As the moments tick by in the dwindling days before Cloudride, I find myself with a senioritislike laziness toward training. At this point I have no more time to really gain strength, simply existing in a constant debate between resting up, but not softening up. On top of riding, I have a few more days of work, and I will also be moving out of my apartment prior to departure, and I've yet to pack anything to either move, or go to Oz. Above all else, I have entered a relationship with the most amazing woman! Attempting to stay focused, my head is still in the game, but knowing I won't be seeing her for a month drives me to want to spend as much time as possible with her.
The pre race jitters have been surpassed by other pressures. There is no point in worrying. I could lay up all night concerned about what will happen, but this worry will not solve anything, and rest will ultimately make me stronger. With the near sleepless nights and long days in the saddle that I will be attempting next week, sleep and relaxing will be a mere figment of my imagination.
I know it's going to hurt. If it doesn't, I won't be pushing hard enough. At some point in this race, I will tell myself I'm quitting ultra racing. This is probably the point where I will kick it up a notch and push harder, just to be finished. If history repeats, my laziness will last for a few days after the race.
Then I'll have a resurgence of motivation, where I want to do a triple crown season (AZT 750, CTR, and TD) PLUS Tour Aeotero(3000k), Kiwi Bravet(1100k), TNGA(350mi), and more, all in a year. (The idea being 10000 miles of racing in a year.) I don't know if it's possible, physically, socially, mentally, or financially, but it falls somewhere into finding the limit. I'm young in ultra racing, both in my career and in age, by comparison to the average competitor. The advantage of this being I have lots of time to fulfill my goals, but also leads to a decision of how serious I want to take racing, vs. the decision of slowing down in a few years to live an "average" life.
In the past, I've thought of taking a step back from competition to refocus on the love of riding, simply to ride, but the drive to push myself keeps coming back up. Non race pace bikepacking trips seem like they'd be awesome, yet I've only ever done a few weekend trips at casual pace. While mountain biking will remain my primary focus for at least a few years to come, it is exciting to think of other long endurance related adventures, both competitve and non. Long canoe trips, backpacking, etc. It's all fun to think about, and I'm sure new ideas will pop into my mind during the long hours chugging through the hills of Australia. After all, I'm not looking for the adventure of a lifetime, I'm looking for a lifetime of adventure!