Last year was my first full year tracking everything with a GPS. I had written down annual mileage before but this year I could see exactly how much time, down to the second, I had spent training for stuff. 847 hours, 31 minutes, 17 seconds. 24 hours a day for 35 days. I don't by any means think it was wasted time, more like personal time that I relish, and, probably 500 hours were commuting to work so I would have those anyhow. But knowing how much more time it would take to be truly prepared for so many long races, I decided to choose a more moderate path, for this year at least.
|Easily the most active year of my life|
Next week is the Land Run 100 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I had a great time there last year and I am looking forward to seeing all the new friends I made. One of the great parts about going back to races year after year is the reunion with all the cool people you meet. This year there are like 10 people from my local area going as well and that will add another layer of fun and competition to it. The main goal is not to crash again and rip my arm open like I did the first time there.
The most daunting challenge in my sights this year is the Trans Iowa V.10 on April 26. 330 something miles on dirt and gravel roads in Iowa. Straight through the day and night in one shot, 25 to 35 hours of riding hilly gravel no matter what the weather. That is if anyone finishes at all, in the past there have been times where nobody covered the distance. Lots of tough racers more skilled than I have had to stop short of the finish line when bad weather and exhaustion have ground their wheels to a halt. Oh yeah, no support crews, only what you can carry or buy at stores you see along the route. Chances for resupply may be few and far between, you don't know the course until they give it to you in pieces at random checkpoints throughout the race. This is one I have read stories about for the last several years and really felt like taking on but I didn't think I was ready for it until recently. I envision it will be similar in difficulty to a 100 mile run.
|T.I.V7 shot used in Dirt Rag #157 taken by Steve Fuller|
|Jim Cummins coming in at CP#2 TIV9 (Image by GNAT)|
My third time at the Dirty Kanza 200 on May 31 will be the next race. I'm curious how this year will go coming only a month after Iowa. 4 weeks might not be enough recovery after a 30 hour event and the DK can take a huge toll on fresh legs. I have a little more confidence about doing tough events closer together after last year but I also have enough experience now to know long races can create aches and pains that last for months afterward. I know you can push the body through a lot and I learn more about myself each time I do.
If you have read the other Dirty Kanza reports, you will know that even though I have finished it twice, I haven't been able to get home with one of the coveted pint glasses they give away at the finish line. Being the outstanding gentleman he is, Bob Jenkins of Team Virtus, took pity on my inability to make it home with a glass and shipped one to me. He puts on a 100 mile gravel race in Missouri called the Cedar Cross that I would love to take a crack at but it falls just one week after the race in Iowa and I'm not sure I can make that turnaround. If I decide I can make it I'm hoping I can twist his arm to let me in at the last minute.
I haven't decided how I will spend the last 6 months of the year yet but I fully intend to devote at least some portion of it getting ready for a long foot race. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year and hopefully there will be some great stories that come out of the races. I will attempt to sit down and write them out, but as you can see by my posting of 2014 goals 3 months into the year, I'm already failing at my goal of writing more this year. Unfortunately, my dedication to physical pursuits doesn't really carryover to all aspects of my life.