the countdown has arrived

actually it’s been going on a long time. too long. i’m at the point where i’m ancy. over the wait and just ready to be at it. it’s a bit scary to think how much i’ve prepped for this one race. yeah, i’ve done bigger/longer stuff, so 12 hours should be totally doable. but all the unknowns just make the butterflies chase eachother: altitude. weather. the crowd factor (riding the course with 3 people is much different than 700+.)

altitude. during my training trip out here 1 month ago (yeah, that one i took that i never wrote about here – oops. check out pics here.), the altitude had minimal effects on me. no headache, no nausea, no extreme fatigue. not to say it didn’t tire me out some – i certainly felt it, especially on some tougher sections where my exertion level would shoot up. i’ll need to be careful there, as it seemed to kick in my asthma a bit. (my plan is to get off my bike and walk a few sections and save my breath, rather than try to muscle up it, lose all my breath, and be on the side of the trail slumped over trying to find oxygen). 
there’s all kinds of theories on acclimatization. 3-4 weeks minimum. go the day before and surprise your body. day 4 is the worse. do this, that, etc. sure, let’s quit our jobs and just move out a month before so we can be ready. but seeing as how that’s not possible, we just have to make a decision. i flew out to steamboat on the 1st (to see my friends during the relay), where i’ve been doing the taper thing all week around 6800′. i’ll have 7 days at this elevation, then driving up to leadville (10,200′) friday morning. last minute. who knows if this will be the right decision. just gotta go with it and believe you’ll be ok. sure, i felt ok during the training trip, but what works one time won’t necessarily work the next. fingers crossed and i’ll continue to hydrate and rest lots. (so far i’ve been feeling good, although some light arrhythmia today. nerves?)
weather. mother nature is always the big unknown. amanda said they’ve been getting showers every afternoon. sure, no problem. maybe it will even make the ground a bit tackier (the elevation gain/loss on the course didn’t seem to be a problem during the pre-ride, but rather the dryness and looseness of the terrain. quite unlike anything back east!) then today the weather says flash flood warnings out there. oh joy. well, i hope it just gets out of her system and we’re left with dry skies; then i can deal with the temperature change more easily. right now, the highs are in the mid-60s and lows right around 40. sounds nearly perfect! the descent off columbine will be a kicker though – that will be around 6 hrs in, topping out at 12,500′. sleet/snow/hail here are not uncommon. 
crowds: sure, any race gets crowded at the start. but take 700+ people and one nasty climb up st. kevins… and what was a challenging climb before becomes even more so when you can’t pick your line but are left to whatever your are forced to take in front of you. yeah, that’s going to be fun. not. then the start line itself. i’ll want a good starting position so that i’m not stuck too close to the back – when i’m going to be fighting to make the time cutoffs, the pack-of-the-packers are certainly at a disadvantage and i don’t need any wasted minutes. at the same time, since i know i’m not going for the gold buckle, i don’t want to be too close to the front and be “one of them”… you know, those annoyingly slow people ahead of you in races that leave you cursing them as you desperately fight your way around.
so those are my thoughts right now. at least the ones that are clear enough to write down, as a zillion things are flying through my head. i’m tired of thinking about it, of talking about it. (sorry if you’ve tried to chat with me and i’ve been in la la land). now to try and get some quality sleep. 

Comments

One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. I’m so excited for you! You’ve worked so hard, now go and have fun.

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