Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'm No Warrior - Am I?

To steal a quote from one of my favorite television shows, "Holy crap on a cracker..."

Either as a result of menopausal wackiness, a momentary lapse of sanity, or just some weird unthinking whim, when I got a wait-list email from Jason that a couple of spots had opened up for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, I threw caution to the wind and said "I'll take them!" This, in spite of the fact that 1) I have never in my life even seen those trails, 2) I am the most unfit I've been in many, many years, 3) I weigh more than I have in, heck, I can't even remember when, and 4) the majority of my sporadic mountain bike rides for the past year have been sub-five-mile, sub-half-hour jaunts on easy local trails and I frequently could use a nap and a sandwich just to get through those!

What on earth I was thinking to sign up for this thing I may never know, and as soon as the payment was made, the sane portion of my brain asked, no screamed, "What on earth did you just do???". Regardless, what was done was done, so I immediately began the search to find a teammate.

As I had done the 6 hour Meltdown at Harris Lake last month as a duo, I figured I would see about getting a two-person team together once again for WC. So The Frybabies got on the start list for Female Duos.

Now I've heard all manner of descriptions of the Warrior Creek trail, fortunately almost exclusively positive, but some of them do make note of the tough steep climbs and wicked rocks. Also, I've seen some of the videos from previous races and although I realize helmet cam footage often distorts the trail reality, some sections on film do appear rather "ledgy" to my heights-fearing self. That, combined with my lack of fitness and strength, as well as the limited riding I've been doing lately due to a variety of excuses ranging from crappy weather to everyday life's excessive demands on my time, I've been more than a little nervous about this race.

Then Mother Nature decided to wreak additional havoc on my already stressed nerves by dumping mass quantities of rain, sleet and, yes, apparently SNOW on the trail today according to The Weather Service website, with bunches more rain forecast through the night and into the morning, leaving less than a day for the trail to (not) dry. Knowing that other trails in the Wilkesboro area - and I assume Warrior Creek as well - contain lots of that poorly draining North Carolina red clay, I have grave concerns about the trail conditions for race day coming up the day after tomorrow. Not the least of  my worries is that I will be that slowpoke, timid, low level rider getting in everyone else's way. My duo teammate has volunteered to ride the first lap, so hopefully every rider that catches me by the time I head out will happen to do so on a stretch where there is room for me to safely and quickly move over and let them pass easily!

It's been a long time since I've been to a big race event, and the years in between have not been particularly kind to my lack of ambition and training. Coming back to the endurance race scene after all these years, 30 pounds heavier and now in my 50s, is scary and nerve-wracking. At the same time, it's something I feel I need to do, for myself.
At least now I have a bike in which I have total confidence - all I have to do is trust the Rip9 and my own abilities, kick all those self-doubts in the ass, get out there and prove to myself that I can still do this.