March 11, 2013
This year is the year. The Colorado Trail Race has been beckoning me, and I'm finally at a place where I think I might have a chance at actually completing this thing. I can remember the exact moment when I decided to make CTR my main goal for 2013 - during the Vapor Trail 125 last September, on top of Granite Mountain at 12,500 ft. at 4am, with a 10-mile, 3,000 ft singletrack descent ahead of me, staring up at the stars - that was an incredible feeling, and I knew I had to come back for more, much more.
Top of Granite Mountain. Vapor Trail 125.
Any doubts I had about my performance at high altitude, being alone in the wilderness at night, my physical/mental ability to push myself to that dark place needed to complete an event like CTR.....while I wouldn't say these doubts are gone, they are at least a bit smaller after the Vapor Trail. Sure, VT125 was a measly 1-day race, only 125 miles, whereas CTR is a 470-mile 6 day monster, but I know I at least have a chance.
Monarch Crest Trail. Vapor Trail 125.
The race is 4.5 months away, which seems like a long time, but I have much preparing to do. Just the amount of gear needed to complete this thing is almost overwhelming. I need to find a way to carry everything I need to survive for up to a week alone in the Colorado wilderness on my bike. Saddle bags, frame bags, handlebar bags......I need to be especially creative because I'll be riding my Ibis Mojo, whose frame geometry prevents use of a large in-triangle frame bag, and also because I want to avoid at all costs wearing a pack, as I fear extreme lower back pain after so many hard days on the bike. I'm not as worried about physical preparation - yes, I will be doing most of my training at sea level, but I usually handle altitude pretty well (although I have no idea how my body will respond to sustained high-altitude exertion over a 5-7 day period!), and I have a bunch of good, hard events planned in the months leading up to the race that should get my legs where they need to be. I've had a solid few months building up my base, and I'm feeling good so far. Looking forward to the build up to this thing. Race starts Sunday July 21 in Durango.
CTR route. Durango to Denver.
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