14 February 2013

Planning the 2013 Season

Planning for 2013, the first half of it at least, is finally complete-ish. As with most big decisions, I rely a lot on my gut feeling and this year, my schedule took a while to really come together. Mostly, it was my indecision regarding triathlon. I love me some swimbikerun, but I got a taste of top-level adventure racing in the fall of 2012 and I had a hankering for more. Trouble is, adventure racing is a team sport, and I was all by my lonesome. I knew I could pick up races here and there as a substitute (teams are almost always looking for female racers) but that stresses me out a little, and I'd prefer to keep any and all forms of stress at a minimum. So I kept peeking at individual events like triathlons and mtb races, even asking facebook what I should tackle as a BHAG for 2013.
After much deliberation, both extro- and introspective, I decided to focus on a race format unique to the Midwest: the gravel grinder. A gravel race is an endurance biking event held almost entirely on backcountry gravel roads. The course is only minimally marked or sometimes not marked at all except for a paper map/cue sheet. Race distances span from 100 to 300 miles and beyond. Most people use cyclocross bikes, but some have been known to ride modified mountain bikes for increased comfort as the miles stack up. Most races/events enjoy a very dedicated following and they focus on a grassroots atmosphere that calls to my soul.
Now THAT is a man-train. 2012 Cedar Cross.  Photo from http://karenholtmann.blogspot.com
So there I was, signed up for two very intimidating gravel events: the OGRE 150-miler in April (with Jeff from Alpine Shop) and the Dirty Kanza 200-miler in June. And then, my friend/inspiration/hero/all-around badass Carrie from the Alpine Shop AR team hurt her knee and asked me to sub for her at Bonk Hard's LBL 18hr AR. Then she got an MRI and found out she would be on the sidelines for longer than just LBL. And BOOM...suddenly my schedule filled up with more adventure races than I had ever thought possible. With a team known for speed and good sportsmanship. If it weren't for Carrie's injury, I'd say it was the perfect scenario. But hopefully when she recovers there will still be a team out there with a spot for me!
Alpine Shop teammates Jeff and David before the 29(mile)r.
They wore the EXACT same clothes without planning it. Nerds.
In the meantime, here's where you can find me in 2013, confirmed races in BOLD:

16-Feb: Bonk Hard LBL Challenge 18hr AR (with Alpine Shop, 4-person coed)
16-Mar: Bonk Hard Chill 12hr AR (with Alpine Shop, 4-person coed)
6-Apr: CAC2 (tentative, still putting together a team, email me if interested)
13-Apr: Tour of Hermann Gravel Stage Race (tentative)
20-Apr: Bonk Hard OGRE 150mi gravel race (with Uncle Perv, 2-person coed)
27-Apr: The Boonecrusher 12hr AR (with Gnome Hunters, 4-person coed)
4-May: Cedar Cross 100mi gravel non-race (tentative)
11-May: DINO Mission 18hr AR (with Alpine Shop, 3-person coed)
18-May: Planet Adventure 24hr AR (with Alpine Shop, 4-person coed)
1-June: Dirty Kanza 200mi gravel race (individual)
24-August: Thunder Rolls 24hr AR (with Alpine Shop, 3-person coed)

As you can see, April and May are PACKED. The only reason that Cedar Cross is tentative is I'm worried about excessive fatigue and wanted to give myself some breathing room in case my legs are fried at the end of April. What happens after Thunder Rolls is anyone's guess. It depends a lot on Carrie's knee, and some race schedule conflicts. But stay tuned here and you'll be the first to know! Pin It


  1. I'm stoked that you're going to Dirty Kanza. Such a cool race! Actually, your whole schedule looks pretty amazing. Hope you can make it to cac2 and Cedar Cross!

  2. Bummer about Carrie, but definitely a great opportunity for you! Maybe we'll even end up at a race or two together this year :)

  3. I think you forgot a race. If you're racing with Alpine Shop, you're going to qualify for the AR championships. Probably for both Checkpoint and USARA.

    Have fun with Alpine Shop, and I'll see you in the thorns for a few of those races. And if you ever get sick of joining teams that finish on the podium every time (boring), I have plenty of room for you on my bottom feeder team:)

  4. I so need to get off the bad boy juice. I love saying ..
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