June 25, 2010

Getting Lost, On the Picketts Course

Two days ago, on Wednesday, I had the choice. Pre-ride the Picketts course once again or do a solid workout in town. This week is pretty much all rest and recovery, after the Test of Endurance, and I had already ridden the course once this week… so I opted for the workout in town (which, by the way, kicked my butt).

 Skyliners was full of cyclists, preparing for Thursday’s Road Nationals Time Trail. Normally I feel confident and strong as I work through the day’s efforts – but instead I felt like a real recreationalist; on a hybrid bike, wearing cut off jeans and Chuck Taylors; getting passed by junior boys in matching kits, riding matching bikes, wearing shoe covers and coordinating socks. I quickly got over it.  I turned on my iPod; enjoyed the sunshine and intermittent rain showers and between leg-burning, lung-gasping efforts, thought about the weekend ahead.

Friday night – Northwest Crossing Crit; part of the Hullaballo
Sunday – Picketts Charge

Friday would be a good workout, Sunday would be a “A” race; the last race in the XC Oregon Mountain Bike Series and Sunnyside’s Race – my stomach started turning over…. Don’t get nervous yet, it is still days away.
Wednesday night I went to sleep, only to wake abruptly by a dream – or perhaps a nightmare. I got lost during Picketts Charge. Now, if you have ridden the course or even looked at a course map, you know that there are no turns in the race, it is a big circle. But, somehow I managed to get lost. I went back to sleep and had the same dream all over again.

Thursday morning I could think of nothing except getting lost. Should I have ridden the course the day before? Was this a sign of things to come? Maybe I should skip my rest day and pre-ride just one more time.

Crazy the messed up things your mind does to you when you are full of so much pre-race energy. You can take that energy and turn it into whatever you want. You can get nervous or you can get excited. My tendency is to get nervous, it is easier; but just like training, you can learn to turn that nervousness into excitement. This weekend, that is my goal.