Breck musings...

Less then three days - then it's time to toe the line, gaze up at the mountains, realizing that I will be riding my bike over two high alpine passes (one of them twice!), down some fun single track and across rocky flume trails. The usual doubts keep creeping into my mind - have I done enough, trained hard enough? Has my taper been good enough? Will the altitude take a toll on me? How will I handle the inevitable dark patches and mental drains that have as much effect on a distance race as a mechanical? All of these questions and more will be answered on the course. Three laps, 100 miles. Of course, I wouldn't a normal athlete if I didn't have the doubt in the back of my mind prior to this undertaking. That's what separates the field - how well you can handle the doubt.

But looking at the Breck 100 as one big race - one 100 mile day in the saddle is the best way to fail from the start. It's supposedly one of the hardest 100 mile races because of the altitude, amount of technical single track and the climbing. I seem to like picking the hardest events to cut my teeth at... It's too big to try and wrap my head around from the gun. So each lap must become a benchmark, with added little steps to keep the motivation high. Lap 1 - to the west. Up and over wheeler pass, down to Copper, around the 10 mile range to Frisco, then back up to Breck and Carter Park. Ride smart, ride safe and conquer each little segment. Lap 2 - to the east. The hardest lap - up to Sallie Barber Mine, up Little French Creek, down to Swan River, up and up on the Colorado Trail, then down the back side, thru the gold run neighborhood with another long climb, then down into Wellington and once again back to Carter Park. Time to start racing, but still riding smart. There's a long way to go... Lap 3 - to the south. Across the Blue River trail, up Indian Creek, up to Boreas Pass, down Gold Dust all the way to Como, back up to Boreas pass, then the final push for home on Banker's Tank. And now the faster 68 racers will start catching me. Use them if you can, but don't blow up. But the goal is to finish with nothing left...

Yes, I've done the training - the hours on the bike, the long climbs and the intervals. Coach Adam has guided me through the training stress, coaxed me to take recovery days, listened to me whine about poor workouts when I'm beat up and generally turned me into a bike racer. Nick has chaperoned me on boringly hard rides, dirt road explorations, climbing sufferfests and the like. He's also painstakingly taken care of all my equipment so I have that much less to worry about. So I'm ready to race - ready to take the test of my first 100 mile mountain bike race. There is nothing left to do - but get on my bike and start pedaling at 6:00 am on Sunday!

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