Saturday's trip to St. George reminded me a lot of my trip last year to RAWROD. Except my riding companion didn't leave me for dead. And it didn't hail on me. Nor did I run out of water. Okay, the only things that reminded me of RAWROD '09 were the unrelenting wind during the ride and my swollen baboon butt after the ride. You're welcome for that image, by the way.
It was also a day of huge mental-attitude swings. During the climb up the canyon of the first loop, not only did I consider pulling the plug on the the ride after the first loop, I seriously considered pulling the plug on the entire race. I didn't know whether the wind would still be a head wind once we reached Veyo. If the wind stayed a hind wind after Veyo, there would be no chance of doing the bike leg in anything close to the time I'd need to even make the cutoff.
Fortunately, the wind pushed us from Veyo back to Snow Canyon. I had no intention of doing the second loop, but Dave wouldn't be denied. So, we ground it out. And it was more of the same - a pretty stiff headwind up to Veyo and then a decent tailwind back to Snow Canyon. We ended up getting in just over 116 miles on the day.
We got back to Jon's house just before dark, changed into our running kit, and ground out one length of the run. In the dark. The first uphill mile on Diagonal was a death march. I was discouraged again.
After we climbed up to the top of the bluff, I found my legs on the middle section and settled in to a decent rhythm for the rest of the run. By the end of the day, I was confident I would be able to finish in May. It was an epic day that I was glad to get over.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I can't wait for May 2. That will be the day that Ironman St. George is behind me. It's a race that I want to have done, not that I'm looking forward to doing. The only upside to having trained for a really hard Ironman over the winter is that I'll be starting the mountain biking season with a lot of fitness. The challenge will be staying away from the barbeque without the motivation of a really hard race hanging over me and keeping me in line. I'm hoping the mix of a fresh set of King SS Hubs, some decent weather, some good trail conditions and reliable riding buddies will be just the thing to keep me from being a couch-bound pork-a-holic. Here's to hoping.