A few days ago, this is what I was told I had to do in order to finish the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.
But first a catch up. I haven’t posted in a long time mainly because for the first 6 week of the year I was consumed by work. I’m talking anywhere from 12 – 18 hour days. You might wonder how this interferes with my workouts and training? What I found was that no matter how tired I was in the mornings from a mental standpoint it helped me considerably if I got up early and worked out. I was usually able to keep this up for at least 3 days Monday – Wednesday, by the time Thursday hit it was all I could do to get up and get to work by 9 after getting home at midnight or 1 am. When I didn’t workout I got extremely down about my life and my job, not to mention the crappy blood sugars. So this is what I did. For the most part Mondays was an hour of functional training, Tuesdays was a computrainer class and Wednesdays was swim or functional training – usually functional training because I have completely lost my swimming mojo! I also managed to squeeze in a yoga class on the weekend an ART session and another computrainer session followed by a short run/walk on the weekend. Aside from a half marathon I ran at the end of January (more on this below), running is still not an option for me. For as long as I’ve been running and for as many injuries I ‘ve had this one is a stubborn bitch. My ART guy – Dr. Drynan at Activebody has located the issue in my gemellus muscle which is not my glutes but is buried deep underneath my glutes which is what makes it hard to get to. See more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferior_gemellus_muscle . Anyway, I continue treatment I continue rolling and using my lacrosse ball. I had signed up for the half marathon in December with the hopes that I would be recovered and running. I ran it not having run 1 mile since mid-December. It was not pretty and I discovered that despite being an ironman and thinking I’m “in shape” for anything running a half marathon untrained hurts like a son of a bitch. For about 4-5 days after I was walking like I had just run the fastest marathon of my life. Who knew?!
The other reason for not blogging was that I was doing some major soul searching on what races I was going to do this year. Vision Quest Coaching announced that one of their key events for 2013 was the Leadville 100 Mountain bike race. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadville_Trail_100_MTB. When I saw this I was unable to let it go. In my heart I really wanted to do it. I wanted to really test myself and push myself to do it. I wanted to take my cycling to the next level. I wanted to do something that would be exciting and scary at the same time. People who are doing this race are hardcore, their power to weight ratio is in the upper 3’s or higher. This is before they even start training. On top of it all, it is a mountain bike race, I haven’t seriously mountain biked in years. I did love it though. So, while I was deliberating and wavering back and forth with my decision I found it hard to write about anything. This race is by far one of the hardest endurance races around (yes harder than a IM), mainly because of the amount of climbing, the terrain and the elevation. Over 55 % of the course is climbing, the terrain although not technical contains some single track and some pretty technical down hills, finally there is the elevation – the race takes place at over 10,000 feet. You lose 80% of your fitness before you even start. Doesn’t this sound great? Why would I even consider doing this knowing that my chances of finishing are pretty slim? I want to do this race and I plan on doing everything in my power to finish, I will never finish if I don’t try. So there you have it. I feel like I have a better chance of finishing by doing it through Vision Quest Coaching than I would if I did it on my own. They will provide a training plan, training rides and cover all the logistics for the race weekend including race nutrition supplied by Skratch Labs which I’m told is great for diabetics!
So yes, I signed up. I plan to blog about my adventure as I go through the following months of training. I hope that by doing so, I may inspire other diabetics to go out and try something that maybe they might fail at but just maybe they will succeed. I’m telling you if (when) I cross that finish line in 11:59:59 it will be my biggest accomplishment.
Last week, I attended the first organizational meeting. I arrived and took my place in a chair in the back and watched and listened. I’m pretty sure I was as white as a ghost as I listened to Robbie Ventura discuss the race, the training and the logistics. I looked around saw some very fit people. As we disbanded at the end of the meeting the coolest thing happened. Earlier we all stood up one by one announcing our name and why we wanted to do the race. I proudly stood up and said “I am Gillian Forsyth, I am a Type 1 diabetic, I am doing this race because I want to motivate and inspire other type 1 diabetics by writing about my experience and hopefully proving that T1 diabetes shouldn’t stop you from anything. I just want to finish”. After, I was approached by a man who said – are you a T1 diabetic? I said yes. He said so am I. I nearly cried. He had gotten it at age 50 about 6 months before he was to do his first Leadville race, which he finished. I was truly inspired. Here I was hoping to be the inspiror and I ended up being an inspiree. We chatted about blood sugars and nutrition. I’m thinking we will have a lot to teach each other, he is an awesome mountain biker and not so great at being a diabetic. I believe I am a better diabetic and a not so great mountain biker… so it’s a win win. I am so glad that I stood up loud and proud, otherwise we may never have known this about each other.
Back to the post title. As I was gathering my things I looked at Robbie and asked him if I had a hope in hell. This is what he said – Gillian, you need to have perfect training and perfect race execution. Perfect……