The training is going really well, and after getting sick in early January, I am finally feeling strong and healthy again! And not a minute too soon since the race is just two weeks away!
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. But for the most part, I've been a bit relaxed about the whole thing. Almost too relaxed. Almost in denial that the time has come. And certainly disappointed that I will be on that start line alone and without John.
It's a strange thing how setting goals months in advance gives you this sense that you can do ANYthing. And then the event approaches and you realize it's just you as you are and you have done what you have done and your time has run out to achieve anything more. There is an acceptance that happens in the week or two leading up to the start. And that's where I am right now.
One thing that occurred to me today that really put things in perspective...
I'm on day three of three relatively hard rides. Sunday was an easy 45min spin, followed by indoor training:
Monday - 45km/90min with some heavy gear intervals
Tuesday - 51km/90min of medium intensity endurance training which I found really hard with long intervals and no easy spinning/recovery for the entire session (much harder than I anticipated!)
Today - 36km/70min sweet spot ramp up intervals
Leaving work today, I was feeling pretty good but when I got home, the couch was calling my name. I made myself a cup of tea and told myself I'd chill for an hour and then head to the trainer. I was feeling pretty lethargic after the tea but managed to get myself up the stairs to put on my kit. Once I clicked my heart rate monitor around my chest, I was ready to go.
It did not escape me, however, that I was feeling fairly fatigued on day three of some relatively short training sessions. Bear in mind that in two weeks, I will be riding a minimum of 200km a day with elevations that I have never experienced in a country I am unfamiliar with, sleeping on the roadside, not having any of the comforts of home, finding food and water, and relying solely on myself for everything from navigation to motivation. This really contextualizes the magnitude of this challenge for me at the moment!
Of course, during the race, I won't be working a full-time job and having to maintain a home, look after cats, and keep up with the endless to-do list of day-to-day life that can feel so exhausting at times.
This is perhaps what attracts me to this type of race. It's just me and my bike for 1000km. Stripping away the extraneous layers of life to reveal what I am made of. When choices become more about survival than the superfluous, less about mindless distractions and more focus and mindfulness, less relationships and more introspection and facing my own fears. There is so much to learn to then bring back into the day to day, the relationships, the living of life.
And that's where I'm at just two weeks out from Bikingman-Oman.