Thursday, 9 August 2012

10 days to go, panic ensues

What links the following mountain passes?

Col de Romme, Colombiere, Aravis, des Saises, Courcheval 1850, Madeleine, Glandon, Alpe D'Huez (x 2), Sarenne, Lautaret, Izoard, Risoul, Vars, Bonette, Auron, Couillole, St Raphael, Vence.

Well, both figuratively and literally, the route of the 2012 Haute Route cyclosportive. Which I've entered. And it starts in 10 days.

Just to add to the fun of all those climbs, there's a total distance of 780km, with a total ascent of 21,000m. That's like riding from sea level to the top of Everest, two and a half times.

Uh-oh.

I'm currently mediating a dispute between my rational mind and sheer terror.

ST: 7 days with an average 3000m of climbing? 21,000m? Are you nuts?
RM: The Dolomites climbs were steeper and higher. You'll be fine.
ST: Ah, but the Dolomites trip was only 15,000m, and shorter distances too!
RM: Well that was a holiday! And six weeks ago! Think of the fitness gains since then!
ST: Plus, there are 600 people doing the Haute Route. It'll be chaos!
RM: No more chaos than something like the Dragon Ride. You'll be fine.
ST: Arrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
RM: Gulp.

What I know is that I've trained harder than ever before for the past nine months, I'm at the lightest I've been since I was 16, my powermeter tells me I'm fitter, I've got a nutrition strategy, a new saddle that fits and extra comfy shorts.

Plus, I'm in a team. I've never been in a team before.


Team InfraRed/Jewellers for Children. I even like the design of the jersey. It has a watch on it too, I like watches. That's a lucky omen, I hope.

I have some goals.

  1. Finishing. Goes without saying
  2. Finishing within the time limits on each day, so I get an official finish position
  3. Finishing top half. Slim chance of this, I can only hope that lots of unfit people were inspired to enter so they'll come behind me
  4. Having fun at the time. I'm sure it'll be fun looking back, but it would be amazing if I actually enjoyed the experience at the time.
So, 10 days of tapering, heathly eating, last minute planning and packing.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
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