Ah, California, you always manage to catch me with my guard down just when I need to re-learn a valuable lesson about underestimating the effects of cold — like how frustrating it is when fingers go numb or when my quads are so cold that every pounding downhill step feels like an electric shock. My muscles were too cold to engage the higher gears needed to increase my heat output, so I simply settled into a numb jog knowing I'd be fine but slightly miserable for a while. Dropping off of the exposed ridgeline and back into tree protection improved my mood substantially, even as the rain intensified. Slicked with precipitation, the leaves and grass were intensely green; the trail was covered in fun splashy puddles, and I had the whole normally crowded park all to myself (ask a local what they wear to go outside during a winter storm, and most will probably respond with a confused expression. Go outside?) But spring is in full effect now, and by the time I return from Alaska at the end of March, it will be nearly summer. I admit I will miss this green.
But deep down he knows he's going to relish the experience and I know I'm going to spend more moments of this month freaking out than I like to admit. I've actually compiled a fairly full calendar for myself, but I'm going to make my best effort to post regular updates about Beat and other news from the Iditarod Trail Invitational when I'm on the grid (and if I'm going to be off the grid, I'll post how long so the lack of updates doesn't worry anyone.) News will be posted at my endurance racing blog, Half Past Done, with more frequent quick updates on Twitter and Facebook. Here's a list of links to follow Beat's progress:
Half Past Done
HPD Twitter page
Jill's Facebook page
ITI Latest News
We leave for Alaska later this afternoon (Friday) and the race begins at 2 p.m. Alaska time Sunday. I'm headed out for one last quick run in the sunny green hills (60 degrees today) and then it's a month of snow and ice that I plan to live to the fullest. Yesterday one of Beat's friends sent him a video that seemed appropriate — Of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games." ...
"Let's have bizarre celebrations.
Let's forget when, forget what, forget how.
We'll have bizarre celebrations.
We'll play Tristan and Iseult, but make sure I see white sails.
Let's pretend we don't exist;
Let's pretend we're in Antarctica."