It is entirely possible that I am alone in feeling this most disconcerting of emotional and physical phenomenons. But I doubt it. In the days leading up to a big race, and by big I mean the effort and distance, I develop a sickly, nervous pit deep within the recesses of my stomach. Self doubt tries to creep up from the void and poison my mind with thoughts of failure, abandonment, and despair. Comfortable sights and sounds, like the warmth of the kitchen at home, or the glow of city lights seem a cold contrast to the looming solidarity far off in the desert or high in the mountains. For whatever reason, unknown to me, dusk seems to be the time when this emotional distress is most manifest, most apparent.
It is especially present during a solo 24. As the sun sinks into oblivion and the lights start to glow I find myself looking with bitter resentment at the literally happy campers around me who are enjoying the down time between laps around the fire, and hot food.
And so, this week I have been fighting off bouts of that reoccurring nervous doubt as the Point to Point approaches. One comforting thought is that as the race grows closer, the questions and the nausea fade. By the time I am sitting at the line they have been entirely replaced with a more positive energy – an anxious and exciting desire to simply ride. And ride fast.
Saturday cannot come quickly enough.
Exit Question: What pre-race jitters do you experience?