Thursday, December 18, 2008

Only one more shopping day!

Date: Dec. 17
Mileage: 39.2
December mileage: 470.6

I completely forgot to hold my LIVESTRONG drawing for a book this week. I plugged the pleasingly large numbers into a raffle and Nancy P. is the winner. Congratulations! I sent you an e-mail, but if you didn't receive it, post a comment and let me know. I'm going to hold another drawing this Friday, and this week's pool is still relatively small. Five bucks nets you one ticket. You can donate to the fight against cancer here.

Also, Thursday is the last day to buy a book in time for Christmas. I'm going to make a trip to the post office Friday morning for shipment on "Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, depending where they live (in the U.S.)," according to the postman. Then it's Christmas. You can purchase a signed book or two or several from me directly by clicking on the gold "Buy Now" button in the sidebar of this blog.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in my book-selling efforts this past month. Sales have been strong, better than I expected, and I appreciate your contribution to my "Iditarod fund," as well as your comments and suggestions. Geoff and I were just talking today about the idea that if I could somehow maintain the book sales I've had in the past month, I could make a modest living by riding my bike all the time and occasionally entering a crazy new race and self-publishing a book about it. Of course I know I can't keep that up - on all fronts - but it's fun to dream.

I took one step into the dream life by working hard yesterday and today and achieving my goal - a 30-hour workout week. I've noticed that toward the end of a long workout week, I can't get away with the same things I can when I'm fresh. Like riding for 3.5 hours and not eating anything. I do this all the time, but at the end of a 30-hour week, it cuts a lot deeper. My blood sugar was so low after my ride today that my hands were shaking. And I couldn't recover as the day wore on. My heart rate stayed high, and my energy level remained low.

I know, I know. Classic signs of overtraining. So what am I going to do about it? I'm going to do one last long ride tomorrow. I'm hoping for eight hours if I can survive it. I can't say I'm particularly thrilled about the idea when what I really want is an eight-hour nap, but there are several reasons I think this is important:

1. The weather forecast is calling temps between 8 and 14 and gusting winds to 40 mph, which will drive the windchill to 20 below. I know. Sounds awful. But it will give me a chance to really test the clothing I've put together for the Iditarod, minus stuff I don't own yet (but won't really need when the weather is as "mild" as 20-below windchills. Ha!) It's one thing to go out for two or three hours, and it's quite another to go out for eight. That will give me time to really identify problem spots, like sweat pooling on my back or cold toes.

2. The psychological training for the race is as important as anything, and I really need to become reacquainted with putting in tough, long efforts when I am 100 percent less than fresh.

3. I also need to gain better understanding about maintaining performance when I feel like stopping, so I can avoid another 12-hour bivy in the Farewell Burn.

4. I need to work on eating enough calories to cover my effort during longish efforts. I didn't do so well last week. This week, I won't have much choice, because I think my glycogen deficit is spent.

Should be fun. Or wait, fun's not quite the word. Should be educational. After that, it will be time for rest and recovery, I promise.


  1. Jill,

    My admiration for you grew ten-fold yesterday. I did my first crusty snow ride and thought I was going to explode after my first climb. Grant it the snow was on mushy rain drenched ground but it was quite the workout! You are an animal!

  2. Your dedication and the way you think and dream are awesome..and I think we should take a pole on just how many would buy a new book from all of your adventures....COUNT ME IN. When you decide to follow your dream and put out more books i'll be here. Also any word on that coffee table picture book?? Chris

  3. remember - it doesn't have to be "fun" to be fun.
    marc twight

  4. You have many options for books. One should be exactly how to prepare for an event like the Iditarod....from the posts, you are well on the way.

  5. Wow! 30 hours of working out! And in the snow. When I do 15 I feel spent. Nice work.

    I have considered leaving the 9 to 5 job and doing freelance work, but I've gotten so used to the steady paycheck that every time I think seriously about it, I get scared. One of these days I will have the guts to do it. Imagine all the time for playing there would be!

    p.s. I want to climb that big block of ice your picture.

  6. I might walk to my car like 5 times today. Yeah, I'm going to be spent too. ;)

  7. "Geoff and I were just talking today about the idea that if I could somehow maintain the book sales I've had in the past month, I could make a modest living by riding my bike all the time and occasionally entering a crazy new race and self-publishing a book about it."

    That's what we've been trying to tell you Jill!

  8. 30 hours is huge. My biggest training week ever was 18 hours and in balmy conditions of Southeast Queensland. How many hours do you work per week? You must be doing a lot of your riding in the dark?

    Also: You've got to get the eating sorted. (Look who is talking. I've got the same problem. Can't stomach a thing on the bike.) I force myself to eat on training rides as part of my training program. Funny having to do that but you have to train to eat! :-)

  9. Jill, is there anywhere locally (in Juneau) to buy your book?

  10. Wow, 30 hours a week! I can't even imagine! I'm happy if I make it to the gym for three hours a week! You are such an inspiration!

  11. Jill, it sounds like you've done so much great work to prepare, over all these months. And now you know the possible conditions you might face (there are probably some more out there that you haven't seen yet, but still....). I think your biggest hurdle continues to be fuel. They say that when one has fear (like on the Trail last year), the cortisol levels go way up, suppressing appetite. But there's more to it than that. You're just going to have to find a way to steel your resolve and commit to good health through good will be such a help! And in the end, the only way to last.... Good luck with this. It's quite a personal battle, I'm guessing.

  12. Kathy,

    I'm working on placing it at Heartside Books. It's mostly my fault that it isn't there yet, because I've been spending so much time riding my bike that I haven't been in to drop off an approval copy. Hopeful I can turn it over soon and I'll let you know when it's in stores. If you're interested in a copy, e-mail me at with your address and I can likely drop one off in your mailbox or at your door. I could use excuse to go for a bike ride :-)

    It will also be available in Anchorage soon at Speedway Cycles. I'll post once the books are there.

    Yeah! Real retail space! I think once I take the time to send out some inquiries, I should gain more placement in local (likely independent) book stores around the U.S.

    It will be a few weeks yet for Amazon. It has one more edit to go through before final approval.

  13. Jill, Your training sounds hardcore and in those weather conditions! I think you'll be able to eat as much Turkey and mince pies as you like if your doing 8 hour rides with a minus 20 windchill factor, woooaaa, I feel cold! Happy Christmas!

  14. Jill,

    If you don't already know of her, check out Josie Dew, who seems to manage OK writing cycling books.

  15. Do everything you can to make a living biking and writing. It's closer than a dream now, maybe one of those lucid dreams. There are lots of marketing tricks I am sure you haven't employed yet. The Blog was just a good start. You can get your on-line friends to help with placement in bike stores etc. You can give talks to xyz organization with book signing. there is direct marketing etc. The possibilities are endless if you are willing to keep cranking into the unknown. There is a lady out here who writes fairly crappy books but she is out there in the bookstore talking to people and the books get sold.
    Frankly, I'm checking in lately to see how the book thing is going more than the riding. Keep at it, never doubt.

  16. Hey Jill, Have you heard of Loki jackets? They have a built-in face guard and mittens which tuck out of the way when not in use and can't be lost. The mitt feature keeps wrists from becoming cold and the face mask has a mesh patch over the nose area. I just bought a hard shell for backcountry skiing, but they have a soft shell too. I think losing a piece of clothing is one of your biggest risks. debbie/flagstaff

  17. great shadow photo!

    well done as always

  18. Hey Jill, I've been out of town, but got your email today -- Thanks very much for the book and for your amazing fundraising for the LiveStrong Challenge.

    Go Team Fatty!

    Nancy P.

    . . . and I did send you an email back. Hope you got it.


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