Saturday, September 14, 2013
I feel pressed once September arrives. I suppose it’s from years of conditioning that it’s knuckle down back-to-school time after wonderful free and breezy summer vacation. For the last few years it has been the month after ‘the Ontario Cup season’ , time to look at the good and the bad and set goals for the next year, and also the time I’ve been training for, an annual ‘big event’.
In 2009 and 2010 that big event was the Tahoe100, a fabulously, outrageously challenging, 100 mile race in the Sierra Tahoe mountains. 2011 saw my main event of the season, the BC Bike Race, in July and so by September I was all recovered and chipper and eager to start training for 2012. Which was a good year. That year, I went back to a September event, the Pisgah Stage Race, a 5 day stage race in the Pisgah Forest of western North Carolina, an even bigger challenge than anything I'd tackled before check out the youtube videos from last year. When I finished, I decided I would for sure return for 2013 but compete as a solo.
So now it’s September 2013 and I’m here!! The race is next week...so much has happened this past year in my little world to interrupt consistent training that I really wonder if I am ready for this but that is the real test, isn’t it? : to go ahead and perform and ‘do your best’ in the given circumstances. From the shorter events that I supported the Bettys at this season, the couple of Canada Cups, and a couple of marathons and a 50miler I entered this season, I know that it is a rare day when everything goes perfectly and on those days you are shocked at how smoothly it all happens, the rest of the time you must ‘do your best’ in the face of the challenges that show up. Like Mari-Ann this season, one of our new racers , who came out to three races, and it was only the third one that she had a chance to complete without a mechanical. Or Lisa who had had quite a few races go very well during the season only to have her last event of the series spoiled by a mechanical, or at the 50 miler when the drink I'd been using and enjoying for 2 years suddenly didn't agree with me anymore.
The great thing about amateur events is that all comers are welcome and there are so many to choose from that there is always another chance to try to make it all go smoothly. Each event teaches you another little something that might help next time, there are so many 'little somethings' to consider, in addition to the actual training in the months leading up the event, that it really is a many year proposition to try and get it right. So this is year 5 in my 10 year plan. Wish me luck!