Stagecoach 400, including a potential training weekend in April. I'm mulling a summer full of mountain binges that I've deemed necessary to train for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. And I'm wondering if I can squeeze a mountain bike tour between it all, sometime during the summer. Besides UTMB in late August, most of my summer calendar is still a blank. I feel driven to keep it that way as long as possible so I can continue to dream and scheme, anticipating that adventure is inevitable. Times are good. Spring is here. Winter is done.
But wait ... it's not. Three weeks in Alaska followed by a return to a greened-up California set off the seasonal transitions in my brain, but the reality remains that Beat and I are still headed back to Fairbanks this week for the White Mountains 100. There's going to be lots of snow and it could be 20 below. Which is awesome, really — but right now, hard to comprehend. Today I found myself sorting through potential gear for the scorching-desert Stagecoach ride and contemplating a trip to the sauna to begin my heat training. I was just about to start boxing up my winter gear when the rational side of my brain finally prodded me: "You need those tights! You need that puffy! White Mountains! Twenty below! Twenty belooooow." Yikes.
ITI race report with an awesome play-by-play map on his blog. Also fun from the Web this week was a cartoon by EJ Murphy on iRunFar depicting my own Iditarod superfandom.
During my own training runs, my legs have felt slow but strong, like I could climb up a wall. I think this is a good indicator that I'm actually in decent snow biking shape despite a deficit of actual conditioning. I'm going to keep telling myself that, because I'm actually pretty nervous about the effort I'm facing on Sunday-Monday. But I'm determined to pedal hard, with the promise of spring to drive me forward.