Rock and Roll

That could so easily be another race name for Growler. You're either playing on some huge rocks or rolling thru endless miles of sage. It's a hard day on the bike, and that just for the first lap. I'm nervous but confident about the sections of trail we've ridden so far. There are things that I can clean and some things that make me a little nervous. It's remembering all the lines, the speed and power needed for the rocks that's going to be hard. Josie's and Gateway have the hardest stuff for me - I haven't ridden either one clean yet. Rattlesnake? As long as I remember the lines, I'm good - those rocks are super fun. Everything else is a matter of remembering timing and lines to make it thru smoothly. Except for the great unknown south of Powerline.  Last year when Nick and I headed to Gunnison, we knew the entire course, having timed our pre-ride for after everything south of Powerline opened. Not this year - we went out early and weren't able to ride the southern most trails. I'm excited about having something new, but a little worried. It's the mystery of the unknown and having to pick my own lines at race pace that has me scared. I don't remember much of those trails, just that the descent into Skull Pass (which we will be climbing this year) was tricky and that OutBack had lots of little power moves. But that was in the other direction. How different will it look this way? My first time seeing it will be Sunday, halfway thru my first lap. And then I get just one more chance to get it right, on tired legs on my second lap. Should be fun!

I know I'm ready for the race. Despite the knee issue (and a few other niggles that seem to be appearing) I've done the training I've needed to. Both physically and technically so I can handle the length of the race and the terrain. I learned long ago with my marathons that two weeks before and the week of the race are not the time to be crash training. It might feel like I'm getting slow and sluggish but throw in some hard efforts and the reality is all too plain. After weeks of riding hard, it does feel strange to just go pedal around. That doesn't settle the mind, but I have to be smarter. The hay is in the barn - all the work that matters has been done. The panic workouts just decrease the effectiveness of all the prior training by piling on fatigue. There will be no "testing the knee" or making sure the Achilles is happy. What happens on race day will happen - regardless of what I do today. I can either lessen the chances of something happening or hasten the pain. But this lazing around is starting to drive me nuts...

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