Trying to show off my awesome outfit (bibs sticking out of old track sweats with turquoise Crocs).
I had no trouble getting up and getting there on Saturday, because I was so excited for my first longish/hardish mountain bike ride of the year. I had been there the last two Wednesdays, but the first was just messing around and getting my bearings again, and last week started with some one minute intervals up the paved climb, so I was pretty weak for the actual mountain bike part.
Saturday was my one chance to try and dial my OC race pace. I was assigned 2.5 hours, but I had the secret goal of completing 3 laps, along with connector, in under 3 hours. The weekend before the OC last year I did 3 laps in about 3:50, so being the excessively meaning-making person that I am, I was hoping to be an hour faster for the same ride a year later.
Things went okay, but I didn't make my goal. I got 2.5 laps in 2:47, a pace slightly slower than my absolute best ride near the end of last summer. It was just a little harder because I was expecting a good ride this time, instead of being pleasantly surprised.
I've spent the last two weeks wavering between extreme confidence about the OC and self-doubt. I'm without a doubt much, much fitter than I was this time last year and I'd like to think that I've become a bit smarter, as well. Then I look at the map and compare it to the 2008 map and wonder how the heck they added so much trail and still kept it to 60 miles. I'm a bit worried that the additional fitness will be eaten up by the harder course and I'll still be OTB by the end of the day, except that there will just be a greater percentage of the field dropping out behind me.
The next week is all about focusing on positive self talk and minimizing the negative self talk. I probably shouldn't have even allowed myself write down my doubts, and instead made a list about how awesome I am. I definitely plan on doing that sometime this week.