Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Random Thought List

Its impossible to capture everything the mind thinks, conceives and discards with respect to the race but I thought I would try by making a list. (The Myth laughs at me and my lists until I caught him with some). So here are some of the latest thoughts....

  • My head is in a good space and I see feel really positive about my undertaking. Every now and then I get a little frisson about the pack being my only support and the potential to pack it wrong. I stay away from anyone getting over analytical as I have made the decision to only look at all of this in May.

  • Training is going well and I can feel that my base fitness is solid. I am not really focusing on speed or intensity. But I have been pretty consistent and I feel confident in where I am at so far. Easter weekend is an opportunity to do some good mileage and then I would have had another good month of cycling.

  • I wonder who will be in my start group? One friend (Steve) rides to Rhodes while Doug is in it for the long haul. We know that our alliance is only as good as our bodies and bikes, and we may have to leave each other at some point. Will I gel with others and will we have a good dynamic after we leave Rhodes. That's part of the excitement and trepidation.

  • The ice cream boxes - what to put in them. There are the basics but I spend time in the supermarkets trawling the shelves looking for ideas. As mainly a chicken eater, I am not sure if the home cooking in the Karoo will be to my taste (don't do lamb or beef) so I need to have some options here too. Salty and sweet items also have to go in.

  • Thank goodness for a tax refund so I don't stress about finding the cash to replace all the parts on my bike before I start. This becomes an expensive exercise and you can't stint because it may mean the difference between finishing the race or dropping out. Shopping around on the internet and creating wishlists also helps with the budgeting.

  • Stories, stories and more stories. Training with some of the old hands from the race is never dull as there is always a funny story from the previous races. Someone ought to capture them for posterity. Maybe I will keep this blog going and start getting some of them down. At last year's R2R, we created our own legend by discovering a new, much longer way up Lehana Pass on the last stage into Rhodes.

  • Once the MTN Panorama Tour is over (one of my events), I can start to focus entirely on the race without guilt. That's six weeks of thinking that lie ahead - awesome. I wonder if I can think myself through the race? Maybe I can think myself warm and dry at times? Then there are secret thoughts and public thoughts. The secret ones all deal with the doubts and fears, while publicly is the happy, excited face. Clearly I was made for a race involving some planning and strategy as I am happiest with the planning.

  • I am yet to question why I am doing this. That can wait until the trail. But it is an interesting question - why would anyone ride 2300km in mid winter with a heavy pack on their back. I am not sure if anyone has a real answer but I think it is more of a personal journey for everyone. We are doing this for very different reasons - escape, challenge, meaning, masochism, space - I doubt anyone is there merely to ride their bikes. I think I must ask this question on the way. I remember Danie (he did the extreme triathlon last year) asking me an open ended question on a climb - "Tell me the story of your life." he said. I could only look at him in disbelief.
Thinking, thinking, thinking - its just so cool.

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