I remember my first competitive race season. It was 2002, I was racing the Sport category in the Intermountain Cup XC series. My overall goal was to win the series. I learned quickly that in order to do that I would need to actually finish on the podium. It was not enough to just race every race. I also learned that to finish on the podium, I had to go fast. Well duh.
I had to force myself to go out hard at the start of the race. If I went easy in the beginning, hoping to reel guys in, I never would see the leaders again. The sport races were just to short for any sort of strategy. You had to go redline from start to finish. Once I figured that out, I was able to finish consistently in the top 3.
What’s my point?
Well, endurance racing is starting to resemble those Sport races I used to do. Guys are getting so fast that they can punch it early and leave the vast majority behind for good. In a long race I am constantly reminding myself to pace evenly, eat often, eat early, pace pace pace….
Sometimes I wonder if I pace myself into a slumber.
I think it is time to push my limits again. I am not going to jump in and go kamikaze so I can DNF 4 hours later due to extreme exhaustion and dehydration. But I think I can do more, be faster, go faster.
Maybe I can’t. But there is only one way to find out….