Saturday, April 9, 2016

Steens Mazama 1000

This is the sort of race that I knew I had to do from the moment I first heard about it.  First of all, there is no car support allowed.  This is a rule I can get behind. Second, and even more important, this looks way too hard for me.  So, I'll suck it up and actually train for this one.  A thousand mile loop, visiting the two highest points of Oregon, is no joke and I'd like to do it in style.  Plus, I'll get to sleep every night, which is more than randos can say.

When I described the event to my dad, he said he didn't understand why I'd want to do something so hard that is guaranteed to hurt.  "Why would anyone want to sign up for so much pain?" he said.  Normally very supportive, his feedback gave me pause. 

I used the pause to ask myself the same questions he'd asked me.  Why would I want to do this race?  Bragging rights?  No.  Ok, yes, but also the adventure of it.  The challenge.  The views.  Will it just be all pain all the time?  No.  Ok, maybe, but there'll be breaks between the pain and I'll cope with it. 

The bottom line is this: what if this is my last chance to do something like this?  What if all this global warming or political lunacy or an asteroid or earthquake end everything and I missed a chance to do something amazing?  I don't want to know, so I registered.

Since that moment of publicly committing to compete, it's pretty much all I think about.  I've put together a team of three, because I like riding with friends.  I taped a series of map pages on the wall with the route sharpied in.  I created a day plan.

Unfortunately, I also got sick.  And my knee's been weak.  But I won't let these things stop me, or even slow me down.  I'm still training.  I got a new fit on the bike.  I visited a physical therapist and have signed up for regular massages.  I'm doing it.


  1. Maria, that is just amazing! You're amazing!

    How long do you expect to need to finish?