While a few brave souls of the CycleLife squad ventured out a few weeks ago to their first races of the season, I'm only now getting down to the wire on the start of my 2008 road racing season. I figure between road season and cross season (and bon-bon eatin' season) that I have enough cycling in my year, so I try not to rush into the road season. All this means that this Sunday will be my first foray of the year into the racing world.
Most people tend to overthink things, or so I like to think. I'm sure there's a bunch of butterflies flitting around the stomach population of the MABRA region just the mere thought of Jeff Cup. Me? Naw, I got nothin'. Want to know my secret? It's simple, really. Stop thinking. If you don't think about it, you can't freak out and get all nervous about it. I learned this when I was racing 5k's early on in my career. It was all about focusing on the routine down until the very moment that I had to think about the race, that being right about the time you line up and wait for the whistle to blow. I'm no superwoman. If I think about an upcoming race, about strategy, about the possibilities (good and bad), etc. my heart rate skyrockets and I feel like I'm gonna pass out. (That's right, you heard it here... I'm not a machine, I'm human! Well, just barely.)
So, I know that Jeff Cup is this Sunday. I realize that that's six days away. I know that I'll be lining up on the starting line. I know there will be attacks and counter-attacks... and whoops, there goes my heart rate. My mind is a blank. Ohmmmmm. Zen cyclist. Ohmmmmm. Don't think, can't freak.
So if you happen to see me in passing, or shoot me an e-mail or whatever... please don't mention the fact that JC is this W/E. I don't wanna know. I am blissfully unawares of the terror that will come, the pain that will unfold, the hurt that will be put on. So just don't remind me. I'll remember, just in time for the start. You'll see me laughing, warming up with my teammates, greeting folks I haven't seen in a few months... and then when they say "30 seconds", my smile will vanish. I will look focused, intense. Just like the lean, mean cycling machine I am. (Pshaw, right!)
Oh, and hopefully we'll have our kits by then.