This week, I've felt a bit like an endurance race couch potato. I got out last Sunday for a 92-mile training ride, but most of my miles this week have been of the commuting (35-40 miles per day) variety. I've been checking RAAM, RAW, and Tour Divide stats and blogs compulsively, though, and wonder if this counts towards my training in any concrete way. I guess I'm picking up some tips here and there such as "pack your food high in trees when riding through grizzly bear country," and "get off your bike for awhile when you're seeing double after 32 hours without sleep." This kind of thing can save a life!
I'm simply in awe of the amazing fortitude it reflects to train for and throw oneself into the maelstrom as these racers have. This year, there are even a few racers in RAAM that I've ridden with so, while I can't see myself filling their shoes any time soon, I can remember riding beside them not so long ago.They're still in another class altogether from me. I've gotten a great kick out of following Rob Morlock, Kevin Kaiser, and Rick Carpenter's blogs in particular.
My goals this season seem paltry in comparison to racing across the country in under 10 days, or riding down the nation's spine from Canada to Mexico without any support. On the other hand, you've got to start somewhere. Maybe when my kids are a bit older something like this will seem more attainable. Hell, I might even get them to crew for me if I play my cards right. I actually like the idea of creating a mash-up of RAAM and Tour Divide, say a totally self-supported road race from Maine to Florida. No crews, drop bags only. Maybe for that mythical 50th birthday milestone.