There. Now you know. It's time I fessed up anyway, it might help someone else suffering from the same condition. So I am going to give it to you straight, I am going to be honest with you. I am not right around this time of year. This is not my first rodeo with it. It has started already started, sneaking into my life. Every year has been different and by different I mean the timing and the duration of dealing with it. By ‘it" I are referring to the Dirty Kanza 200 crazies. One thing has been constant. The crazy has been about the same. When you put a lot of time, thoughts and energy into something it is highly possible it will spill over into other areas of your life. For instance, you may have to plan your rides around packed schedules, graduations, weddings, soccer games, family time and vacations. All of those obstacles will make it hard to get in the long rides and keep any type of consistent schedule. Not getting the miles will also make you crazy.
By It I also mean the obsessing about things DK related. My pulse actually rises when I receive a Dirty Kanza email. There have been moments I have gotten goosebumps too. Maybe I should see my doctor, he would get a kick out of what I am doing. You can see that this gravel ride means a lot to me. I have spent countless hours writing my own blogs and have spent countless more reading blogs offering advice from those sharing their own DK experiences. I enjoy reading every story, the good, bad, and the ugly. In addition, I have spent many more hours researching how to fuel myself, which bike to ride, which tires to run, new foods to try, and have read several new athlete specific cook books. I have calculated and re-calculated how many calories I will need to fuel myself for the 200 mile ride and then recalculated again. Hell, I am not even sure how long it is going to take me. I usually prepare for the worst, the longest amount of time, and hope for the best. I have started making lists. Lists of items to buy. Lists of items to try. Race day list of gear. Possible list of fuel choices. I will most likely have several floating around until I narrow it down to one. A notebook is key in this case. Keep all the lists together.
The dreams /nightmares began a few months ago. Not sure what to make of them. I usually have some type of weird dream moment before any race. The Dirty Kanza is a different animal though, it takes months and months of preparation so there is potential for many of these “nervous nellie” type stuff. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I have noticed the dreams have varying degrees of crazy, they seem to get more extreme as the DK gets closer. For instance… one of the tamer ones involves Kristi Mohn trying to sell me a house, she constantly emails me with EVERY listing she can find and taking deep discounts on them. She even found me a job at the local bike shop and paid for my first two months of yoga. My friend Gretchen shows up occasionally with bottle of wine, Wheat State Pizza, and promises of a job at Subway. My friend Angela makes appearances also, she filled out two applications for me and I received both jobs. One was at the school as a PE teacher and the other was a gravel grinder instructor on the backroads of Kansas. I take people on gravel tours and get paid! Dream job! In another dream I received a phone call from Rob Gillian, the mayor, that the Emporia Gazette was offering me a freelance position writing my own weekly column with opportunity to submit feature stories. He wanted to invite me personally to live there and give me the key to the city. While speaking to him a huge basket of Pabst and an IPad were delivered. Now those are examples of happy dreams. They were not all like that, some would qualify as nightmares. In one nightmare I forgot my cycling shoes and was trying to talk other cyclists out of their shoes at the start line. Not one person would take me up on that offer so I rode behind them until they quit and made them turn over their shoes. I have had several nightmares of being late or sleeping through the start and starting an hour behind everyone. I have showed up to the start line in my underwear with my kit hanging dripping wet from my handlebars, who knows. The best one so far deserves its own blog. I recently had a bridge put in my mouth, front and center on the bottom. In this particular dream I was about half way into the ride, 100 miles, bit into a Payday bar and my bridge popped out. I was able to backtrack and find it laying in the gravel with rocks attached by the nougat. I shoved it in my jersey and started practicing my toothless smile for the finishing line. If you think about it my dreams are not that far fetched. Any one of those could come true. I will keep you posted.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of the year, crazy or not. I look forward to the Dirty Kanza every year and wouldn’t change any of this. It’s just part of the crazy journey to get to another crazy journey. In the end I realize I am just like everyone else, I put my straight jacket on one buckle at a time. Don’t you?