Tuesday, September 29, 2009

R-12 and Planning for 2010

A medal I'll plan to win in 2010.

I had convinced myself that since I completed one each of the 200k, 300k and 400k brevets this season that I might as well go for the 600k. That is, until I saw that the only 600k I could really attempt was a brutal one.

At first, I was bummed. The SIR Mountain Pass 600k looked tough, and by all accounts it was, with lots of climbing over multiple mountain passes. When I consulted the intermediates/veterans, they advised against this being my first 600k. Particularly because of the remoteness.

Good logic, but still a little bummed, I pondered and cast about. California? Maybe, but is this really how I want to spend my and my family's time and resources? Dartre said that if I really thought California was a shot, I should look at it. If I completed a 600k, I'd win the Super Randonneur award. The lure of the Super Randonneur called me like Die Lorelei, the famous German siren who wooed sailors to their death on the rocks of the Rhine River (At least something stuck from High School German Classes. Thank you, Herr Nelson!).

For the uninitiated, the Super Randonneur Award is given to randonneurs who complete a 200k, 300k, 400k, and 600k in one season. The medal is pictured below.

The more I pondered and visualized crashing on the rocks, the more I harkened back to my ultimate goal: PBP in 2011.

That gave me the clue that continual long distance training is what I really need, and so that naturally turned me toward the R-12. The R-12 is an award for randonneurs completing a 200k or longer brevet every month for twelve consecutive months.

Now that is doable, excellent training toward my ultimate goal, and something I can start on immediately. Therefore, on the same weekend that the intrepid were tackling the SIR Mountain Pass 600k, I did my first permanent to move my R-12 objective forward to two months in a row. A modest beginning, but then a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single crank revolution, according to Confucius, I think.

And of course, the 600k and Super Randonneur Award still beckon for 2010.

I got to this eventual peaceful place albeit with objectives unmet in part by reading David Rowe's eBook, The Ride of Your Life, Aligning heart and mind for success in long distance cycling. The book has been reviewed a good bit elsewhere so I won't review it here. What I got from it was a reinforcement to stay focused on what really matters--family, for me--and that planning is central to meeting objectives. So balance, naturally, is the watchword

Truth is I didn't begin the year with a plan, so I feel pretty good about what I did accomplish. The planning for next year begins now. And October 11, my next 200k Permanent and part of my longer term training plan, is coming soon.

Keep it in your dreams, then plan for it,