Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Big Friggin' Ambition

Today is Thursday, June 7, 2012. Saturday is June 9, and Saturday is also the Salida Big Friggin' Loop, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Colorado Endurance Series.

dawn Colorado Trail
Colorado Trail near Mt Shavano at dawn, where my hosted friends should be passing by 9 AM or thereabouts.

I am hosting this event. Which means I'm the person who designed the route(s) and published the GPX files for them. I'm the person who will stand on a chair at 6:00 AM on Saturday morning to tell a gathering of endorphin junkies about what to expect and how to sign in their time if and when they return to Salida after riding a big circle around our lovely little valley. I am also the person who custom-crafted and planted fifteen little tokens in a ghost town 20+ miles from here so that 15 lucky peoples will be able to scavenger hunt them down and have one to keep for all time (or sell on the open market, as they are certainly destined to become valuable collectables).

The Colorado Endurance series Grand Poobah, Matt, approached me about hosting an event in June back last winter when I was working on a fat layer that would ultimately send me to the pants store to buy some bigger pants. In 2011 I had the worst year for endurance fitness since probably 2002, thanks to working at a 40-hour desk job and developing an odd knee problem that kept me from comfortably pedaling for more than about 2 hours on any given day. So in December when this plan was hatched I assumed that on the day of the event I would get up early, go stand on my chair for a while, then eat three or four large pastries and retire to my couch, exhausted.

Some time late in the winter or early in the Spring I decided that I might as well put my own name on the registration list and make at least a lame effort to be fit enough to make it to BV where I would eat my four large pastries then hitchhike home to my couch.

A funny thing happened though. As the spring progressed I found that my knee problem was gone. I committed myself to commuting to work (50 mile round trip) at least 5 or 6 times per month. And I took a look back into my memory banks to see if I could find any lost knowledge about how to build endurance out of a block of lard.

I'm happy to report that today, less than 48 hours before my date with that chair, I'm in OK shape. I've done several 50+ mile rides, some of them with a fairly nauseating amount of elevation gain. I have ridden to work quite a few times. I haven't yet graduated back to my old pants, but my new big-boy pants are a little more loose.

And I'm actually entertaining a certain amount of hope that I might be able to finish one of the two of my silly loops. I'm bringing a light, because the stars might be coming out by the time I roll down Ute Trail into town, but I'm going to take a shot.

Wish me luck.


Ellen said...

Best of luck to you and all the riders on Saturday. I'm a 40-something rider from Roxborough, CO who had my first knee surgery last year and, subsequently, ended up with a difficult fitness/weight year. Things are going much better this year, but I'll have to live vicariously through you on Saturday and look forward to reading about your experience in your blog next week. While I enjoy my engineering work down here, your blog provides many welcome mental breaks!

Best of luck on Saturday. I'm sure everyone is going to have a great experience on the inaugural SBFL!


Chris said...

Super stoked to take this test Tom! See ya Saturday morning dude.

-Chris Neumann

Shane said...

Good luck! If I didn't have a wedding to go to...well, I supposed I wouldn't have a convenient excuse for not going !!! :D I'm still looking for a good reason to not toss my hat in the ring for VT125 though...haven't found one yet.

Ed said...

Hey Tom - have a great time and good luck! Can't wait for the ride report.