Someone posted a comment asking if I was getting nervous. I wouldn't say I'm getting so much nervous as I am anxious. I'm confident I'll be able to finish in a decent time but it will take all I have (and then some) to make it to the podium. Here's some things I think I have going for me this time around vs. 2007:
- A strong team. In '07 it was just Kevan and me in one of the citizen categories. We were there just to finish. For most of the 206 miles, it was just he and I trading off pulling duties. This year we have 5 strong riders all there to make sure things are run smoothly. Not to mention, on our start list it looks as though there are about 4 or 5 teams with 5 - 7 guys. That means more riders to pull through (hopefully).
- Equipment. My ride this years is about 3 pounds lighter and more aero that '07. Back then I was on an aluminum Lemond Tourmalet with heavy components and wheels. This year I have my 15.98 lb Mercury with a 50 mm wheel up front and a 58 mm wheel in back. This light and stiff package should give me a few more available watts as we head to JH.
-Training. I had only been riding a year, and only really training for 6 months prior to my first effort at LOTOJA. Its been 3 years now and each year I have been more focused and scientific about my training. I'm a full 10 lbs lighter than I was in '07. I was 175 at my weekly weigh in this morning.
-Experience. Hopefully I've learned from all this racing I've done.
-Racing vs. riding. '07 was all about finishing. This time its about finishing well.
I am also turning much of my attention to the mental game. If I can get it in my head that I won;t get dropped on the climbs then it just may happen. That mindset has worked in a few races this year. I just need to carry that for two gigantic climbs and hold on for the rest. Maybe, just maybe I'll be there at the end to contend. Lets really see if its mind over matter. To that end, I'm actually going to leave my HR strap at home. I don't want the computer telling me I'm at my limit, I want to just race and find my limits on my own.
This week is important. I remember tapering for swimming and would just veg. I'd go to the pool after school, do some sprints and slow laps but wasn't in the water for more than 45 minutes. Last week and this, I'm taking a similar approach.
I'll get out tomorrow for about 2.5 hours, maybe get my HR up for a few moments but mostly its about spinning. Tuesday I'm going to sleep and get out for 1 hour of tempo on Wednesday. Thursday will be an easy hour then openers on Friday morning.
I'll check in during this week with things I'm doing for my diet. I want to feel fresh Saturday morning and how I eat, sleep and ride this week will determine that.