in 2006, i finished 3rd overall in this race. this morning? just getting to the Start Line is going to be my podium! WARRIOR UP!!!!

Race Morning…

last night, tucked on the downstairs couch, i felt close to my years as a mountaineer. curled within a fleece blanket, the wind outside was a monster roar, inflicting far too many cell memories from epic bivouacs in the high peaks. old mountaineers like me do not develop more immunity from the cold, we are often more susceptible to it due to accumulated hyperthermia, frostnipped digits, or frost bit flesh. our bodies go into Red Alert Mode within the first moments of cold.

my half-sleep was an all night superset between listening for Dewa’s cries (we are ‘Ferberizing’ her this week, poor, precious Rinpoche!) and being cell-shocked awake from the wind outside.

this race, Soulstice, is my final running race on what has been a grand running season for New Daddy Ilg*. though i hold no podium pretensions for today, i am determined to toe the Start Line and suffer in order to See Higher Sides of myself.

stumbling over pre-laid out bike (i’m also determined to ride to the Start Line) and running clothes in front of the fireplace, i pour a cup of joe to assist in critical pre-race pooping.

over to the downstairs iMac, holding the coffee like a chalice of elixir, the night is softly cold; 38 degrees here at the Temple H(om)e. there is a blast of stars fading to a morning twilight from Grandfather Sun announcing his arrival.

knowing i’ll need to do an Early Morning Ritual after i poop, then it’ll be down to business as i mountain bike several miles and up several hundred vertical feet through cold, windy forests to find the Start Line tucked in the pines near Schultz Lake at 7,900′. i must time my arrival perfectly or i’ll lose the pre-warm up benefits and shiver with dropping body temperature before the Start like a rat in a panic. choosing to cardio commute to the Start Line on a MTB trail is dangerous; one flat or weird moment could mean missing the Start.

the computer casts its eerily light into the warm, wooded ski lodge which is my new home. i click the weather forecast on the highest point on today’s race; 8,900’…the top out of Sunset Trail.

it reads:

A chance of rain showers before 11am, then a chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a temperature rising to near 50 by 9am, then falling to around 46 during the remainder of the day. Windy, with a southwest wind between 32 and 39 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

“a chance of snow…With gusts as high as 65 mph…” my eyes fall over the words again and then once more, as if steeling my mental fiber for what is going to be another epic Race Day…

then the thought comes fast;
it’s a good day to be a Warrior…


* see my 2008 Race Results at:
Coach’s Race Results

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