Thursday, April 26, 2012

Only so much....

I let Big E talk me into (if asking once can be called "talking me into") another gravel race/ride this weekend. No dogs this time.

Still no pigs either....

Actually, the most exciting part of the day was hearing Joe Meiser's presentation after the race. Even better, he let us see everything he needed to race the Continental Divide.
Yes, all that stuff on the floor fit on his bike. Then he rode nearly 3,000 miles that way. (Don't worry Pop, I'm not going to do this. Yet.)

Although I'm not ready to sign up to race the Continental Divide just yet, he did inspire me to plan some new adventures, especially when he said this:

There's only so much lifetime...and a whole lot of planet.

So I started planning, and then spent a lot of time on the bike and in running shoes this week. A few highlights:
One of my favorite trails     

Something to aspire to....     

Something to refuel with....

Now, I have to go. There's only so much lifetime......and I have a lot of rhubarb to eat! 

(Thanks Big E for growing, harvesting and chopping up all that rhubarb. First I eat your sandwich and now I let you do all the hard work and then swoop in and eat all your rhubarb!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fun Times on the Rag

I've never been big on race reports, but the Ragnarok 105 was more like an adventure so, as is the case with most adventures, there are some stories to tell.

How could a girl ride 107 miles on gravel and not have at least one story to tell?

Another thing I've never been big on are pre-race debriefings. They usually scare me more than they help. This one was no exception. All I remember is something like, "The first downhill is pretty nasty and there are some dogs and chickens at the bottom so be careful."

What, no pigs?!

Thankfully, I made it down that hill and all I encountered were lots of other peoples' water bottles. I did, however, get chased by a dog at mile 90.  I'm happy to report that at mile 90 I can still out-pedal chasing dogs. Although I'm pretty sure he was old and arthritic....

Mostly I was just disappointed that he wasn't a pig.

Anyway, I arrived at the first check point (mile 36) near the back of the pack. (What can I say- I like to pace myself.) I headed out on Q Pete's wheel. I promised him that if he pulled me into the wind, I'd pull him later when the wind was at our backs.  Of course, then I ditched him the second things headed uphill and I didn't need him anymore.  Sorry Pete, but I'm too short to create a good draft anyway....

Maybe all the bacon I plan to ingest at the Sandwich 50 will help me grow taller.

I came into checkpoint two (mile 81) with plans to empty my bladder, but our trusty re-supply man Bill told me I was in third and might be able to catch Big E. That's all I needed to hear to toss him my Camelbak, grab a sandwich and make a quick exit.

The sopresata on that sandwich tasted really good. 

Thankfully for me, my reactions to gluten are delayed until the next day because it turns out I hadn't grabbed my own sandwich out of the cooler. Yes, that's right, I trick people into letting me draft AND I steal other people's food. In my defense, it was Big E's sandwich and he was ahead of me.... How was I supposed to know he was saving it for the finish?  Plus, I got paid back with a bellyache the next day....

By the finish I'd met all my goals: I didn't walk, I didn't crash, I didn't get eaten by a dog (or a pig) and I didn't puke. Not a bad day on the bike......

But I never caught Big E!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Although I love the thought process that happens when I'm running, I'll be the first to admit I also love to zone out with my headphones on my long runs. About the time these runs reached 25 miles this year, I needed more than music on the iPod. Thankfully, I'd been saving some Competitor Radio podcasts for just this time of year. 

As I was listening last Wednesday, I realized something that nearly ever person interviewed has in common-  they are all incredibly grateful for what they have. Maybe Bob Babbitt has a way of bringing that out in an interview. Maybe it's a common trait among endurance athletes. Maybe it's just that the ungrateful ones don't want to be interviewed. Whatever the reason, it's inspiring to hear people speak who can find that balance between pushing themselves to be better and appreciating where they are right now. 

So here's to being grateful for the people in my life, the time I have to spend outside and the healthy body to keep moving....