,
    Jill on her Pugsley for 350 or so.
    She be trained, she be strong,
    Gonna prove in Alaska she DOES belong!

    I'll stop while I'm behind...

    Best of luck to you Jill!
    I'll be checking the results daily and looking very forward to your firsthand accounts after the race.

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  26. good luck and stay positive!
    You will be in my thoughts.

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  27. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Never ever quit. Good luck! You are strong and ready! You have so many people watching and rooting for you. Live the dream.
    Carrie STL, MO

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  28. Good luck out there. Ride well!

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  29. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Good luck Jill and Jeff! I'll be following your progress, and looking forward to your stories from the race. Dave

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  30. Yeesh! I accidentally clicked on yesterday's comments and saw Mr. Cranky Pants Anonymous' indignities about your FedEx experience. He must have thought he was on the Up In Arms blog. Amen to Pugsley being found and if it held up one of my FedEx packages - I will just be glad that it helped you out.

    I am now going to try something novel - getting some actual work done. Go get em.

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  31. skid_6710:23 AM

    The picture you posted today is a picture of confidence--and for good reason. You are ready!

    Pain is temporary, but quitting is forever.

    You have no quit in you.

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  32. Best of Luck Jill, and Best of Luck to Geoff as well.

    I'm looking forward to your recap of the race.

    I wish you the best.

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  33. Jill,

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Jan

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  34. Keep your jaw loose and don't give up. Good luck you two.

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  35. Good luck, be safe, be smart.

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  36. Good Luck! Stay warm and have fun!

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  37. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Geoff, sorry for misspelling your name earlier. Good luck! Dave

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  38. The world, or at least those of us who are curious and astonished by your accomplishments already, will be watching your progress. You've already won the race for the respect and admiration of anyone who ever pedaled a single stroke.

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  39. All the best out there to you and Geoff, Jill.

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  40. Anonymous9:45 PM

    I hope to wave you off in Knik! Julie

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  41. Anonymous5:07 AM

    Help! I am stuck in the back of a large warehouse. It is cold and damp and lonely. Waaaaaa. :( - Pugsley

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  42. GOOD LUCK!!

    I will be following along!

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  43. siridog7:25 AM

    Best of luck to you and Geoff! I'll be cheering you on from the NC :)

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  44. Anonymous9:01 AM

    I wish you strong legs, heart, & head as well as the best of luck!!!

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  45. We'll be watching the websites every day for news about the race - and about YOU.

    Our hearts and prayers go with you, you adventurous woman.

    Good luck, Jill!!

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