Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The deep breath before the plunge

     I am afraid, excited and afraid. I am three days away from the AML and I started developing a sore throat Sunday night. It's no worse today but it is still there. I haven't done any serious riding for more than a week. My sleep system is still not done which means I'll be field testing it during the ride. At least it's not supposed to rain so maybe it won't be too bad. And last but not least, my back has started tightening up. Any cyclist knows how deadly this is as the back is the plane off of which your hips and legs generate their power. Any loss of suppleness correlates to a loss of power. I visited my chiropractor yesterday but the adjustment did little to address the root problem. At this point, stretching is all I can do.

     This whole build-up reminds me of the 1992 Duathlon World Championships. I raced the qualifier on a whim with almost no training though I was much more active than I have been over the last few years, and rarely did I weigh more than 190 pounds. I ended up 13th overall, and 2nd in my age group which got me an invite to the World's. One week before leaving for Germany I caught some kind of living death from a classmate, but I still went, and I still raced. I survived. That's all. All week I woke up in a pool of sweat, and the only thing I could keep down was water. I survived.

     So that's what I need to do here; survive. I have let go of all expectations. Let's be clear; I needed to do this anyhow. The stupidest thing I could have done was line up on the starting line with a finishing time in mind. So many things are going to happen that I am likely not prepared for that adding another requirement (because that's how my mind will view it) will only serve to wreck whatever positive mental attitude I have. Yes, letting go of some baseless goal was necessary, I just wish I didn't have to get sick to do it.

     The race is still 90% likely for me. The potential severity of the cold has me a little unsure of how I should proceed. I have to consider the possibility of getting walloped by this thing on Friday night after I've spent the day draining my energy and compromising my immune system. I cannot be wiped out 150 miles from my car with no transportation other than my bike. Or maybe I can. This whole adventure is an exercise outside of my comfort zone. Just how far outside I go is a question still to be answered.

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