The hardest part about a big race? The tapering - especially at home when the weathers nice. It's almost painful to see the lovely mornings and rain free afternoons and not be able to get out and have fun. It's been a few years since I've had an at home taper as well, making the jitters and antsieness associated with a taper ever worse. Before Enchanted Forest, it was easy - not only were we traveling, but then we were at the camp. Nothing to do but laze around and chill out. Perfect set up for a quality taper - get some pre rides done, but otherwise just relax. And now that I think about it, that's been the case for most of my big races, even back when I was doing triathlons. Travel before the race, a few short workouts to flush out the sitting and then - nothing. This feels different some how. I've got the taper going, coming off a few hard weeks and a good race at the 12 Hours in the Sage. Nothing I do now will provide more fitness for the ride coming Saturday. But I'm home - not chilling at a campground or lazing in a hotel. I'm home, torturing my old people, running around like a crazy nut trying to get things done. It's not the mentally stress free taper I've come to enjoy. Since I'm home, there's also the strong temptation to continue with my normal off season, between races training - which does not a taper make. I need to settle down, turn off my alarm and find some help at work so I'm not trying to do everything all at once. I haven't been very good about that.
But the taper means its time to do something I love doing - eating! With a ride this big, I'm enjoying being able to eat more the usual. It's harder - when I was running, I could scarf down so much food it was crazy before a race. Helps me a bunch - I was able to run several Saturday/Sunday marathon combos without needing too much during the race. I was also able to get through the 2006 Silverman Full Distance triathlon with a severe case of food poisoning based on the pre-loading I did before the event. So I've been nibbling more, having slightly larger meals and adding a snack I don't usually eat. Go with what has worked in the past... I'll need it all come the witching hour Sunday morning.
Since Nick is also doing the race, the house has been kinda crazy. It's not just my bike and my gear that needs preparing, it's everything. Modifying our self supported 24 style racing to one big epic loop hasn't been too hard, just a lot of thought. We've been riding with and carrying all the gear we thought we might need since the start of the summer. Getting used to weight of the pack and making sure all the i's are dotted. Nick has also been focused on making me more self sufficient with everything. Just because we are both on the roster does not mean we will be riding together. Far from it. We are both riding our own races. I anticipate that Nick will beat me by three hours - but that all depends. Once the start comes, I will be on my own. I think that has been stressing Nick out more the me. He worries about me and wants me to be handle anything. Given by the piles of gear in the bedroom - I think we are both prepared. If not over prepared...