the marathon mobile is all packed up for a short trip to lexington, kentucky for not a marathon, but two bike races this weekend. it has been a while since i last raced and i am excited to see what progress has been made - if any. please god, let me have made some major progress.
it was only going to be a one-race weekend for me, i had been planning on doing a circuit race tomorrow, but decided at the last minute to throw in a criterium today. for my loyal runner friends in case you don't know what a criterium is; its a short race (usually under a mile) with lots of turns. think: riding shit ass fast around a bunch of city blocks with 90 degree turns, for 30 hair-raising minutes. SCARY. i wasn't going to sign up for this race for just that reason. i thought it was scary. then i knew i had to sign up for it for just that reason - to get over the fear and just jump in, and to have another race start under my belt. i kid you not when i say that i got up early this morning to read the chapter on racing criteriums in my new race tactic book.
tomorrow's race is actually the one i am more excited about, because tomorrow i finally get to race against women in my own category - which is the beginner category 4. i will not be lined up with the national women's champion as i have been in every other race (and will be today). i'm eager to race with my own kind and see how it goes, and since i have done the type of race before (a 2 mile circuit for 30 minutes), i think i'll have a better gauge tomorrow of any progress on runner girl turned biker chick thing.
i've been riding nearly 150 miles a week, i've been learning about race tactics and riding smarter. i'm going into today's race with a totally open mind - rolling up to the start will be good. not crashing will be great. getting lapped is highly likely, getting pulled from race because i got lapped is a possibility. finishing would be awesome. i have slightly loftier goals for tomorrows race. we'll just see how it all goes. curiously, as in all previous bike races (you know, all 3), the pre-race sleepless nights and anxiety are absent. this is what floors me about all of this. i'm so much more relaxed. i haven't busted my ass for 4 months and bet the farm on one day. i've just been riding my bike. having a blast. if things don't go well this weekend, there will be another one in a few weeks.
i will bust my ass for 4 months and bet the farm on one day again, (that day may be in february now - still on the fence) - but in the meantime, i've got to get back to that chapter on criteriums.