Thursday, December 30, 2010

Return to Death Valley

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”
Woody Allen

A plan is the stairway between your vision and your goal. Each step brings you closer.

For me the past year has been one of plans, mostly interrupted or unfulfilled. Even a planned trip to see a movie the other night was cut short when everything – right down to Yogi Bear – was sold out.

Our family’s most recent plan, to visit New York City this Christmas, was foiled by that most capricious of spellbinders, the weather. The entire Eastern Seaboard was shut down by a spectacular snowstorm. The only way to have gotten into Manhattan would have been to ski in.

But plans continue to well up in my restless and ever-optimistic mind. My indoor training for my planned 2011 events is going beautifully. I have added a little speedwork to my running and I am amazed at how easily my body is adapting. It makes me think of how lazy I must have been for the past twenty-five years.

So that I do not blow my feet out before March by overtraining for my planned spring marathon, I have found another project to keep me focused: I’ve entered the Death Valley Century, the California bike event that I did back in the fall of 2008. There is also a spring version on February 26th, so I signed up. They offer distances of 100, 150 and 200 miles and I opted for the middle one, since 100 miles will not challenge me and 200 miles will seem too much like work at this point in my season. Also the double century requires night time riding, and after my experiences in RAW last June, cycling through the desert night just wouldn’t seem the same without the Scissor Sisters blasting through my walkie-talkie.

The Death Valley Spring Century will give me a non-running event to train for over the winter months plus a chance to take my terrific Cervélo R3 out on the road before getting into the triathlon season. Although the event is not specifically a race and most of the course is new to me, I would like to finish the 150 miles in under 11 hours. Unlike my marathon goals, this one is currently attainable. Yes, riding my bike through the desert does seem to be my idea of an ideal holiday, but I agree that it might not be everyone's.

To me, planning means looking forward, and I am looking forward to getting back to Death Valley. It is an extraordinary part of the world.