Now I have several anxieties to address. The most pressing of which is the altitude. The highest point of the race is around 11,500 ft. I'm not sure I have ever pedaled a bike at that altitude. The closest I have come is a trip to Brianhead last summer. We shuttled(as in drove) our bikes to the top of the ski resort, then pedaled maybe a half mile to the top of the Dark Hollow trail. That half mile had my eyes bulging and chest heaving. Like that scene in Total Recall when Ahhnold is exposed to Mars' atmosphere. Luckily the next part of the ride was basically an elevator shaft. Two summers ago, I haphazardly joined a group of social deviants for the Depic(Dipshit Epic) which started at Alta, then pedaled up over Catherine's Pass which I think was about 10,000 ft. I crested the pass with a splitting headache and a minor cardiac arrhythmia. The highest point of my "regular" riding is up American Fork Canyon which I believe doesn't take me any higher that 8,000 ft.
So the question is, how do I prepare for such a ride? I say ride because I really have no delusions of being a contender of any kind in the race. I just don't want to be the guy in the fetal position on the side of the road waiting for emergency medical technicians. I've done eighty miles before, no sweat. I've done a lot of climbing in a day, though I didn't spend most of that time at altitude.
I believe popular opinion is that I need to sleep high, train low. I've got train low covered. But how do I sleep high? With limited vacation days, spending the preceding weeks in Park City doesn't seem like a viable option. I suppose I'm just resigned to a painful, terrible, time in the Tushars. Can't wait.
So for now my plan is this. Get back on the diet. It's easier to haul 160 some odd pounds up that mountain than it is to haul 170 some odd pounds. Ride a lot of distance, with a lot of climbing. Luckily, I don't have to travel far to find hills to ride up. And with the snow beginning to recede, I'll soon be able to climb higher longer. Understand, that I am still planning on registering in my age group, not the Pro/open category. Essentially the "Sport" class. I am and always will be a weekend warrior at best. But I want to make a reasonable showing.
Pray for this sinner, now and at the hour of my death, Amen.
- Total Weight Loss: 19.6