In case you haven't heard from the 30 other blog posts and 15,000 tweets on the topic, the Park City Point 2 Point race is happening this Saturday. 80 miles with 14,000 feet of climbing, 95% of of which is on singletrack, and a lot of that singletrack is of the somewhat technical variety. Like most people, the week before a big race is a bit strange for me. I'm used to spending my free time riding my bike in preparation for the big race, but with the race right around the corner, riding my bike can do much more damage than good.
With the race so close, I feel like I should be busy preparing for it, and the lack of bike riding leaves somewhat of a void. And where there is a void, I will find a way to fill it. Even the things I fill it with are completely meaningless. Here is a list of the N-number of things I have done to fill this void, one or more of which I am convinced will shave significant amounts off of my finishing time for the 2010 PCP2P:
1) The other day, I spent 40 minutes rubbing a thin layer of dried Stans off of the inside of my CrossMark tire. Because the extra 3.763 grams I shaved will make a huge difference in my climbing speed.
2) Resisting the urge to pee. Because by stretching my bladder an extra 2 millimeters over the next 2 days, I'll be able to ride 5 extra minutes on Saturday before stopping for that pee break.
3) Avoiding stairs like the plague. Because if I take one more trip up those stairs than is absolutely necessary, I will have no energy left at all on Saturday. Tonight, I think I may sleep on the couch in order to avoid that one extra trip upstairs.
4) Examining the consistency of my poop. I'm still suffering slightly from a bug I picked up from my daughter, which has caused me to lose 4-5 pounds in the past few days. Right now, I don't like the consistency of my poop one bit.
5) Holding back on the Ambien. Last year, I slept about 3 hours the night before the P2P race. This year I have Ambien as my secret weapon (well, at least it was a secret until I just told everyone about it). I've used it enough to know that it works like a charm. I also know that it worked best the very first time I ever used it. So recently, I've avoided using it at all in hopes that when I pop one on Friday night, my body will be shocked into the deepest slumber of my life, despite the fact that I'll likely be a nervous wreck.
6) Cleaning parts of my bike that don't matter. My cassette was pretty clean already when I started cleaning my bike the other day. But I noticed a bunch of gunk on the inside of my cassette that could only be cleaned by removing my cassette. So I did, and I soaked it in degreaser, and now it's sparkly clean. I'm still not sure why I decided to do this one.
7) Cleaning clothes that I hardly ever clean. I even cleaned my nasty gloves and crusty helmet. Not that they were really even bothering me before, but I'm sure I'll be way faster now that they are clean.
8) Thinking about meaningless weight savings. For example, I will need 2 large waterbottles from PCMR to the finish in the Canyons. There is a support station half-way between PCMR and the Canyons. Stopping to fill a bottle at said support station will take approximately 31.6 seconds. Is this more or less time than will be lost by carrying an extra large water bottle (which weighs approximately 720 grams) up the 1500 ft Spiro climb? Please discuss.
9) Shaving my legs. Kidding, of course. I haven't gone that far off the deep end.
At last year's 2009 P2P race, it seems like I went into it with a lot less anticipation than this year. Last year, I had no idea what to expect. The course was only posted a few weeks prior to the race, and I hadn't pre-ridden any of it so I had no idea what to expect in terms of trail conditions or finishin time. This year, I've pre-ridden the entire course and have a very good idea of my target time. Honestly, I don't know if this will help or not. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
Last year, Adam and Jesse may have been the only people I knew beforehand that were doing the race (once I showed up, I realized a few others I knew were doing the race as well). So we'd psych each other out a little bit, but nothing quite like this year. Nowadays there are more than double the participants, each of whom insist on tweeting non-stop about how nervous they are about the race. A heart-felt thanks to all of you for turning me into a big bundle of nerves as well.
So I have 1.5 more days to find meaningless ways to prepare for the P2P race. If you have not already done the N-number of things I listed above, well you'd better get on it, because you're not even close to being ready.
Inside The Passion - John McGuinness
5 weeks ago