Friday, October 9, 2009

Calm Before The Storm

That’s the best way to describe today. The Tree Shaker is tomorrow morning, and of course I expected a little nervousness. Today however, feels a little different. I woke up today with a fresh haircut from the night before, shaved, put on my fancy work duds, and headed out the door. There was a weird feeling in the air, and I’m not talking about the weather. It’s a typical beginning of fall day here in North Carolina, but the weather wasn’t on my mind. And I didn’t wake up thinking about the Tree Shaker either. It seemed like a normal day until I pulled out of my driveway. Traffic wasn’t as bad, and it actually seemed like there were less people milling about, for a Friday anyway. Health-wise, I feel fine and ready to race. There aren’t too many daunting tasks waiting for me at work, save for a small project after lunch. So why do I feel different? As I tried to comprehend the madness, I turned on my radio, and relied on my usual 80’s musical therapy. That didn’t seem to do the trick, because they were playing really crappy music, well at least crappier than normal 80’s music. Even James Brown’s “Living in America” didn’t do anything for me. Tomorrow morning will be different music-wise, as I plan on some good ol’ rock n’ roll to help me get “in the racing mood.” It’s nice to have some sort of soundtrack in my head that’s conducive to mountain bike racing. I’ve had some weird shit in my head for past races, that’s for sure.

Last night was “game night” in my house, so there was no cycling whatsoever. We play the usual board games like Clue, Life, Uno, etc. I enjoy game night, as it’s a nice break from all of the monotony of daily life. I wasn’t planning on riding anyway, since I’m letting my body taper off to be in prime racing form. I’ll find out tomorrow if this is the proper strategy. Tonight will be a night full of preparation for my first endurance race. I have to pack up all of my crap minus the bike and the beer (that goes in tomorrow morning), and I already have a feeling that I will forget something important (like the beer.) Water bottles, the tent, helmet, shoes, and gloves are the basic items I’ll pack, along with some other things that aren’t really worth mentioning (did I mention beer?). I no longer doubt my ability to race and finish a 12 hour event, but I am unsure if my preparations are sufficient. We shall see, I guess.

So, tomorrow is the big day, yay! Team Suffering is about as ready as an inexperienced team can be. We are on uncharted territory, and I kind of like it. In a world full of schedules, timeframes, and deadlines, it feels good to embrace a little chaos. There must be something wrong with me. When the race starts tomorrow, I hope to channel all of this confusion into some spectacular riding. The goal is to finish, and that seems doable. We are competitors however, so I can see us all putting in a huge effort for a podium finish. Now all we need are some cheerleaders in our pit area.

"Goooooooooooo Team Suffering!"

Full race report next week if I am alive when it’s over.


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