Tate and I have been together for 12-14 years (depending on when you start counting ). Back in the day we were immediately drawn to each other and soon discovered that we are very similar in many ways.
We also soon discovered our differences.
Exhibit A; this man is brave and tough and craves-no thrives on-adrenaline.
Me? Well, I’m happy to have my feet planted firmly on the ground and the kind of ‘rush’ I like is from riding my bike 12mph down a street or performing in front of a crowd.
Somehow everything works out, Tate inspires me but I don’t aspire to join him on his crazy athletic pursuits.
He does make me proud though. The man rode 100 MILES on a mountain bike through torrential rain on Sunday.
The Shenandoah Mountain 100 is a bad-ass mountain bike race in the hills of western Virginia. Tate has had his eyes on it for over a year but as summer rolled around he started to question his commitment. The course takes 7-16 hours to complete and Tate just wasn’t up for putting in the time it usually requires to train for that kind of endurance.
The key to that statement is ‘the time it usually requires’. So he didn’t really train, finally signed up for it a few days before, and killed it! The man is a machine.
9 hours and 33 minutes and still smiling.
(he did collapse off his bike just after this picture was snapped and request I grab him a beer while he proceeded to lie on the ground in a muddy pile for a little while )
The storms made the course more challenging than usual and Tate likened it to running through loose sand for 100 miles.
The most common question Tate’s received about the event is “What did you eat?”.
The race is very well run and includes a pre-race dinner (pasta), breakfast, aid stations along the course, and dinner upon your return. Oh yeah, and lots of local beer which lucky for me, Tate was not in the mood for so I took full advantage of his bottomless finishers pint glass .
He had coffee and a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, then throughout the race there was lots of Hammer gel, Gatorade, bananas, oranges, pringles, some pizza, and a couple granola bars. His recovery meal was a burger, some pasta salad, and fruit.
(Aside: Have you ever heard the story about how “ultramarathonman” Dean Karnazes will order a pizza while out on training runs and roll it up like a burrito to eat while on the go? Love me some pizza but that sounds kind of miserable to me!)
The thing that impresses me perhaps even more than his ability to do this type of event and do it really well is his ability to recover like a champ. He was “just a little sore” on Monday and by yesterday he was “fine” and rode his bike to work then played squash.
Hell of an athlete, that man is.