Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter funk

A few weeks ago I promised myself that I was not going to complain about the weather on my blog anymore. 

Hence the lack of posts this week......

This is the time of year where winter starts to wear on me. I am sick of tensing up every time I walk outside,  I'm sick of walking in the snow and I miss the sun. And above all, I miss riding my mountain bike on bonafide singletrack.  Dirt, rocks and roots...I hope I remember how to ride them.

PS. That's not me complaining about the weather, just stating the obvious!

The whole reason why I bring this up is that I just got back from walking Naomi and the weather has turned evil and cold (again, just stating the obvious). We have another bout of Artic weather heading our way and the wind was absolutely bone chilling, teeth shattering and mind numbing. During the walk I could only think about one thing-racing the Iditarod Trail. 

I finally got around to reading Alaska Jills book, Ghost Trails. For those of you who haven't yet read it, the book follows her race from the start line to the finish, some 350 miles away. Also included throughout the book are chapters about her life, which  chronicle her athletic journey. The flashback chapters are nice, as they help the reader (that would be me) better understand how she got started. 

Reading the book confirmed what I've always known. I think the race and the people who do it are TRULY AMAZING, but I will NEVER EVER be one of them.  There are several reasons for this. I detest being cold, I hate wearing layers, I don't like snow, and I don't like riding with a lot of gear. 

Geez, why don't I tell you how I really feel?  ha ha!!!

Not to mention that I have the worst imagination on earth. Just reading the book I found myself imagining being swept down a river, freezing to death, and riding my bike in the middle of a moose stampede. And that was from a warm bed. Who knows what I would start to imagine while actually out there....

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. My favorite part was when Jill neared the finish line, probably because I could relate to it a little more then the parts where she had to take cover in her sleeping bag to stay alive. I love that moment where you realize that you are indeed going to make it over the finish line, and I can only imagine what it felt like for Jill after 350 miles. It must have felt un-freaking-believable!

The only part of the book that I found disappointing was the fact that Jill carried beef jerkey with her for 350 miles and didn't/couldn't eat it :-) I know that sounds ridiculous, but one of my favorite things about long rides is how darn good the food tastes during and afterwards, and I wanted to read pages and pages about what her food tasted like. That's just me though. I'm a pig!!!

If you haven't ordered the book, I highly recommend it. If it were fiction, it would be a great story. But the fact that it's real makes it even greater. I am so happy that Alaska Jill did what she did and then wrote about it so that I could live vicariously through her (from the warmth of my bed).

I can't wait to read Ghost Trails-part deux!


Geoff said...

you make the iditarod invitational sound like the most horrible thing one could ever do with ~a week of their life... the worst part is that you're pretty much right. the dilema lies in the fact that it's also has the potential to be the most exhilirating and enjoyable thing one could ever do in a week. don't take my word for it though. you should give it a try next year and see for yourself!!

allan said...

funny twitter post about the gym. my faces are the ones who drive to run/walk on the treadmills or do the stationary bikes. though i guess with the snow yall get sometimes it's a little more understandable.

allan said...

oops..faves..not faces

Danielle said...

Geoff- Really? That was me being cheerful about the race! I guess no one will ever ask me to write any Iditarod race descriptions for brochures or websites anytime soon, eh? :-)

Allan- Unfortunately the only time I ever use the gym is in the winter, right when people are starting their new year resolutions.

The whole treadmill thing is totally necessary here though. There are some days when you can run outside, but most days are really icy/wet. If I lived where you live I wouldn't belong to a gym at all though!!!

Mitch and Molly said...

This off the subject but I noticed your name is not on the list of Lumberjack entries. Are you planning on doing this race?

Danielle said...

No Lumberjack for me this year. I'm racing the Cowbell Marathon down in N.C. and the races fall on the same day!

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