Monday, May 14, 2018

Less Than Four Weeks!

Tour Divide Rig is Dialed in and Ready to Go
Geez it’s been almost a month since last posting and less than four weeks until the “Grand Depart”. A lot has happened in the last four weeks, and I thought I’d never say this, but I “think” I am ready for the Tour Divide. “Think” because, really, I have no idea what it is to be “ready” for a race like this. Anything can happen; however, I’ve done all I can do to prepare; trained like an obsessed mad man, tested my equipment over and over, had my wisdom tooth pulled, finger surgery, and finally got a saddle that works. One of my heroes, Tony O’Keeffe; RAAM, Ultra Ironman, Fighter Pilot, incredibly nice guy, among many amazing feats, gives a great presentation in this video.My take away from this, is Tony gets his confidence by ensuring he has done everything he possibly can to be successful before getting on the start line. I feel that’s what I’ve done. Although super nervous about the whole event, I am really beginning to get edgy and just want to get going. With work, training, High School Mountain Bike Team, Coaches Summit, logistics, household duties, running a business, and general life, things are pretty crazy.  I’m looking forward to being able to focus on eating, sleeping, and riding.
I Feel So Lucky to Live Here
Generally training is as follows: Strength training on Monday and 100 push-ups Wednesday and Friday. I learned from the Kokopelli adventure that I lack upper body strength. So, I’m really working on my core and hopefully improving that aspect. Tuesday and Thursday are rides with the High School Team. These young men and women are fast. We go 1.5 – 2 hours of hard fast riding that has me red lined. Some of the days I ride from work to practice, about one hour, 2 hours of pushing to the limit with the team, then an hour ride home. Sandwiched between those workouts is a Wednesday morning bike commute of 2 – 3 hours, then another commute home of 1 – 2 hours in the evening. 
Morning Commute
Friday, an easy recovery ride of low gears, high cadence. Then comes the weekend. 8 – 12 hours each day, with as many hills as I can find. Two weekends ago, I rode three hours before meeting the high school riders for a fast-hard loop on the Falcon Trail, then continued for another two hours after riding with them. I felt strong at the end and definitely could have ridden more but had commitments that afternoon. 
High School Team Ready to Hammer
The next day, with a fully loaded bike, rode 100+ miles and just under 10,000 feet of climbing in 12 hours. I feel pretty good about that. 

100+ Miles of Mountain Bliss
This past weekend just under 9,000 feet of climbing on Saturday, then another 6,000+ feet, mostly single track on Sunday. Saturday’s ride, during a climb up Gold Camp, a guy with two prosthetics from the knees down blew by me like freight train. No Excuses! 

My Back Yard - Blodgett Peak
Passing through the "Garden"
Overlooking Manitou Springs

I can’t explain this, but the more I ride the more I want to ride. Even when I’m tired, hurting, hot, cold, wet or just plain don’t feel like riding, I still want to find the next hill and climb it. I know on the Tour Divide there are going to be long sections that I will be miserable and hurting from every fiber in my body. I won’t feel like riding. That’s what I’m training for; to be able to push through those periods. It’s starting to get routine and I’m absolutely loving it. To be out in the mountains all day with friends and alone is truly a joy. Every day, I count my blessings and reflect how grateful I am to have this opportunity and ability to do what I truly love. And not only that, doing what I truly love to help those in need. Our Children’s National project for families with children’s heart defects is taking off and donations are coming in. I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting these kids and their families. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my employer, Plus3 IT Systems is matching donations up to $2,500. 

And through it all - Still find time to run with my bestest running buddy - Max

Just over three weeks to go. It’s going to be a great adventure!

Thanks for reading and your support of Children’s National.


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