Friday, October 25, 2013

Skyline Sufferfest 2013: Preparation

Hey I have an idea! Let's cycle all of Skyline Drive on Saturday.

Isn't that like, over 100 miles?


And over 10,000 feet of climbing?


And isn't it supposed to be cold, between 30 and 55 degrees?


What time will we need to get up to do all this?


Then I am IN!

So that's the plan. And actually, there is more craziness than just this. Normally we wouldn't need to get out that early for a century, but there is a third member of our party. He is kind of the one pushing this whole endeavor, and he plans to do the whole thing... twice. He just rode the LoToJa Classic last month, a grueling race of a similar distance but half the elevation gain. We will have a SAG vehicle with us the whole way packed with everything we'll need. Then, when Husband and I finish, we'll get in the car and turn around to support our riding buddy as he continues on.

I've professed my love of Shenandoah National Park before, and while I've walked the whole way on the AT, I've only cycled on the northern 30ish miles. Take a look at the profile map:

I should take comfort in that I'm already pretty familiar with the hardest part. But this will definitely be the most challenging century we've ever done. And let's be honest, we're not all that conditioned. We did get a good 70 mile ride in last week, but the weeks before that were a bust due to rain, a crash (woops, I guess I didn't mention that before..... we crashed our bikes!) and moving. But here we are. We'll figure it out, we always do! If we run into trouble, our trusty SAG vehicle will be right there to assist.
This week I've been making lists like a madwoman to get everything ready. We'll be taking practically every item of clothing we own to give us options for layering. And food! I made up a batch of some cocoa banana muffins, adapted from here, and tried out a new basic peanut butter protein bar recipe, and made up some Sea Salt Chocolate Power Bites from the Feedzone Cookbook. (Does anyone want to buy me this?). I also packed a plethora of other options, like fruit, string cheese, yogurt, Chex Mix, Clif Bars, Larabars, Honey Stinger waffles, Gu, granola, peanuts, and Gu Brew for drinks. Not to mention there are 4 stores and restaurants we'll be passing so... yeah. I think we'll be good on food.

sometimes I feel like my whole life is a series of lists
I'm fairly confident I have everything we'll need, but I'm nervous that something will go wrong tomorrow. Maybe something on one of our bikes will fail. Or it will just be straight up too hard or too cold and I'll quit at mile 60. Or, like my mom texted me this week, "What are the chances you would hit a deer or bear?"
Probably small, but at least I would have an awesome story to tell afterward.

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