The official pre-ride of the Oaks race course on Saturday morning was awesome. Great people, a great course, and perfect trail conditions made for lots of smiles. I think everyone had a great time.
And the pre-ride clarified my thinking.
I originally registered for the Sport Men (30-39) category. And judging by last year's results, I might have the fitness to finish at the back of the pack in that category. But I'm not sure I have the skills to roll with the Sport class.
The pace on the pre-ride was comfortable, and I felt like I could hammer out a second loop, but I wasn't sure it sounded like fun.
And today I did a 14-mile lunchtime loop with about 1,100 ft. of climbing, and that definitely felt like enough. I didn't have much gas left in the tank after that. So one lap at race pace is enough, and skipping the gnarly downhill sounds great.
So I emailed the folks at Non Dot and asked them to move me into Beginner Men (30-39), and we'll see how I do.
I knew it was the right call as soon as I sent the email. My whole mindset went from let's see how this goes to this is gonna be fun! The anxiety about the Ridgeline descent is gone, and now there are strategic thoughts running around my head.
The plan is to just survive the short climb up Goat, then push the pace up Bumble Bee and the fire road. I'll have a moment to breathe on the way down Yucca Ridge, then it's time to kick ass up Coachwhip. If I hit the top in good shape, I shouldn't do too badly.
I'm also sure that this is everyone's plan.
So, as ever, my goal is simply to finish generally with the pack. My stretch goal is not to finish last.
But I couldn't help myself. I set a goal on Strava to finish the course in under 50:00. I think I can manage it.