Sunday, April 20, 2008

I need a new training goal

Date: April 20
Mileage: 29.2
April mileage: 466.8
Temperature: 41

The rash of nice weather continues, and I feel like I should have endless, boundless energy - the self-perpetuating kind that feeds off warmth and light and gives me the boost I need to launch into summer. But instead I just feel a little sluggish, a little weighted, a little too tempted to crawl back into bed for early morning naps. The stamina's not there. I lack motivation. And focus.

Focus is something I need right now. In two days, Geoff leaves to head south for the summer and I need some projects to ward off the loneliness. Now would be a great time to prepare for a big event, if only I had one to work toward. I have some ideas, but nothing that really warrant the necessary vacation time or expense. I was thinking of embarking on a fast tour somewhere, but do I really want to burn a week of vacation to spend more time by myself? Lower 48 races are out of my league. Southeast Alaska has almost nothing to offer. I browsed the local bike club site today and found a bunch of 12-mile time trials and short mountain bike races on Saturday afternoons, when I'm at work.

I already have plans to head up to Whitehorse for the 24 Hours of Light, on June 28. But I'm torn about how to train for this race. For starters, I'm tempted to join a noncompetitve team of four or eight because I know I'll have so much more fun that way. But I'm also interested in riding a hard 24 Solo and really trying to push myself. It's a little silly, however, to attempt a 24 Solo in event like the 24 Hours of Light. If I'm riding laps the whole time, I'll completely miss out on the mountain bike festival atmosphere, which is the best part of that event. I'm also likely to have little to no competition. I "won" last year's solo race by beating out the only other solo woman 13 laps to 4 laps - and I stopped and partied for the whole second half of the race. It's probably going to be kind of hard to motivate for those 4 a.m. laps when I'm 10 laps ahead of the second-place competitor and there's no Geoff there to cheer me on, because he's out in Colorado somewhere doing something much more difficult.

I'm just drifting a little right now, and I don't have any great ideas.


  1. Dont worry, time will fly by because this is as great a time as any for something to come up .i wish i be a understudy for your newspaper job so you could have a wicked vacation! I'm training for a marathon (in Edinburgh on May 25th) and have been reading your blog even before it became famous from the NPR bump. You have given me alot of inspiration! Especially when you would go on your very long and difficult training rides and not to mention the Iditarod Race. If it wasnt for your adventures then my wee adventure of a marathon might not have gotten off the ground!

  2. Have you heard of rogaining? plug it into Wikipedia or look at this link. It may be up your alley. perhaps you could run a local one - would get you out and strong setting the course. Helps if there is an orienteering club local. Or go over to Estonia for the "world champs". Its not till september. Its a non professional sport so heaps of novices compete at world champs too - I've done one. the long events consist more of walking and gogging than running - you can only go as fast as you can navigate.

  3. We have mtb orienteering events locally and also once a year an event called the Cyclic Saga. google has it. Two days (have the night off socialising and camping) of choosing your own mtb route -with team-mate- across country over small mountain ranges and farmland picking up control points over a set length of time (7hrs per day). If you get back to the start/finish late you lose valuable points in very few minutes. ever been told you are crazy? Well, in the region in which i live there are many crazies - of the good and harmless kind. you'd find yourself to be one of many...though your persistence in going on adventures on a daily basis is somewhat "special" ;) Alaska suits you that way! good luck with the next adventure.

  4. Don't forget your spirit Jill, it's not all about the body.

  5. Try something fun...
    The chilkoot trail out of Dyea.
    Its 33 miles long. Some people try to hike it in one day.
    Check it out.

  6. There is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding to have some fun with your sport. You're asking some good questions of yourself.

  7. Jill,

    LOTOJA is calling you. And it's not out of your league.

    Registration opens up tomorrow.


  8. On a completley unrelated note, that pic you posted today is AWESOME. Talk about being in the right place at the right time - nice shot!

  9. Maybe this is a silly idea, but I thought you might think about training for the longer Iditarod bike race. I think you've said it might be too much, but my idea is to train for doing more than you did this year, but not finishing the whole thing. The idea is that if you quit, you won't feel like a quitter; it will be exactly part of the plan. But if you just happen to feel great and the stars are aligned right, maybe you can do the whole thing as a fluke. Basically it takes the pressure off and is still a damn impressive and interesting goal. Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll leave us all quite impressed!


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