Have you ever experienced a moment of true clarity? The moment when you see something that is so true (and usually obvious) that….well you understand…something…perfectly…if just for a little while.

In luge that moment of clarity comes right about here

(That’s Bailey at the US Youth Nationals last winter, Park City Utah) when you are waiting for the track to be cleared so you can take your run. (BTW, you had better have a moment of clarity then!)

I have had 3 such moments about Leadville. The first was when I was hiking my bike up Whiteface Mountain. (I realized that endurance MTB’ing is hard. And its as much mental as physical.) The second was when I drove up to the Columbine Mine Aid station for the race. (I realized that biking that climb was going to be hard. I see a pattern emerging here….) My third moment came this week.

I have a GPS that I use to track my biking. It tells me how many miles, how much climbing etc. I have done. I am a scientist. I love data. But data is also a dangerous thing. On Tuesday I uploaded a bunch of my rides onto my computer and then I looked at the tally: 4,100 miles for the season. Not bad. My best year was two years ago at 4,600 miles. Then I looked at some trends. For my first 3 years of riding my miles went up each year. Then after my peak two years ago, less miles last year, and less this year (I may yet get to 4,600 it depends on the weather, I don’t count indoor miles). What? I felt like I spent a lot of time on my bike last year and this year. I did 4 centuries last summer, compared with 2 the record setting summer. Why did my mileage go down?

Well the answer to that is not all miles are the same. Last year I started mountain biking and so my total miles suffered. OK. Change the view. There we go. Now we are looking at total time on the bike rather than total miles. Two years ago 261 hours, 30 minutes, 45 seconds. That’s almost 11 (24 hour) days on my bike boys and girls. 3% of my year in 2010 was spent on a bike. This year I am at 260 hours, 25 minutes, 13 seconds. One hour off. I will surpass my record year!

OK where is the “Moment of Clarity” Doug?

I am going to work with a coach/trainer for Leadville next year (details soon to come!). I will be working with a developed training plan. And I have some indication that I will be averaging about 11 hours of week of training. Some weeks more some weeks less, but 11 is about right. So then I looked at what I averaged this summer. It was about 8 hours/week. Some weeks more, some weeks less. That’s a lot more riding next summer. (And in that moment I realized its going to be hard.)

Bring it on. (Cause I also realized that by August next year, I am going to be hard too ;))


2 thoughts on “Clarity

  1. My singular Moment of Clarity (capital letters) came during the Alpine Odyssey when I looked down and saw I was at mile 57 of 62. And I knew I was going to finish…

    I didn’t know I’d get a coin at that point, but I knew somehow I’d get back in the lottery or something. I’d be in Leadville again in 2013.

    And while there are a host of unseen moments and miles between that moment and 6am August 10, 2013–and then on to the red carpet later that day–I knew at that moment that I would finish Leadville. There would be no giving up again, ever.

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