Friday, January 8, 2016

Planning for 20 Mule Team 100

Here we are again, another year, another 20 Mule Team 100.

This morning I sat down and made a plan to get Fergus and I where we need to be in order to be ready for the ride at the end of February. This year I'm at a disadvantage because I have yet to sort out saddle fit (scheduled for this weekend); El NiƱo is poking its fingers in my pie in the form of seemingly continuous rain (3" since we got home on Sunday night); for some reason it seems like there are less weekends than usual; and Fergus didn't get a leg-up of 30-40 miles of walking in sand washes that usually occurs over the Christmas week*. Fergus has done nothing but lounge since Virginia City 100 in late September - hopefully healing and working out any niggle-injuries he might have picked up along the way.

(* in fact, Fergus travelled 500 miles to southern California, spent the week hanging out in a sandy arena - eating hay and watching gorgeous sunsets - before being trailered home again. I take heart in the fact that at least he spent that week in dry conditions so was able to walk without falling down, and the coronet band that he sliced open the day we left was able to heal with no ill-effects).

If we go, this will be my fourth time riding the 100, Fergus' third time competing there, and it's a favorite because it's pretty laid back and preparation doesn't require too much angst... at least usually.

Following is my conditioning plan for the time leading up to the ride. I'm hoping to be able to squeeze in some week-day shortie morning rides as well, although that may depend greatly on weather - the more it rains, the more I have to muck, so the less time I have to ride:

  • Jan 9-10 - 8 Miles
  • Jan 16-17 - 10 Miles
  • Jan 23-24 - 12 Miles
  • Jan 30-31 - 15 Miles
  • Feb 6-7 - 15-18 Miles
  • Feb 13-14 - 20 Miles Go-NoGo Ride (if all goes well on this ride, we send in our entry)
  • Feb 20-21 - AERC Convention (Fergus gets two weeks off ahead of the ride)
  • Feb 27-28 - 20 MT

I'm a little daunted by the amount of work needed, but in theory it's doable so long as we pace ourselves properly, I remember to go to bed at a sensible time, and I don't waste time on useless time-wasting things. And don't get stuck sitting on the side of the bed, staring into space with a pair of socks in my hand.

I suspect we might be in a large amount of riding in the rain, though... I'm melting...

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