Last year I decided to attempt to Everest on my bike. I wrote approximately one million words on every detail about it HERE, so I won’t rehash that all again.
Suffice it to say that after the attempt I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again, but I also wasn’t sure that I didn’t.
Fast forward a few months: The folks who put on my BaseCamp training program this winter are also the same folks who partially got me started on this Everesting journey through the #GiddyUpForGood challenge. Rebecca Rusch put the event on last Memorial Day weekend, and at the last second I signed up to do a mini Everesting attempt on what would eventually be very close to my final Everesting segment I used later in the summer.
This year they are putting on the challenge again on Memorial Day weekend (which is the weekend after next as I write this), and several folks from the BaseCamp community are committed to Everesting. Everyone was so excited about it, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again. For a minute I was thinking I could do a gravel version (there are badges for different types of Everesting, and I am a total sucker for badges/gamification). But I ruled that out for a handful of reasons. Someone talked about doing a double, but I’ve always said folks who attempt doubles and triples are ridiculous.
So, for a while, the whole idea kinda just…simmered. Until one day, out of nowhere and while in the shower (obviously), I wondered whether a woman had successfully completed a triple Everesting. Turns out yes, one. A badass lady named Ana Orenz. Other than being the first woman to do a triple, I’m not sure anything else would get me to consider doing that.
But, for some bizarre reason, I suddenly had a newfound interest in doing a double. Yes, the thing I had said over and over was absurd. I know – but, WHY!? Why would you want to!? ?♀️ I don’t know. I just find it to be something that’s so fascinatingly challenging and so hard that I have NO idea if I could do it. I now know I can complete an Everest. Could I complete one every time I tried? No. Way too many things to go wrong. But I’m 100% confident I could do it again.
But a double!? That’s a serious ultra-endurance style event. Something that I think might take me ~36hours. The ‘official’ rules say you can sleep for up to two hours after you complete Everest #1 (and I plan to). But we’re still talking some 250mi (which is 100mi more than I’ve ever ridden in one go) and 58,000+ft of climbing (which is, of course, twice as much as I’ve ever done).
The stakes around nutrition, injury prevention, bike fit, clothing choice, timing, hydration, etc. all are so much higher. The mental determination needed is absolutely massive. Barring serious injury/illness (because no, this is not worth serious injury to me) so much of this is extreme mental fortitude.
So for the past eight weeks I’ve been working through a training plan, and running a fine line between training very hard and overtraining. Adding hours, adding intervals, and doing double days of biking – all in an attempt to prepare physically and mentally for this thing.
Unlike last year, I have a time window of four days in which I plan to pick 2 days to complete this. I’ll be looking for the best weather window, but with a morning start (to hopefully time the rest break to be in the wee hours of the night when you’re the most tired). I’m giving it one try. After that, I need a break and then I’ll switch to race training. So it goes, or it doesn’t. The weather will be good or it won’t. I’ll be up for it or not. I’m not going to stress about it too much. Which is not to say that I’m not going to try to absolutely everything to set myself up for success (want to see my spreadsheets and to-do lists?!). But given the number of things that could go wrong, I’m going to be okay with failure if I give it my all and it doesn’t go.
Even today I tweaked something in my achilles which I’m a bit concerned about. I’ve been trying new saddles and messing with bike fit, so not sure if that contributed? Either way, there’s just a lot of variables and things that could go wrong leading up to and on the day of the big attempt.
But, here it is. I’m putting it here that I’m going to try. We’ll see how it goes!