The fine folks at Nature Valley just sent me an awesome care package! The swag has inspired me to carry on the this mini-series of pre-race hype as planned. This is a beautiful relationship we have.
Getting ready for Nature Valley
I didn't race over the weekend and haven't touched my bike since last Thursday. Part of this is by plan, part of it is by necessity. I'm taking a much needed rest week followed by some tune-ups before I leave, but I'm also doing logistics.
Bike racing is like war--it's mostly logistics. For the past week, I've been arranging my life so I'll be able to duke it out with the best in the country in just over a week.
Of course, none of this is very sexy or interesting. For example, I can think of more thrilling things to describe than, say, the act of booking my flight leaving for Minneapolis - Saint Paul leaving next Tuesday at six in the morning. I wish I could say that the experience starts then, but I am still obligated to work a half-day remotely when I arrive. Hot stuff, right?
Fitting this race into my schedule has been my biggest barrier in getting ready for Nature Valley. I'm not complaining, since I'm doing what all amateur bike racers do who attempt to take the leap into professional bike racing. It's hard--actually, impossible--to complain about the chance of a liftetime.
I'll be staying in host housing from next Tuesday until the following Monday, where again I'll have to work (remotely) a half-day before flying back to DC. I worked two 12.5 hour graveyard shifts this past weekend to allow myself to take off the time needed for this event. I raced the Tour De Somerville on Memorial Day and BaseCamp International this past Thursday while still cramming in a 65 hour work week.
My living situation has recently come under duress. Actually, under water. A faulty water line in the house I'm living in left my basement room in six inches of water. For the past week I've been trying to salvage as much of my stuff as possible while figuring out a new living situation. Couch surfing and Craigslist rental ads have been my focus, when I really wanted to focus on my bike, my fitness, and my dream.
Also distracting my excitement for NVGP is getting the logistics squared away for Nationals the following week in Augusta, GA. I'm signed up to take a shot at the crit and road race, but still haven't nailed down the logistics for that trip. And even though it's early, but not really early, I'm trying to get my schedule opened up to allow me to travel to Tour De Toona and Cascade Cycling Classic. Again, I'm fortunate, even a little wet and mildewy. I really have very little to complain about if these are the problems I have right now.
Rest. It's not going to come as easily as planned. Hopefully, just taking a week off the bike should really help. Other things pending:
-Dentist Appointment. Hopefully, he will not have to recap all my teeth, as a dentist did for Tyler Hamilton after he gound his teeth down to nubs riding the Tour with a broken clavicle.
-Doctor Appointment (Physical/Health Assessment): My resting heart rate is absurdly low, you say? Oh, maybe I forgot to tell you--I have the heart of a horse and the circulatory system of a...let's just say I race bikes, Doctor.
-Air Force Cycling Classic - Two NRC Criteriums in Arlington, VA this Saturday and Sunday. I can't think of a better tune-up. Scott Zwizanski credited his form at NVGP last year to these two races and I'm hoping I'll benefit as well. It's high caliber, high intensity criterium racing. Come out and watch!
-Work: I did mention that I work, right?
-Pack: Have to keep reminding myself, "no 1 gallon tub of D'Z Nuts in carry-on."
-Manscape the Handlebar Mustache: Currently leading the poll, I have no say in this decision.
-Get to airport: How cool would it be to ride my bike there?
Getting ready for Nature Valley just consists of "getting my ducks in a row." I just have quite a few ducks to get organized, and I've probably stepped on a few ducks along the way.
Next up I'll talk a little more about balancing everything, and when it comes time to race, I promise to give you the good stuff instead of just a visit to the dentist's.
Thanks for reading!
I found this gem from last cyclocross season giving a preview of what to expect from the poll so far: