“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
― Abraham Lincoln

“Why not seize the pleasure at once? — How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!”
― Jane AustenEmma

Today was all about how totally crapily I have prepared for this race. I’ve been sick for days and this morning I was in the shower and had a massively painful coughing fit. I almost passed out. This infection has decided to creep its way into my lungs. The coughing has made me lose my voice almost completely.

But that didn’t stop me from getting dressed up and going to a trail monitoring training, then throwing my stuff in Dave’s truck, picking up Melinda, driving to Lakewood, and doing a little pre-ride of the Beti Bike Bash race course.

On a typical day the course wouldn’t have held much of a challenge for me. Smooth, unadulterated dirt trails with the only technical challenge being the optional jump between lanes over the grassy knoll.

But the climbs…oh the three short climbs….slaughtered me. Now, I’m not the strongest climber in the world, but I’m far from the worst. And yet I found myself struggling, panting, aching for air to fill my lungs and to be used to work the muscles. I just couldn’t make it happen! I used my inhaler. I coughed and coughed! But the bronchials were too far gone. Too far. Gone.

There was one point Melinda snuck in front of me, dropped the hill pretty quickly, and I heard Dave’s voice behind me, “Go get her wheel.” So I did. It felt good to know that I had at least SOME speed in me. In catching her wheel I was thrown into a challenge I haven’t experienced in awhile- speeding down the trail with my only view being her wheel and the 6 inches behind it. Tripped me out.

It was enough to help me feel that I could at least finish the race on the morrow, and also to understand that it would be far far from my best performance. Again- I was unprepared. I have become slovenly. And my body is suffering.

I didn’t stop for pictures. Dave got a few but I haven’t been able to gain access to them yet. But trust me- the fields were green, the rainbow was breathtaking, the rain came and went like angel kisses. It was 3 parts bliss, 1 part suffering.