Friday, July 31, 2009

Ready to Go

Last night I packed up all my gear, clothing, food and tools for the Soggy Bottom. I mapped out a plan for today and tomorrow, so that I don't forget anything and so that I eat and drink everything I need to at exactly the right times.

I put everything in separate bags labeled "Start", "Cooper Landing" and "Devil's" so that there would be no confusion at the checkpoints. I want to make it as easy as possible for myself at the transition areas for a few reasons.

The first reason is so that I don't have time to hang around and think about bailing. I'm just going to swap out my baggies full of food, fill up my Camelbak and bottle of perpetuem, put on or take off any clothes I feel need changing, lube the chain and get the F out of there. No time for chatting, no time to think about quitting, there is riding to be done.

The second reason is that I think it is going to take me a long time to ride this course and I don't have time to be lingering at the checkpoints. I want to try to make my transitions five minutes or less. One thing I found in the 12 hour race was that if I never stopped moving, I never wanted to stop moving. I guess Newton was on to something.

When I was out on the course I was happy to be there and when I was fueling up at the transition area, I wanted to be back out on the course. I tried to have happy thoughts about riding on that course so that I would want to be there. I need to do that tomorrow, when I'm out on the course convince myself that this is where I want to be (even if that's not true, like when I come down the Devil's Pass trail after having ridden over 70 miles and need to get back on the bike and ride back up to the Pass).

For these reasons, the only part of the course that I have been visualizing are the transitions. I picture myself relaxing at the start and not going out too fast. I picture myself turning around at Cooper Landing and feeling good. And finally I picture myself getting back on the bike at the Devil's trailhead and starting the climb back up to the pass with a smile on my face.

Well, I guess that's it. I have been fighting off a cold for a few days now. I spent three days in a yurt in Seward with my friend Laura who has been really sick. I have been taking Airborne, Echinacea, and eating immune boosting yogurt to fight it. This morning I woke up with the sniffles and a dry throat, but will continue to fight it away.

I work until 4pm and then will pack up the car and drive down to Hope. I am full of excitement and anxiety and I just want to start riding. The whole lead up to the race start will be the hardest part.

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