Wow. Just dipped below 100 days on the countdown timer. Like the longer days and the crazy crop of drowning worms on the pavement Friday, it's a sure sign that RAAM is getting closer. This definitely feels like a milestone to me, so I'm taking a moment to reflect. How ready am I, really? What needs to happen?
I'm feeling strong and ready - but I know I can't lose sight of how much more I want to accomplish between now and June. I feel the same, but changed. I've been marked for life, and I'm also sure that I'll be marked again and again.
More than anything, I've made a conscious decision to drop the defenses and the tough-girl act, and let RAAM in all the way. Time was, anyone who offered to help me got the 500-mile stare and a good ration of "I've got it, thank you very much" attitude. That's out the window. I figure that anyone who's not figured out that I'm tough by now is a hopeless case - I don't have much to prove on that score.
Not having to be so danged tough has left the door open for me to be a little kinder, less sarcastic, more receptive - not a bad thing at all. Not that I'm jumping on any new bandwagons, switching my diet, ditching my training program, but - I'm listening, learning, refining. Much more than tough, I'm resilient. Bend, don't break, and return to a stronger core every time.
I've been listening to a lot of music, filling my ipod with the music that I think will help me get across America faster. While I'm poking around looking for what I think I'm searching for, I seem to stumble upon (can I still say that without violating some trademark?) exactly what I need. I went to Three Dog Night looking for some of their more upbeat classics - Joy to the World, Shambala...and here's what got stuck in my head:
What a timely reminder ! It's easy to be closed, and so danged hard to be open, even (especially?) around the people who matter the most. A successful RAAM will require the latter of me. I'm a work in progress, for sure - but I'm getting better, and I know it.
Seems strange to not have much to report. I'm riding outside when I can, and training indoors when I must. A strong weekend - a depletion workout indoors on Saturday and a very pleasant sunny spin outdoors today. Legs feel strong after Sebring and for the first time in quite some time I'd have to say that they LOOK strong, too. I guess pushing a giant gear into the wind for a very long time had some sort of positive effect.
My next race is the Davis 24 - and although it's earlier than it has been in years past, there's still a reasonable chance that it will be hot. I've been adding a heat training component to the indoor workouts, and I'll post more about that sometime soon.