Kristin and I sat down at the computer this past Saturday, downloaded a calendar template for Word, unfolded our copy of NW City Sports magazine, and started hatching out a race calendar for 2006. Just like we used to.
We started with the three races in the off-road duathlon series that I'm going to do this spring, then added the Cougar Mountain Trail Running Series races -- at least the ones we won't be overseas during -- and then started looking for some bigger challenges.
Kristin wants to run the Bellevue Marathon on July 9th but will likely just run the half-marathon with her friend, and save the full marathon distance for later in the year for the Timberline Trail Marathon that covers 26.2 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail near Mount Hood. I'll be doing that with her, in addition to an attempt to solo the 12 Hours of Wilamette Pass in Oregon. That's supposed to be a really great mountain bike race where riders try to see how many laps of the course they can do in 12 hours. Most will do a 2 or 4-person team, but I really want to solo it. Or at least try to.
The other big race I added to the schedule is the Clackamas Off-Road Triathlon in Oregon. It features a lengthy trail run, a mountain bike leg, and a 4k downriver kayak portion through Class I and II rapids. There is the little matter of me not having a kayak, but it's a small detail that will work itself out between now and the summer. That event also has a 15k trail run for Kristin, so she's excited. So that's it. I'm sure to sprinkle some small short-distance events in now and then, but for the most part, I just want to focus on the off-road duathlons and the 12 Hrs of Wilamette Pass. There's a chance we can't get into the Timberline Marathon because of field limits, so we may end up running a 50k ultramarathon somewhere else. Most trail races are 50k or longer, so our options are limited. So much for never running an ultra again...
Yesterday's 50 mile mountain bike ride was abridged on account of a wind storm. The wind was blowing steady at 20 mph with gusts to 39 mph and being in the woods with that much wind isn't safe. So, instead, we did a 28 mile ride on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (read: dirt and gravel road) from town up to Rattlesnake Lake and back. Total climbing was only 980 feet, but the headwind on the way out was brutal. Three of us in a pace line, cranking pretty hard and struggling to maintain 13-14 mph. On the way back we were sitting up, chatting, and pedaling easy. At 19 mph.
Later in the day, Erik and I hopped into my wife's Civic Hybrid and went and measured some road bike routes (Erik just bought a new bike too last week). We clocked a really nice ride in the 60 to 70 mile range with a couple of really big hills and wide shoulders, and we also measured some 30 to 40 mile rides closer to home, with some huge, lengthy, hills. I can't wait!
The old me is returning.