Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How Low Can I Go?

I must admit I have been keeping a very keen eye on the weather in International Falls, MN. "The Icebox of the Nation" is the starting line for this year's Arrowhead 135 and as we have all been well (over)-informed there is a massive cold blast invading the midwest. The temperatures are rising a bit now, and if the race were this week, I could not ask for better conditions. Between 0 and 10F is my wish and I have to admit, that although rooms are reserved and my support people are ready to help drive and pick me up from Fortune Bay, I found myself setting -15F as my lower limit to race. I am confident at temps above that, but seeing the windchill last week made me just laugh. My gear needs a serious upgrade to keep me alive at -44F (windchill factored in). And we all know that is not financially possible in less than three weeks....

So, I pound away in the gym, on trails and on the trainer, silently hoping the forecast warms just a bit, posing to myself the question I would rather pedal away than answer: If I see -20F's forecast for Jan 27-28, what is Plan B?

How low can you go?

*A bit of a different style in my blog will probably stick around for a bit. Time constraints and my self-imposed Project: Disconnect (no internet in my house since November 1, only scheduled, productive coffee shop wifi-pirating) have dictated a temporary change to shorter, and a hopefully more frequent series of posts. Look for the PD blog. Good things since disconnecting a bit!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome that you're racing the Arrowhead again this year. Although the weather is impossible to guess, especially in the climate change era, most years of the Arrowhead have dropped into the -20s at night, often -30s. Best to go prepared. :) You don't need expensive gear to deal with colder temps — really, just adding a vapor barrier to feet (bread bags if you must) and an extra insulation layer can go a long way. My friend from California is racing this year on foot. Someday I'll head out that way to check out the Arrowhead trail, definitely not on foot. Good luck!