One week out to Sebring. I'll have a trip to the gym today after work, a nice ride on Sunday(on Adrienne's Ti Aero - I've already shipped my race bike off to Sebring), and then it's just a matter of packing, tracking down details, and keeping my legs loose and my spirits high.
Now it's time to work the mojo. One of the things that I've learned is that racing - as opposed to "going for really long rides" has a certain badass component to it. The part where you want to, you know, WIN. Not "Stick-a-voodoo-pin-in-you-and-hope-you-bonk-sucka" win, but "I'm strong, I'm prepared, and I'm going to race you off my wheel" win. Confident. And when you've got your mojo on, you feel just a little more badass.
A lot of little things figure into the mojo quotient for any given race, but here are a few of mine:
First, I'm bringing Our Lady of the Perpetually Flexed Biceps out of retirement. She's actually a Hawk Goddess, but I really like the way "Our Lady of the Perpetually Flexed" rolls off the tongue. Dave Van Gundy scared her into semi-retirement a couple years back, but Sebring is a big deal, and she's ready to take the, um, plunge. Any resemblance, superficial or otherwise, is purely coincidental - except that she's at least as badass as her owner:
Next - cheap sunglasses. I LOVE sunglasses, probably because all the time I was growing up I was "that kid" - the one with the dorky glasses who couldn't wear sunglasses. My preteen girl "gang" would go to Walgreens to try 'em on. I couldn't even see myself in the mirror to know which ones I wouldn't be getting. So as soon as I got contacts - splurge city. I found a great pair for Sebring. They've got it all - HUGE lenses, leopard motif, and - get this - STARS. I couldn't help but smile when I saw these, so they're coming along:
Last - but definitely not least - ink. Yep. You read that one right. After RAO last year, I was struck by two compelling thoughts/feelings: first, I was very cognizant of how extremely lucky I am to be able to race - an opportunity that's not afforded to 99+% of the folks on this planet - and how much MORE lucky I am to be able to do so in the company of so many other like-minded and supportive people. Additionally, finishing RAO was a ground-breaking, life-changing experience for me - I felt like it had in some way made an indelible mark on my psyche.
I don't know how you would acknowledge an event like this, but after some thought, I decided to be quite literally "marked for life" as the luckiest person in the world.
I'm sure that they see all kinds at Evolved Ink, but as a 46-year-old newbie I was also aware that I wasn't their typical client. I'd love to tell you it was a painless procedure, but I really can't. I was sweating bullets. Nonetheless, in about an hour I walked out, a little oozy, a little woozy, and quite definitely marked for life with a very lucky four-leafed clover on my...never mind. I'm told that they last longer if they don't get a lot of UV exposure. Since you're unlikely to see it in person...
How about you? What's marked YOU for life? A pretty cool concept to ponder. Every time I see this tattoo, I remember: I'm the luckiest person in the world.
If you're coming to Sebring, see ya' soon. Got Mojo? Hope so! I've set a ridiculous, out-there goal for myself. I'll be racing in the solo, non-drafting division, and I expect to race at least 450 miles. No woman has done more than 404, upright OR recumbent. Putting it down on paper - or in this case pixels - almost sounds arrogant: I intend racing 2 miles per hour faster than any woman has done before on that course, whether drafting or not. Thing is, I honestly believe I can do it. Weather conditions always factor in, of course, but right now things look pretty neutral. Maybe a little shower-y, but I've certainly dealt with that before.