Friday, May 28, 2010


A swirl of thoughts have taken over the somewhat dense and malformed space between my ears.
Pre race anxiety is one thing. Pre-peaking, training for since January, ‘A’ Race anxiety is an entirely different animal. I think it first clicks for me when you see the event occupy a space on the training calendar. For me this was 3 weeks ago when my coach blocked out the space in TrainingPeaks for the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Then as it gets closer, the training itself changes to allow for the peak. The hours and volume drop steadily. The efforts become shorter but sharper. A 90 minute ride becomes a long session. It just feels different. These changes foster the anxiety.
Anxiety allows for negative self talk to creep in… What if I don’t do well? What if I crash out? What if my bike breaks? What about my equipment choices, are they good for the course? Will the “I don’t have to work for a living” Pros murder me? Will my wife kill me for being a biggity bitch? These things, along with others are on a constant loop. As cyclists we all have different approaches to handling the bad. While I can mitigate many of my pre race questions by way of action, some things are just beyond your control.
Then there’s the good stuff, the reasons why you ride bikes in the first place. The “imaginary stage win” after hammering through an interval where you sit up and feel like throwing your arms after completing a set, and maybe even do it… if nobody’s looking.
There’s the feeling when you rip through a difficult section you probably should have not cleaned, like last Sunday in the rain at the Wiss.
There’s the confidence as you analyze countless power files to track progress and quantify the sensations you are feeling in the legs.
Watching the little blue line that represents fitness in the analysis software inch steadily skyward.
This race is admittedly a bit strange to me. I have this theory I would make a good stage racer. My top end is good, but sometimes I have yet to prove I can match the top guys consistently in 2 hour XC races. My handling skills are ok, but nothing compared to the guys with DH background. Where I think I can shine are days 4 through 7. I have proven in my training to be able to stomp out the efforts consistently over the course of a large training block. I am counting on the theory to lead to a good result. Maybe I’m not the fastest guy early on… but come the awkward middle… I hope to be shining. I look forward to day 5 more than the last 100 meters of day 7.
I will post some stuff on here as the down time at the race permits. Till then... Here we go.

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