Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hot-hot heat & 12 hours on a seat

Not even three months ago, I said I would switch my focus from running to riding. My plan didn't go exactly as I laid out (I missed a couple of rallies and passed on some mountain biking opportunities), but the end result was all that mattered — regaining confidence as a strong cyclist. That happened over hundreds of miles of riding and rallying. It feels great to once again feel strong and comfortable on the road. And just in time! Hotter 'N Hell Hundred is next on my plate. Nearly every Frunner is either signed up or considering it; no doubt a good time will be had in Wichita Falls. 

As challenging as 100 miles in near-or-above 100 degrees sounds, that won't be my hardest ride this year. After hearing Dex Tooke describe his RAAM experiences (3,000 miles!) at an REI event last weekend, I quickly looked into ultracycling events in the area. As his wife, Joni, and others in attendance mentioned, there are good opportunities to ride longer distances without needing to invest the serious cash for an adventure like RAAM (Dex said he did it on the cheap for about $20,000, which includes travel expenses for him and his support crew. 

Sooooo, I'm planning to clip into the world of ultracycling with a 12-hour race — the Texas Time Trial on Sept. 27-29 in Glen Rose. First, that's a long time on a saddle! (BTW, I'm purchasing a new one today.) Other TTT racers will ride 48 hours that weekend, some seeking to complete 500 miles, which will qualify them to ride RAAM. I can't wait to join them on the 26.5-mile loop at 6 a.m. that Saturday. I can only imagine how inspiring it will be to see these impressive riders pursuing their goals. My goal: Ride that loop as many times as possible with limited stops — hopefully just to refuel and change kits — and see how tough I am. Just thinking about it makes me incredibly excited! I'll drive to Glen Rose in the next week or so to ride the loop at least twice so I'll have a better idea of what to expect. 

For the record, I haven't completely abandoned running. I still love it! It's just not a priority. I have time (not much, but some) before I begin focusing on my Dallas Marathon goal. And sure, a 12-hour cycling race isn't on many marathon training plans. But it's on mine, and I'm going to make it work. You know why? There's nothing that's going to stop me from living extraordinarily.


That Pink Girl said...

So, yea! What an exciting opportunity to challenge your physical AND mental cycling skills! You're going to do great and I just bet you find that you have fun too. You always seem to!

Good for you going BIG!

Michelle K said...

Wow! What a terrific adventure! Props to you for going for it. Can't wait to hear how it goes!