Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Little Train That Could

That is me. 

I had to take care of some family things in Valdese yesterday and upon finishing, I drove on up to Marion.  I had hoped to leave my car at the campground and to have Hank come get me and then I stay in Greenville overnight.  That just didn't work out - I ended up staying in Marion.

While there for the evening and after a light dinner, I had wanted to ride my bike some, but the weather up on the mountains looked rainy and I really didn't want to get caught out in that.  So, instead of riding, I drove.  From Hwy70/80 all the way up to the BRP.  As I drove, I tried to visualize myself actually riding, where I'd be on the bike as I went around the twisty/curvy last 3.5 miles of Hwy80.  As I drove up 80, I felt confident because I have climbed that section at least 4 times, and I kept repeating out loud - "I CAN DO IT!". 

I can do this.  Yes, it's going to be a bitchin' hard day for me, especially since the forecast is now for rain, but somehow, someway, I have to dig down deep, keep the eye on the prize - The Patch.  I want this thing very bad.  I've told my Dad what I'm doing and I want to get this & show it to him.  I want a picture of me crossing the finish line to give to him.  I want it.  And, I want it bad enough to endure 27 miles of rain soaked roads to get it.  There.  I said it.  I want it bad enough that I'm willing to ride in the pouring rains to get it.

I'm not really sure what it is going to take to prevent me from giving it everything to get to the top.  I just don't know.  I do know that I have to stay focused and keep all the rain soaked negative mental thoughts out of my head.  Must stay positive.  Cause, once you check out of the ride mentally, it's really hard to keep going, even if you still have it physically.....

I can do this.  I will give it all I have plus some to finish this ride.  Pray to the cycling gods to keep my legs strong and cramp-free!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It will be epic, one way or another.

What the hell am I talking about, you ask?  I'm talking about Assault on Mt Mitchell.  I have decided, after all, to take on the challenge.  The challenge of riding my bike 103 miles & over 11,000 feet of climbing.  The worst climbing to come in the last 27mi or so.  The worst climbing from Marion, up brutal Hwy 80 (the last 3 miles are the hardest) to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The brutal climb up Hwy 128 to the top of Mt Mitchell.

No one would save me from this - no one wanted to buy my ticket this year.  I bought the full kit (bibs & jersey) and had already mapped out & started my training plan when I registered on 2/15.  Ah...but Life.  Life has it's way of changing your best laid plans.  That's ok...I still have my Dad here, he's not pushing the daisies up.  

So, since I couldn't get anyone to buy the ticket (and there are takers posting on Facebook who want a ticket) I just decided to go on and do the ride.  I won't plan on breaking my time in 2009, I won't plan on a specific time to complete.  All I wish to do IS complete the ride.  I have a dozen or more rides under my belt since the middle of February, I'm riding well now (early/mid May) and I guess the one big thing I have going for me - I have done this ride before.  I know what to expect.  I might know what to expect, but it's sure as hell going to hurt worse than it did in 2009.

Epic.  This is what it will be.  And, make it to the top or not, I will know that I gave everything I had to do this ride with no training what-so-ever when I am done.  I know, that if my Dad really truly understood what I was trying to do, he would be so very proud of me.  And, he'd tell me what a crazy fool I was for attempting and/or doing such a ride!

Oh bugger....the forecast for Sunday & Monday (5/15-16) is calling for rain.  60% showers.  Great.  Do I let that get into my head and deter me?  I can't.  I have to have the proper clothing and perhaps embrace the showers.  I guess it beats the hell out of 90+ temps and humidity.  And, the forecast is 7 days could change by then, but if not.  So be it.

So, that's it.  I'm going to see how far my legs can take me.  Use anyone and everyone to get me to Marion without expending all of my energy.  I need all the energy left to climb a Mountain. :)

Wish me luck and on Monday, May 16, send all the strong climbing vibes my way!!