Among my group of friends, I'm actually pretty well known for dumb ideas...I tend to come up with some really awesome dumb ideas. Some of my friends have even stopped riding with me because they're so in awe of my ability to come up with said dumb ideas.....
The most recent dumb idea is to sign up for the Tahoe Trail MTB race in July....it's a 62 mile race that takes place in the Sierras around Lake Tahoe and I'm both excited and nervous about this.
Now, granted, I've never ridden my mountain bike more than about 30 miles, I've never been in an "endurance race" and riding up at elevation usually leaves me weak, winded and fighting off delirium from the lack of oxygen....other than that, I'm not exactly sure why my friends think this is a dumb idea.....what could possibly go wrong?
In all seriousness though, I am a bit concerned about this. I'm actually in pretty good shape at this point in the year and I don't see any reason my fitness level won't continue to improve between now and July. I actually am a bit freaked out about a 62 mile mountain bike ride. I've done lots of centuries and metrics on my road bike and on the road, 62 miles would be a decent training ride.
On a mt bike though, at elevation and at race pace, the idea starts to get a little worrisome. The longest race I've ever done is Sea Otter which I think is just over 20 miles with about 2500ft of elevation gain. The thought of 62 miles with almost 8000ft of climbing is daunting to say the least.
I was actually thinking that being in my mid-50s I might have a decent chance of finishing in the middle of the pack for my age group. Unfortunately, in looking at last year's results, in my age group, it looks like the top 5 finishers were all right at or under 5 hours. (Dave Wiens happens to be in my age group...ugh!)
Just to be clear, I don't have any delusions about finishing on (or anywhere near) the podium. I don't have the kind of time and resources to train for that level of competition. (and I'm old and fat)
I do though, hope to finish respectably and am determined to avoid any of the time cutoffs.
This, combined with the fact that I tend to be a tad bit obsessive has really got me freaked out about this event.
I've never been good at failure. As a matter of fact, I'm somewhat insecure and so afraid of failure, that I tend not to try things that may end up either in failure or with me looking like an idiot.
Now that I've admitted that, I can tell you that emotionally, this race is kind of a big deal for me. Not only have I registered to do it, I've told a lot of people that I've registered to do it. So many people in fact, that bailing is not an option and not finishing would force me to explain my failure over and over again.
So, the goal now is to start actually training for this race and try not to die while I'm at it....what could possibly go wrong...