Just over an hour from now registration will open for Lumberjack 100. This is one of my favorite races; 100 miles of beautiful northern Michigan trails at the beginning of summer. However, this is the first time in three years that I won’t be signing up today.
This race usually sells out quickly so last year I signed up the day registration opened, but right around the time I was to start the training plan for it I decided that I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t face a third year of rigorously following a strict schedule of when and how to ride, so I sold my entry. I kept roughly following the long ride weekends of the training plan† because I liked how all the riding made me feel, but without the sense of obligation or goal.
My plan for the Lumberjack 100 weekend was instead to head up to the race, hang out, volunteer, and do a bunch of riding on my own in the area, with one lap mid-race to help out. Instead something clicked, I had a great spring without pressure, and when a couple weeks before the race a friend offered me an entry at a great price, I accepted. Not only did I finish the race, but I beat my previous time by more than an hour.
Good luck to everyone registering today — it’s a great event — but I once again don’t want the pressure. So, what happened last year will be my plan… Ride my bike, have fun, reserve a cabin in the area, and if closer to race day it sounds like I’m wanting to do the race, I’ll get a transfer and do it. If not, it’ll be a fun weekend of hanging out at one of the best races in Michigan.
† I’d been using the LW Coaching 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race – Finisher Plan which is comprised of shorter rides Tuesday – Thursday and then longer rides on Saturday and Sunday. I highly recommend this plan to anyone considering a 100 mile race, particularly Lumberjack 100. It does a great job of building lots of endurance. The most impressive thing I found about it was, post-training plan, the ability to go out on a five or six hour ride just for fun without it seeming like a serious, insurmountable effort.