I can’t remember feeling more uncertain going into a race.
I haven’t been riding badly. But I haven’t been riding very well either. I’m hoping for surprisingly good legs on Saturday at the Crusher in the Tushars. But I don’t think fitness works like that. Either it’s there, or it isn’t. Nevertheless, I am excited. How could I not be? It’s time to crush. And be crushed.
I might have a terrible ride, and I might not. But I’m going to enjoy it, regardless. I’ll suffer through the heat and up the hills with everyone else dumb brave enough to race the Crusher. I’ll chase my 2011 time, but not too eagerly. Not until the final 10 miles at least. Until then, I just want to survive. I’ll pretend to feel good until I don’t. If I am lucky, the farce will last longer than the race.
I have to remind myself (several times each day) that I am not a contender in this race. I am an age-group delusionary that has no business entertaining the daydreams that I do. I have to remember that no matter the numbers on the clock when I ride across the finish line, that I am doing something that very few people can, or will, ever do. Bike racing is a luxury. And so is the time I spend training and riding.
All I can ever do is try to ride my best and to respect the spirit of the race. And at the Crusher, that’s easy; crush, or get crushed. One or the other. That much I do know. They are the only two possible outcomes for the race. Crush, or get crushed. Probably both. And so, I’ll do my best to crush, and the Tushars will do their best to crush me. The mountains always win. Or do they?
Either way, it’s going to be an adventure.
Hey Tushars, ready or not, here we come!