After a long drive yesterday we are in Emporia! We had dinner at Radius Brewing last night and to my surprise they had a really solid Hazy IPA… this trip is off to a good start.
This will be third and final post before Dirty Kanza. This one will be about my goals heading into tomorrow’s race… and they are pretty simple.
My goals are to go a fast I can on the day and finish as close to the front as possible… and finish no matter what.
The finish times every year are very dependent on the race day weather. The times it takes to get in the top 30-20-10 fluctuate so much every year that having a time goal just doesn’t make sense to me.
Earlier in the week it looked like we were going to have near record temperatures hitting the triple digits… but now they are calling for highs in the mid 80s with winds out of the North (headwind the second 100 miles!) at 20-30 mph…. and a chance for thunderstorms overnight which could mean mud…. Sweet! Hopefully I can behind some big dudes and hide a bit.
A place goal is even harder to have for me to wrap my head around…. The field is going to be deeper than it’s ever been with current and former pro road, mtb cyclocross racers and a ton of super strong amateurs. So, trying to crack the top 30-20-10 overall will take an incredible day and a lot of luck. There is no pro/elite division, just age groups and overall. And hell… Geoff Kabush (one of the best offroad cyclists of all time) is in my AG (40-44)… so is Nate Whitman, Brian Jensen… and bunch of other fast strong dudes.
I know I’m as fit as I could possibly be for this race but and I plan on “racing”. I know it’s going probably be the hardest race I’ve ever done… and that’s saying a lot. A quote from an interview with Dylan Bowman from a recent The Morning Shakeout podcast by my good friend Mario Fraioli has been stuck in my head:
“For a lot of these races, at least for me, the key limiting factor to success is how excited I am to bury myself”
I’ve only raced twice this year and it’s been a LONG time since I’ve truly gone to the well in a race. I’m ready to uncork it, put it all out there, and feel like I’m primed for a lifetime best race both mentally and physically. I didn’t train my ass off for the last 7 months to hold back and be conservative. With that said I’ll toe the line tomorrow with no pressure and have fun with what will be a super hard, crazy day on the bike in place I’ve never ridden before. I’ll be motivated by wife and daughter and how much they support all the crazy things I want to do. I can’t wait to see them at the crew spots.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings though… I’m counting the minutes until the gun goes off!