Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Signed Up For The Dirty Kanza... Now What?

Congratulations on signing up for the Dirty Kanza 200!  That was your first step to being awesome and accepting the challenge of pedaling daunting gravel in the Flint Hills.  Kansas is beautiful, good thing too, you will need the view to distract you from the pain and the screaming that will be going on between your ears.

You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, keep reading , this will help.

First things first... Find a place to stay.  I am pretty sure that ALL hotel rooms are booked for the DK weekend.  In previous years they have opened up the Emporia State Univeersity dorms. From what I understand these are the way to go. Located  just blocks from the start/finish line and some food is included.  I heard they set out quite a spread of tasty vittles starting at 3:30am  race morning.

Second... Get a support crew.  Bribe them with whatever it takes, spare no expense... they are worth it. OR you can buy a support team through the DK.  The Never Let Go support crew will provide you with drop bag service at the checkpoints,  refills on water, sandwiches and other snack foods at your mid way checkpoints, and a ride if you need to abandon the event.  In other words, they have your butt covered. The fee is $75 for the 200 and $40 for the 100 mile ride.  If you choose this option, get on it. I believe they sold out spots last year.

Third... Make a plan.  You will need a training plan in order to be successful.  Buy or make a calendar to keep track of your miles and gym time.  Fill in your races and BIG rides.  Don't have a plan?  Google "double century cycling plans", there is a ton of info out there.  Use it and tweak it to your life.  Once you have the plan in place... do it!  But, be prepared, even the best laid plans have a way of getting screwed up.  Life happens, don't beat yourself up if you miss some rides.

While you are training.... pay close attention to what you eat or drink. You can't expect to ride like a champion if you shovel shit food in your mouth.  There are many options on the market regarding fuel.  Try your fuel choice many times before you get to DK.  You don't want to find out at mile 85 that it's not working for you.

Next... Figure out your bike set up. You have plenty of time....

 Pick your bike wisely, you will be spending a LOT of time on it.

 Make sure you like the saddle, saddle sores suck.

 Pick sturdy tires, gravel eats tires and spits them out, especially in Kansas.

 Calculate your fuel calories and water consumption you will need to complete each riding leg. How are you going to carry it?  What is going to work better? Bike packs or Backpacks? Combination of both?

 Lights!  You will need bright/superb lights for the nighttime portion, these gravel roads are not lined with street lights.

Mentality... while prepping your body for this epic battle don't forget about your head.  Staying positive is crucial, especially when everything is going wrong. The mind tells the body what to do, if it's not strong enough you will fail. Period.  So, get your head right.

Last but certainly not least.... Believe.

You can do this!  Remember, one of the greatest pleasure in life is doing things people say you cannot do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dirty Kanza Dreamin?

In Dec. 2009 I signed up for my first Dirty Kanza 200.  My husband bought me a crossbike, and one for himself, as I had talked him into riding it also.  It was our 11th weddin' anniversary and Jim's birthday weekend.  Some couples go to restaurants to celebrate, obviously we are wired a little differently.

I asked other cyclists for tips on training and what to eat on such long rides.  I formulated a plan and pedaled, a lot.  Mother Nature stole my 2010 finish by unleashing a storm of epic proportions, I made it to 110 miles.  That DNF fueled my fire for the next year.

So, are you thinking.... "Hmmmmm. Do I have what it takes? Should I sign up?"  Let me answer that for you.... Yes and Yes.  You have what it takes and you should sign up this Saturday, January 10th.  HERE  I suggest you get up early, cook yourself a nice breakfast, make coffee and sit in front of your computer and pull the trigger. Register and then find yourself a place to stay, space is going quickly but they should have the dorms available again to accommodate everyone.  Take a deep breathe, layer up and go for a bike ride.  Training Day #1 will be in the books.

Seriously, you can figure this out, if you want to .  There are plenty of blogs out there about the race, many perspectives to draw from.  Basically it comes to down to this...  if you are consistent with your training and are able to figure out your nutrition you will be successful.  A sturdy steed is also necessary and a mind of metal wouldn't hurt either.

Thanks for snapping this Gretchen. 

This will be my 5th time toeing the line .  Chamois Butt'r is letting me ride for them again, how cool is that?  My goal is 15:**.  I will be pushing for anything in the 15th hour but will be thrilled with another finish, sticker and pint glass.  My finish last year was 16:57:52.  I can shave an hour off right?  I have extra motivation this year, my 9 yr old daughter will be in my pit crew.  I would like to get her to bed at a decent time.

Hope to see you there!

*** My next post will be all of my Dirty Kanza posts with links.