I’m nervous. Not nervous about finishing (or not), nervous about not doing the best I possibly could. I haven’t been this nervous leading into a race in quite a few years. It’s because I know I have not done everything possible to prepare. There are always things out of one’s control in any race, but I typically try to minimize those things. To say this last 6 weeks have been atypical would be an understatement. Here’s the thing though, when I toe that line Friday morning to head off on a 300 mile trek through central Florida, I have to put all that away and just do what I do.
The race profile looks rugged until you notice that those big peaks are only 150 foot climbs. The real challenge will be the wind, the sand, the way-finding, and of course nutrition. The NWS says the wind may not be a factor and with all the battles I’ve had with the wind in the last month, I’m less worried about it. I know how to meter out my efforts if it is an issue. The sand is what it is. Usually March is not too bad, there is enough rain and cooler temps to keep the sand packed down. I also have a lot of experience riding in Florida’s deep sand, though the extra weight from my gear will not help. The sand is what it is and will be for everyone. Way-finding and nutrition are the two areas I would have liked to have more time to work out. Thankfully the group racing this year has been very open in sharing where water sources and store stops are. I would usually do my own homework, but then again I usually race this type of thing in my own backyard where I have reconned such things. I’ll have to rely on info from other’s and keep my phone handy which is loaded with beta other racers have shared. Still, I feel like I stand to lose the most time from the latter two and it worries me.
I nearly missed the start and it’s only Tuesday. Until yesterday I was thinking we were starting on Saturday morning. We start Friday morning. That would have been embarrassing. Though I suppose I could do the ITT thing any time. That’s how unfocused I’ve been though. So much going on in life and so precious little time to put toward racing right now. As it is I’m using this trip to visit shops on behalf of Ergon, so there’s a lot more logistics than just show up, race, go home.
One thing I can count on is the months/years of focusing on my pedaling styles. The long haul efficiency is my forte, not that I have rested on my laurels. I’ve been working, refining and improving my pedaling all winter and I don’t need great fitness or perfect race prep for a strong and efficient stroke. If it comes to a sprint finish I may be in trouble.
Thursday, before I leave for FL, I have to drop Jackson off for chemo and an ultra sound. This will be the test to see if the chemo is working or not and what the following course of action will be. I hate to be away from home when this news comes in. Go or bad, I’d like to be there to give Namrita a hug.
Well enough rambling, I need to go pack and such. Much like the TNGA, all the racers will be wearing a Spot Tracker GPS transponder so you’ll be able to follow the action on the Trackleaders website. We start at 7:00 AM on Friday and I hope to be finished in less than 24 hours. Wish me luck.