Thursday, August 26, 2010
Breck Epic Pre-Blog, Too Hot For Rodale?
This was my Breck Epic Pre-Race post, for whatever reason it didn't go up, so here it is...BAM!
You ever seen that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Total Recall? You know the part where Arnold gets violently ejected from the underground mines or whatever and finds himself rolling down a hillside, gasping for breath in the oxygen-free atmosphere of Mars — his tongue is hanging out, lolling all around, and his eyes are all bugged way out of his head like they’re going to explode, but then luckily, the oxygen making machine turns on and converts the atmosphere just in time to save him? That’s how I feel right now, only there ain’t no oxygen making machine here in Breckenridge to save me. There are several beer making machines, and there is an Oxygen bar, but I don’t think either of those things will be of much help. I’m a lowly sea level dweller, and I’m here in Breckenridge for the Breck Epic, a six day mountain bike stage race covering 240 miles of rugged terrain with 37,000 feet of elevation gain. Like my buddy Jeff from Denver said to me, “It’s not actually that hard, it would be an easy race...at seal level.” Yes, and fighting Tyson in the eighties wouldn’t have been hard either, it would’ve been an easy fight...if you had a gun.
I’ve been here in Breckenridge for three days and each time I found myself forgetting my name after bending over to buckle my shoe, mouth-breathing audibly while brushing my teeth, or doubled-over at the top of the stairs, feeling like I was trying to suck an orange through a cocktail straw, I told myself that I was experiencing the worst of it, that it would only get better. But I was wrong. Tonight on the way back to the hotel I was wheezing like James Gandolfini jumping rope on top of Mt. Everest. And, for good measure, I made sure to acquire a mean sun burn today. I didn’t think I needed to apply sunblock...to eat lunch at an outdoor patio. At this rate, by the end of this event, I am going to look like a cross between a piece of luggage, an alligator, and Keith Richards. I’m screwed, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say, in so many lame analogies.
One defense mechanism I employ when entering a situation as hopeless as this, is ignorance. I know almost nothing about what I’ve gotten myself into here. Here’s how I see it: if someone told you that you were going to be killed by an axe murderer on a particular evening and there was nothing you could possibly do about it, would you really want to know the specific details — How tall is this axe-wielding-maniac? Does he have bad breath? How many times, exactly, will he hack and chop me? I don’t know, maybe you’d like to know those things, maybe you also like to pay homeless men to eat handfuls of mayonnaise with their mouths open while you sit and watch...hey, whatever floats your crazy train. Me, I’d prefer to lie in bed until I was — whack! — totally-freaking-decapitated. It would be less horrible that way, I think. I know this race is going to painful. I am sure the climbing is going to suck a maximum. I am positive that I will be more tired, hurt, bombed out, and depleted than I have ever been in my life...why stress myself out with the details?