Thursday, April 17, 2014

XC Gear

salsa with her fixin's.  
There's a bike involved and then there's the stuff to keep me biking.

I went super minimalist on my previous bike trips but I actually ended up hoteling it and eating at gas stations, etc. so it was pretty simple to pack and stow what I'd need to ride all day.  This time it's a bit more complicated but I am doing my best to honor my minimalist code and nature of the delicate flower--I am far too pretty and delicate to carry any extra ounce along with me.  I shall be most discriminate if an item is to earn its ticket east.

 Below are my selections of gear, thoughts on why I went with that, and issues I foresee yet am barreling ahead with anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I Saw of the Northburn 100

Prerequisite Reading: The Course, Location, Metric Conversions, and Cast of Characters

The Northburn 100 is a 50 kilometer (31 miles), 100 kilometer (62 miles), or 160 kilometer (100 miles) foot race on rugged high country terrain of New Zealand's south island, near Cromwell on a winery/merino ranch.  It is run in a loop format so 50kers run the first loop and upon completion they're done but 100kers and 100 milers head out from the start/finish for a unique second loop 50k long, and 100 milers aren't done until they're done with a third loop for the final 60k.  100 milers will cover 8000m (29,000 feet) of up and down over the 100 miles.  It's action packed with a lot of vertical change and it isn't widely known or an overly popular race, but it is I think eligible for the title of world's toughest footrace....Vastly exceeds Badwater's difficulty in my eyes and is right up there with Cascade Crest.  In all seriousness, this is a very tough course but as anyone who's ever run a hundred miler knows, there is no such thing as an easy one.

Bike Tour any day now

Before I go and get frustrated with a late start, I must remember I am lucky to be done with the navy earlier than expected.  Throw in the usual amount of administrative hoops and red tape and I'm two weeks later than my earliest planned departure.  This is a small consolation given the fact that I'm raring to get on the road and get miles behind me. I have a plane to catch.  (Merci.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What I earned at Northburn

I entered this weekend's race without heart, humility, or hunger for a finish.  I instead had an inflated ego that wrenched my arm behind my back and we forced a march forward into this incredible undertaking anyway with arrogance, apathy, and alliteration.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Endurance philosophy: a few thoughts and a graph!

The ups of Kokohead outlast the downs maybe 2:1 or 3:1.  If only life were so.

My latest big efforts were very much in keeping with that theme; the climbs and time on top were so much longer than coming off those high points and the downs were over in a flash.  I kept that sardonic little gem close as my high speed descents were spent before I knew it and I was grinding up another steep road.
That kept things light on the harder climbs but it wasn't as effective as my mantra and constant reminder that I'm not a special or unique snowflake.  Very few places are as fair in life as physics and for all the equality physical laws of the universe dispense upon all of us in it, there isn't an ounce, or foot-pound, or inch of care or favoritism.  If rain falls on the just and unjust alike, ultras bring pain to the entire field of participants.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What I saw of building my bike

Ruggedly good looking.  Plant based.  Able to go all day and night.  Willing to hold my bags.  Adventurous spirit.  Suited for both town life and in back country.  Sense of humor.  Easy going enough we can spend all day together and not die.
It can be so hard to find a good match in today's world and even when you think you've found the one for long term adventures, it's best to be cautious and skeptical because Hollywood has sold us a lot of bullshit about falling in love with your cross country bicycle. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

I trained and now I taper

view from the top of kokohead under a trucker hat
To the best of my abilities, I trained consistently and ambitiously.  I didn't hit every milestone as planned and my capstone kokohead effort fell short.  My patella got angry and because I climb kokohead on repeat in order to train for big races, it would be insane of me to injure myself for glory on that crater.  While kokohead repeats were my whole wheat bread and vegan butter, it is peanuts compared to what Northburn will ask of me and what I stand to gain for the experience.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I have an escape plan and an escape vehicle

my condolences to you at the finish line of your dream race.
It is sometimes with such sadness that you actualize great accomplishment.  I lamented this to a friend; how after Badwater I kinda lost a lot of fire and didn't know where to put my energy.  He called me on it and said, oh wow, what a tough lot in life to have accomplished your dream so early.

Alright now.  Point taken.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ultra D-Day Trail Run

I have a summer planned out that involves no real hard dates or be here nows.  I had a mild panic attack at how empty my calendar looked, so like a lot of ultra runners, I picked one too many races and played the sign up game with lotteries and quick sell outs.  As luck had it, I am familiarly beleaguered with biting off too much than I can probably chew and not succumb to burnout or hardcore endocrine systemic failure.  Oh by the way, why don't I just bike across the country and use the time to figure my life out and explore my opportunities and interests as I'm getting out of the navy.  Sure.  Why not.