Thursday, 9 September
What serendipitously coincidental timing for the blog Muse to visit! Last post: ultra race failure. This post: next ultra race coming up.
Saturday is this year’s incarnation of the Ring of Fire 6/12/24 hour time trial. As ever, I’ll be pushing my envelope with the 12-hour version. There’s been virtually no specific training or planning for this event (OK, 6 rides over 100 miles in 2 months would be most people’s idea of ultra training), so I guess I am relying on the shrine to the ultra gods (see previous post) to propel me to the finish. I have tended it faithfully over the summer and offered up various tokens (4 championship medals and other trinkets) in the hope of keeping them happy.
Last year’s ROF featured temps over 100 degrees; this year we’ll be lucky to see 70—and lucky not to see 35. I’ll want heated water bottles, not frozen ones. I started piling up food to take and thought, “really, how much do you need for just 12 hours?” I can’t eat two bars every hour for 12 hours; I can only drink so much protein/energy drink; electrolyte drinks get to be icky after about 4-5 hours. So I bought a couple Cokes, a 6-pack of Oreos, and a bag of Ritz Bits Made With Real Peanut Butter. Throw in some grapes and pretzels, and that should be good. Beer and sweet potato fries come after (as soon as) I get off the bike. I don’t plan to follow the Mick Walsh Nutrition Plan (150 miles on 0 calories) but there’s no point in packing a 4-course lunch, either.
The other competitors in my division are (so far) two: Karen Armstrong, climber extraordinaire and amazing ultra cyclist (I’ve already said my goodbyes to my course record here), and Beatrix Kiddo. Since there are no bike racers in the WSBA or OBRA membership databases with that name, I guess it really must be her. I think I’ll schedule a pee stop deep in the woods and out of sight when she’s about to pass me.
Mostly I’m hoping to slay the demons still bedeviling me from last year’s fail at ROF and this year’s bad luck at Lewis and Clark. Extras would be beating my old course record (even if Karen beats it by a lot more) and the glorious views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and the Columbia Plateau. And lots of great camaraderie, which I know I can count on above all else.
And as if an ultra race isn’t a geeky enough thing for one weekend, the day after my race I get to go to the Wool Gathering. If you find a knitted hat in your mailbox in the next few months, it’s probably because I couldn’t resist buying more yarn than I knew what to do with.