RAAM race start for team riders is 20 days from today. We have been so busy training, haven’t even had the time to blog. It is hard to believe that in less than three weeks we will be at the start in Oceanside. Something Ann and I have been planning for 2 years and have been hard at work with Amy and Dina for the past year.
I look at my teammates and I see lean, fit, hardworking athletes. I think all of us have reached a level of fitness beyond what we have ever achieved before. We have ridden at dawn, we have ridden at night, we have ridden in the heat, we have ridden in the cold (not without lots of complaining from yours truly – yes, I am a wee bit wimpy on the cold thing), we have ridden indoors, outdoors, with watts, without watts. We have raced and raced and raced some more. We have trained on very little sleep and we have rested. We are physically ready to accept this challenge.
However, as ready as we are there are so many unknowns out there. The weather is completely out of our control. The prediction in the Farmers Almanac is not a pretty one. Of course as soon as I Googled the Farmers Almanac, I Googled how accurate the weather predictions really are in the Farmers Almanac. One source said it was 2% better than guessing. I am ok with that, actually. We are all guessing throughout this entire race. Another huge unknown is navigating 3000 miles without getting lost. We have assembled a crack crew who are so dedicated to us and our success it is a little bit scary. They have researched maps, poured over Google earth, talked to past crew chiefs and members and explored every angle and scenario that could take place during the race. And yet, there still is the scenario we haven’t counted on. That is the one that is sure to happen, right?
This sort of thing can teach a self a lot about that same self. I like all my ducks in a row. Checked and rechecked. Dotted I’s and crossed T’s – all that stuff. Well, guess what? I can’t do that in RAAM. I have to be, heaven help me, flexible. Might as well make me pedal over Wolf Creek Pass blindfolded. I don’t do flexible. I do perfect planning much better. So, am I waking up a 2 am most days pondering details and feeling I should be on my bike instead of in bed? Oh yes. In fact, I bought a new pillow today hoping maybe that will help the tossing and turning. I also bought a new purse at the same time which has separate compartments for everything in an organized and compulsive way. The yin and the yang are always available at TJMaxx, if you are wondering.
Adventure is waiting. I am guessing that even more learning will take place. I am positive that the outcome will be more on the positive side than the negative. We all hope to emerge with a deeper understanding of ourselves, of each other, of human nature and of our gorgeous country as we explore the grandeur and the beauty from of all unlikely places, a bicycle.