Don't be fooled: Six weeks to train for 200 miles and nearly 13,000 feet of climbing over the course of three days is crazy. Never in my right mind would I have agreed to do this if I didn't feel somewhat confident about my biking ability, overall fitness, and sheer will (or blind ambition).
It doesn't hurt that I've had the best coach and most supportive friends (especially my cycling buddies!) in my corner the whole time. But lately, as YSC's Tour de Pink event has been approaching, that gutsy girl who said “Yes, I can do this!” seemed to be sleeping (probably because of a never-ending cold and chronic tummy-aches). And I really need her to—as actor Samuel Jackson put it best—“Wake the %#&@ Up!”
Packing last night, I got to practice this comforting little trick that a lot of the world's greatest athletes do before major events: visualization. I pictured myself fully dressed on the big day to make sure I wasn't forgetting a single crucial item for my ride—from my cozy Specialized S-Works road shoes to my palm-protecting POW gloves to my back-up sexy Capo kit in case something happens to my lovely Liv/Giant number.
The thing is, sometimes you're only as good as your gear and if something fails during the activity—your clothes rubbing you the wrong way or shoes making your feet go numb—it doesn't matter how hard you've trained. The littlest thing can easily derail your efforts.
Which is why it's so important to test your equipment and iron out the kinks well before you need them to perform their best. And it's clutch to also visualize what can go wrong, like a sudden down pour (pack a rain jacket) or getting lost en route (carry your cell, cash, and an emergency number).
As I suspected, visualizing my look helped me see myself succeeding in the tour. I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. last night (or rather this morning) feeling slightly more “awake” than I have in weeks. And after three-and-half-hours of sleep, I woke up feeling unreasonably refreshed.
I guess now that I'm about to knock on Giant Bicycling's HQ doors, where the ride starts in Thousand Oaks, CA, on Friday morning, I can finally start to embrace the event (it's here!) and let go of any anxiety-ridden anticipation (waiting = purgatory). It's about time!
What's left for me to do is believe that I am ready. This fitness summary from TrainingPeaks.com (where Coach Daniel and I communicated about my logged-in workouts) over the last six weeks confirms it.
Now all I need is some good luck, good weather, and good company—all of which should already be locked in considering we're in California, riding for a good cause, and most people here feel lucky to be alive (myself included).
The “gun” goes off at 9 a.m. (PST). Be sure to follow me @XstinaGoyanes for live YSC Tour de Pink (West Coast) updates.