There have been many events which I have trained for in my life but I have to be very honest when I say this bike race takes the cake. What I mean by this is: IT IS NOT EASY FOR ME:):)
You might wonder why I am doing this bike race, I have asked myself this several times over the past few weeks. I have even considered pulling out of the race because I just did not feel confident and all the hours that it takes to train for an event like this.
This bike race has been on my "Dream list" for 8 years now. Not just the bike race but the Death Valley Cup!! What is the Death Valley Cup? This is an award that is given by the race Director of the Badwater 135 mile foot race through Death Valley and the Furnace Creek 508. In order to receive this award you must complete both the Badwater race (which was the end of July) and the 508 bike race, in the same season/year. There have been 2 women who have successfully completed the Death Valley Cup and I know them both. I have more respect than ever for these 2 women. This year there is another women (Linda) who is also going for the DV cup, so when we both cross the finish line we will be the 3rd and 4th women to even complete the DV cup. I can tell you this, I now know why there have only been 2 so far. The time to train for this event is long and hard. My having a full time job, mother of 2..wonderful husband who God love him supports me all the time has suffered due to the training. The bike is not like running. If you want to run you can train by doing many things..To bike, you must bike and to bike it takes a great deal of time to get yourself ready, the bike ready and all the rest that comes with it. To run..I put on my shoes and out the door I go at anytime of the day or night.
Needless to say, the respect I have for endurance bike racers is high on the list. God bless you all!!
These 2 races this year were 9 weeks apart.
Well..truth be told, I have found that 9 weeks is just not that much time to train for such a long event on the bike. To switch over from running to the bike is difficult.
First I needed to recover from Badwater which took 1 week, then it was time to start sitting on the bike seat for many, many hours. The first week was not bad and then coach Cathy showed up at my door:)
I thought my training was going along just fine until went for a few rides with coach Cathy, who time after time left me in the dust!!!
Wow...it is a beautiful sight to watch an experienced biker, especially going down hill. Cathy is out of my sight within a few minutes which is good..then I can go back to holding on for dear life!
1 week to recover, week off due to the Teton races, 1 week off due to sick kids and things that happen in life. This leaves me 6 weeks to train..we have less than 2 weeks until we show up at the starting line..Guess what? I think I can do it!
Who would have ever thought I was going to say that! By the grace of God and by the grace of my amazing family support and coach Cathy I will get to the starting line..sore butt and all.
Last week I think I was able to get close to 350 miles on the bike, today I was able to get about 110 and this was not to hard at all..Funny..when I trained all winter for Ironman AZ the longest ride I did was 4 hours..4 hours just won't cut it for this 508 miles on a bike.
My longest rides have been all night long. One 12 hour and one 16 hour..man oh man..I don't even know if I can explain the level of fatigue I have had from the biking. What became clear to me is that I am much better with my feet on the ground. Being on the bike for many hours at a time leaves me so beat up due to having to watch out for cars, pot holes, wind and all the obstacles that seem so much more simple with running.
I have become a strong biker in the last 4 weeks, good but not great..but I think good enough God willing to see the finish line of the 508! My legs will prove that, they are about double the size from the quads and hamstrings..big enough that my PANTS ARE TIGHT!!
My endurance from running has also paid off here. The longer I ride the bike, the stronger I become and this can even make my sore butt smile!
Below is my 508 crew...these 3 amazing people will be my life line and will do their best not to let me get in the van!!
Paul Biron has completed the 508 in 2001 in a time of 35:04 and was 5th place, qualified for RAAM:):)
Paul will be my head crew chief and tell me what to do and when to do it. I am so thankful that I will have him with me on this journey. I have been training in Paul's 508 bike jersey in hopes to draw on his wonderful energy!!! Thank you Paul.
Paul riding in the 2001 Furnace Creek 508
Bill at Badwater 2007. Bill Cook..Mr. Bill, the wonderful Mr. Bill! One of my coaching students and one of my most favorite:) Bill is a Physicians Assistant and works in Cardiac Surgery. His talent is to, "GET IT DONE", for I have seen him get many things done in the short time he has been an Ultra runner and now training for a bike race to! Bill will be such a great help for me when the going gets tough to always remind me to GET GOING...!!! Bill, I cant wait to share this journey with you.
Cathy riding to Mesa Falls. Well...what can we say about this woman???????????????????
Coach Cathy..who showed up to help me with the 508 and is still here helping me. If it were not for Cathy I would have pulled out and left this 8 years dream on the side of the road a few times. It has not been easy for her to deal with me:):) Cathy is such a better biker than I am and it is hard to always be with someone better!!! Ha..well, watch out Cathy..you have taught me well. My mind is in a good place, getting focused on what we need to do to be successful at this 508 miles and it will be because of Cathy not giving up on me and her gentle way to push, push, push!! Next year I will crew for Cathy's 508! Now..to brag a bit about this women..she did a 24 hour mountain bike race here in the Tetons on a 1 day notice..she had not been on a mountain bike for over a year let alone a trail, her bike is way too heavy and she did not even have the right lights for her bike..Well...she was 2nd overall behindWORLD Champion Rebecca Rusch..Here is Cathy's story is on her blog http://fourwhitefeet.com/ Now you know who I am dealing with:) It will so great to do this race and it will be even better to have it over with and off my list!!
We will have lot's of blog updates/live updates along the race course..Pray for us all!