|Kansas is beautiful|
It is very difficult to plan for a race that is six months away. Sitting at your computer, you are quite comfortable while typing in your info and parting with your hard earned money. Time is on your side. You have time to train and get your gear together. Many, many days to figure out how your ass is going to handle 203 miles of gnarly gravel in Kansas. I believe you have just enough time, IF you start immediately after signing up. It is overwhelming to grasp how you will complete this task. I know. These ten things helped me:
1. Have a plan. In order to formulate a plan you will need to do some research. And by some I mean a ton. Start by google-ing double century training plans. These will give you an idea of weekly mileage to shoot for. Read blogs by those who have completed the race. Read blogs by those who did not. Another perspective. My day. Gather as much information as you can. Knowledge is power.
2. Research your fuel. There are a bazillion fueling options out there. Train with your selection and make sure you can go the distance with it. I passed a lot of dead bodies last year. Your fuel will make or break your ride. Last year it was 103 degrees. I would pick something that will endure the heat and not curdle in your belly.
3. Test out any gear you will wear or use on the ride. I picked out a white jersey to wear, very smart, but ended up putting a black camelback on my back, not very smart. Jim outfitted his steed with a rack and carried a small cooler with water bottles in it. It worked well for him. He did not have to carry anything on his back, just in his jersey pockets. I can not stress this enough, You will need a LOT of water. Trust me, you don't want to run out.
4. Ask an expert cyclist, female and male for tips. If you have an opportunity to talk one on one, take it. Ask them anything and everything. There are no dumb questions. These athletes had to start somewhere, and like to share their knowledge with those who strive to be better.
5. Draw up a plan and stick to it. Schedule your rides around family time, NOT in place of them. The weekend before DK 2011, I went hiking with my family. You think I should have fit in one last monster ride? Hell no! That ride was not going to help me. In fact, the ride would have hurt me. Missing valuable family time would have left me feeling very guilty.
|Just hangin' at Taum Sauk|
6. Be flexible with your plan. If you miss a scheduled ride, know it's not the end of the world. Don't be hard on yourself. Stay positive and complete your next ride. Beating yourself up will not achieve anything. You will miss a few training rides, that's just how life is.
7. Family first. Without them you are nothing, nowhere, nada. They aren't going to care if you finish or win your race. Especially if it came at the expense of spending time with them. I passed on the Dino24 race last year. I do not regret it. Sydney had been in school about a month. We had spent everyday, all day, together for the last 5 years. Now we were down to a few hours in the evening. I trained for Dino, and it would have been an amazing experience, except for one thing. Hearing "don't go Mommy, I will miss you" as I pedaled.
8. Love your bike. Name it, take care of it, hug it often, ride it more. I love my Kona Jake The Snake. I keep him clean, his chain lubed and stay on top of his repairs. If I take care of Felix during training, he will take care of me on race-day. Love you Gino at the HUB.
|I want to be on the 2012 card|
9. Do the work. Your bike will not pedal itself. Be prepared to make sacrifices along the way. Be mindful of what foods you put in your body. You are expecting your body to perform this incredible feat. Take care of it for goodness sake. You can't expect your body to respond well to copious amounts of Taco Bell and McDonalds chased with six-packs. Drink more water, eat simple food. Eat when you are hungry. It's really that easy.
10. Envision the finish line. If you can see it, you can achieve it. I saw the finish line last year from my first pedal stroke. If it had not been for the weather..... I will be making best friends with mother nature and hopefully she will not screw me this time.
Dirty Kanza sign up is done. Spots sold out in record time. I got one of the last 25 myself. A field of 400 riders will be there. If you are on the fence, hop on the wait list. A lot can happen in six months. If I can do it, YOU can do it.
|I can't wait to see this red door again.|
I am not leaving Kansas without my bragging rites, pint glass and posing for my trading card. Goosebumps...Dirty Kanza 2012 WHO'S WITH ME?