Arrowhead 135 – By the Numbers

Well, the Arrowhead 135 has come and gone.  Even though my legs have bounced back nicely from the race in the 7 days that have passed since I finally stopped pedaling, I’m still recovering from all of the associated hassles of trying to do mini-expeditions like this without taking too much time off from work.  Minnesota was everything I remembered it to be except cold.  Despite having nice cool negative single digit weather the day before the race, the temperatures at the start were around 10 or so and only warmed up from there.  I didn’t exactly get the cold weather test I was hoping for, but it still beats the 85 degree temps we had here in Socal the day before I left.

Overall I was quite pleased with my race.  Sure my pace was relatively mediocre and good for only 37th place, but I reduced my time from 2010 by almost a full hour down to 35 hours and 26 minutes and finished as top Californian (ok, I was the only Californian in the bike division).  More importantly, after I finished I felt as if I could keep riding for a few more days.  I consider that to be a good sign as I look forward to the Iditarod in less than 3 weeks.  I also reduced the time I wasted at the checkpoints significantly from two years ago, especially at the halfway point of Melgeorges. 

One worrisome statistic however.  Somehow I lost over 4 hours in the sector leaving the halfway point even though I was faster on every other part of the course.  The racer in me could chalk it up to having to deal with soft, fresh snow and relatively warm conditions, but it still bugs me to know I could have been much faster had I not lost so much time in the night.  I’m still unsure exactly what transpired during that segment of time and space, it’s like a dream to me as I try to recall the hours. But something important resulted from that trip down the snowshoe hare hole: I rediscovered why I continue to do these events.

Until I find the words (and the time) to fill those Lost Hours, consider me to be Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening….

P.S. I think the Frost (and the frost I had on my camera lens, you can see it on the fringes of the frame) fits this photo pretty well, don’t you think?

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