Since watching a friend line up for the L.A. Marathon, I've said: This isn't the starting line. The outcome of this race was decided weeks ago. This is the finish line. Everyone's just here to see how their training turned out.
I know lots of people find that thought discouraging. They feel like the day is then out of their control.
I look at it the other way: the preparation is no longer my problem. I've done the work. Nothing left to do but go.
Nothing left to do but rest up, stay loose, and ride hard on Saturday morning.
I had a great intro to racing last year as a Beginner. This year I'm stepping up to Sport, and I'm expecting an education in how strong I am not.
My official race goal is simply to ride well for me, set PRs on Cholla and Mathis, and ride Rock-It in smooth, controlled fashion.
My stretch goal is to finish mid-pack.
And it may sound strange, but I want to stay mentally clear enough to know my position at all times. We'll call this my "mental goal."
- Don't go out too hot. Arrive at the bottom of Cholla at ~160 BPM, settle into the climb before pushing too hard.
- Use Cholla to establish a mid-pack position.
- Rip down Rock-It, smooth & steady on the rock garden.
- Anticipate the "Coyote Hump", walk if I need to.
- Start Mathis easy, push the pace after the first 100m. Solidify mid-pack position.
- Rip Rock-It again, steady through the rock garden again.
- EMPTY THE TANK GO GO GO
I'm going to make sure I get a good warm-up. 20 minutes of steady, easy pedalling.
This will be a bit longer than past races, and longer than most of my training rides. So I'll put Skratch in my bottle to keep me fueled.
And that's about it. I'll do another ride or two this week to keep the legs loose, but the focus is really to rest up and hit the starging line on Saturday rested & ready.