Jackson or bust

The big day is this weekend!  5 days away!  Lotoja, you just might be the death of me.  I couldn’t be more nervous.  Actually, I probably will be more nervous because it seems to be building steadily.  We had our last long ride last Wednesday (which turned out to be more of a medium ride because. . . well, because there might have been one or more emotional breakdowns that occurred along the way) and from then until the actual race is all recovery which my dad says means 2 or 3 really short, really slow rides, but mostly rest, rest, REST! so that your legs and body are totally recovered and not at all sore or tired for the big day.  He said the absolute worst thing we could do right now is ride too much.  Well!  if anybody has ever sad anything to me that they didn’t have to say twice.   Rest? No riding?  Done and done.

Most of you know I’m preeeety sick of riding my bike at this point, but looking at this pictures reminds me that this training has taken us so many amazing places.  I’ve been so astounded at how beautiful our canyons and mountains are (they never get old, do they?) and how close we live to so many breathtaking sights.

Here are some pictures from some of our latest rides

The Nebo Loop:  my dear, this one was a BEAST.  The ascent is 20 straight miles of unrelenting uphill.  And we are dumb and didn’t bring enough water.

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This is me smiling because I think I’m at the top.  Because surely that’s what this elevation sign is here to indicate.

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But I WASN’T at the top.    The top is here:

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So much of endurance riding is mental and man, that 9,000/9,345 ft trick really hit our morale on that ride.  (Tanner isn’t pictured, but he made it too!) And did I mention we were out of water?  And also, even after you hit the summit, the descent is rolling, i.e. you keep going down short steep downhill sections only to be faced by another uphill section over and over and over.  It was all kinds of cruel and unusual, but dang that mountain is beautiful.  There are, however, tons of cows and guess what I have been learning more and more about myself lately?  How truly scared of animals I am.  We had to pass by so many cows so close to us and I am so scared of cows!  I got a flat tire at mile 80 right in front of the Mona lavender farms, and then at mile 95 hit a windstorm.  At mile 100 it started raining rain drops big enough to hurt, and at mile 110, I crawled into my apartment, curled up in the fetal position and stayed there for a good hour.

Eureka via Tintic Mountain:

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Green Mountain/pineview, from Ogden:

This is the ride that broke us.

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And this is the hill that killed me.

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This is my (goooood-looking, right?)  husband, riding buddy, and moral support.  We’re a good biking pair I think.  Which boils down to: he tends to have his meltdowns early on in our rides when he knows we have far to go, and I tend to have mine near the end of our rides when I’m exhausted, so one of us is always carrying the other emotionally.

IMG_4522And just for proof that I biked the infamous Alpine Loop (twice!) here is a picture of my bike at the sign (at the TOP, were elevation signs belong)

IMG_4355I’ve been feeling like I’m in an abusive relationship with my bike–i get hurt and abused, completely thrashed by a long mountainous ride.   I decide that I’m done and threaten to leave.  And then I go on one of those good rides like the one up South Fork where the fall colors were turning up high and it had just rained but the sun was peeking through and it was stunningly gorgeous.  (did I say I’m sick of biking?  I LOOOVE biking!!)  On rides like that, my bike is begging me back.  Apologizing and making promises to never do me wrong again.  And I believe her and come crawling back, time after time.

I knew this would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically, but I don’t think I was prepared for how hard it’s been mentally and emotionally.  Scheduling between Tanner’s work and school schedules and babysitters has been a total juggling act.  Now it’s here and I just want to finish so bad and say that I did it!  But at the same time I want to be realistic, admit that not finishing is a real possibility (I only have one day and the finish line closes at dark.  a lot can happen in 206 miles.  lots of people don’t finish this thing) and be happy with what I’ve accomplished.  I’ve logged Twenty-one hundred and three miles total this summer–2103!  And whether or not I actually make it to Jackson on Saturday, that’s something to be proud of.

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5 thoughts on “Jackson or bust

  1. This is soooo cool. Ryan wants to do this someday. I might want to too. I think we should play. Where are you guys living? This is soooo cool. We bike all the time.

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