As the days get closer to the DK 200, I wonder what I what the heck was I thinking back in Jan. when I signed up for this. Why would anyone want to do over 200 miles in Kansas on gravel in June? Because it's there? Because it sounds like fun? Maybe, to see what you are made of?
Everyone has their reasons. I just want to finish in one piece and be able to say I DID IT!! I want to learn some more about myself and what it will be like to rely on just me. This is going to be an epic journey and most of it will be experienced alone. Not by choice.. There will be about 300 others out there trying to do the same thing, but from what I understand I need to be ready to GO BIG alone. I am not thrilled about being alone, especially in the dark.I have read stories about the wind, the heat, and the cows that want to play. Seriously.*** Last night Jim picked up some super bright Light and Motion lights from Mr. Boz. I am no longer worried about not being able to see. He even let us borrow his Kuat rack. Thanks Boz.***
Like everyone else, I will be on the start line wondering if I got enough miles in. I did not get to do any LONG rides, my schedule did not permit any. I did stay consistent in my plan though. I rode in every change of weather and on lots of windy days. I think the wind will take a lot of people out early. It sucks to pedal hard and essentially go nowhere. But, I have learned it is a mindset. And , not to waste too much energy trying to go fast, not worth it. Stay consistent. You can't fight the wind so make friends with it. I did not experience any injuries or sickness during training, so I feel good about that.
I plan on using my usual fuel, Sustained Energy, Perpeteum, and Nuun tablets for my primary fuel/electrolyte sources. They worked well for me at my 24 hr race. I will also be packing along some Chicken Noodle soup and some snacky type stuff. Lifesavers and Jolly ranchers, trail mix, a couple apples, and a few Gels I hope I don't need. Don't really care for them on long rides.
I will be carrying 3 bottles and a small pack with a 70 oz. bladder, not full. I am a freak about water so I need to make sure I have enough. Especially early on. The key to finishing this will be to " eat before I am hungry and drink before I am thirsty." I can always drop the pack later on in the race with the wonderful support crew Team Red Wheel graciously provided us with. Thanks fellas.
I really believe I can do this. I am in better shape than I was last year, both mentally and physically. I have worked very hard to take care of myself and put in countless hours in the saddle. My bike is in perfect shape to rock the gravel , thanks to Gino at The Hub. I have all the necessary gear and a very positive attitude. What more do I need?
Thanks for letting me ramble and get my race day jitters out. I am sure there will be more nerves to deal with over the next few days. I have put a lot of time and energy into this ride and hope my performance shows just that, even if I don't see the finish line. I have prepared myself for failure, since it is a possibility. However, those of you who really know me, know that I am a fighter . It will take a LOT to get me to quit. I have never Quit a race and don't plan on this being my first.
I am really looking forward to seeing the Beautiful gravels of Emporia Kansas. As you can see by all the pictures I 'borrowed' for this post it will be breath taking. Thanks Adventure Monkey!
Got any ideas on what I can think about out there? Any songs I should add to the IPOD? Any advice you think I need?