124 miles on 1.5 mm
The other day at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship we attend, a speaker mentioned a Twain quote that says something to the effect that you’ll only truly regret what you haven’t done. That’s quite true, at least for me. Back in 1999, I attempted to skate 200 km (speedskate blades are typically 1.5 mm thick–yes, enormous ankle strength helps) on the Weissensee in Austria in the Alternatieve Elfstedentocht. Long story short: at 125 km, I was nearly two hours ahead of the pace I had expected to skate and was euphoric since I felt great. At 130 km, I was out of the race due to nerve damage in my left leg caused by the knee pads a friend had loaned me (skating on natural ice one goes down hard from time to time and he was worried about me). I’ve been cranky about this ever since.
It’s time to put an end to that, and, barring unforeseen obstacles, 2009 will be the year, so pretty much a year from today. To say that I’m excited about this adventure is a not-so-mild understatement. I’m working on the logistics, such as registration and lodging, and am mulling over how best to train for this. Having been in the race before, I now know much more about what it’s like to skate this distance and how best to train. Last time, I just wanted to come in under ten hours and not embarrass myself. This time around I’m raising the bar, hoping to finish under eight hours.
I’m looking for sponsors, too, although I have zero experience with convincing people to give me money to do stupid human tricks in return for mentioning or displaying their name. That should be interesting. I’m going to try to convince the local paper to let me write a few articles about it. Being a small town, that’s probably not going to be the hardest sell.