Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Race Across Oregon. It's ON!

I feel sick to my stomach.

Unusually, this has nothing to do with chocolate overload.

I just signed up for the Race Across Oregon ultracycling extravaganza covering 527 miles and 40,000 feet of climbing in 48-hours or less.

Why the hell would a girl want to do this?

3 reasons:
  1. Cost consciousness. For approximately half the price of an Ironman, I can officially beat the crap out of myself for almost three times as long as Ironman would let me.
  2. Time. I will never have as much time to train as I do now, considering I will start grad school next fall.
  3. Fear. I have never ever signed up for a race I wasn't sure I could finish. When I first heard about Ironman, I thought, hell yea, I can do that! I have absolutely no idea if I can ride 527 miles in 48 hours. I love sleeping, suck at climbing, and am fully aware that most female endurance athletes hit their stride in their mid-30s to 40s, after pumping hundreds of thousands of miles into their legs.

Having owned a road bike for all of three years, I can safely say my legs have not been primed for a ride of this magnitude.

Neither has my brain.

Gordo Byrn, ultra athlete extraordinaire, once told me he thinks everyone who competes in ultra anything (triathlon, cycling, running) is searching for something. Having married my dream guy and found happiness, I can safely say the drive to spend endless hours pounding out this search for something has dwindled. The mental game will be tougher than it would've been three years ago.

And then there's the pain.

One ultracyclist rated the Furnace Creek 508 as infinitely more difficult than a 100 mile running race, which he had done. I ran 29 miles in two days last week, and couldn't move on Monday.

Therefore, I'm doing this thing. It's on. I'm officially going off the deep end into personally uncharted territory. Because really, if I don't try something that scares me once in a while, how will I grow?

I'll be tracking down the advice of the women who have gone before me, and sharing the mental and physical battles that come with training for this event, including a 24-hour race, and the requisite triathlons.

I am a triathlete, after all.

And hopefully after this event, Ironman will seem like a breeze. Kona, here I come! 2011?


  1. You are so strong! I know you are going to be able to do this!!

  2. I think you might be UltraMan Hawaii or UltraMan Canada material...or as my good friend Suzy Degazon says UltraWoMan Hawaii or UltraWoMan Canada!

  3. Erin, You can do this! This will be such a mental test; just remember that! Like IM, this will be a test also of planning, logistics, and is just the vehicle you drive.

    Can't wait to hear how it goes!

  4. Suzy is an ultra goddess! I'll see how this goes first, then start dreaming of becoming an UltraWoMan :)

    Thank you, Laura! Very well put. I hope to have happy news in July!