mostly with the blogging, less with the riding though. not sure what to do about that since i really don't feel like dropping the money on internet access at home. good excuse to get coffee or beer i guess. just need to drink more coffee and beer and i'd blog more. seems to make sense.
so, i've got this dry erase calendar that hangs on my fridge that i use for my training. actually, i use it as a training log. how long i ride, what surface i ride, average heartrate and whether or not i work out. i don't use it as a training plan, simply as a record. at the end of the month i don't keep it for posterity, just look at it and make some mental notes then erase it and start clean. being a re-writeable kind of calendar its actually got 35 days on it to accomodate any month with any starting day. so i fill all 35 days rather than doing calendar months. just worked out perfectly that as i erased it after saturday and started anew on sunday that the 35th and final day on the calendar happened to be transiowa. that puts me just over 4 weeks away. i have about a week and half left of my current workout cycle which will simply be followed by maintenance work until a week prior at which time i will stop working out completely. i have about two and half weeks left of heavy riding which will end with sylvan island. after that the plan is a two-week taper. the first of those weeks means riding often but not very hard or very far, the second week will be very limited riding. been talking/texting with scotty a lot as he's getting ready for his first transiowa. funny how his feelings have brought back very vivid memories of virtually identical fears/concerns/anxiousness leading into my first two. i'm definitely more relaxed going into transiowa this year having finished last year, possibly more confident, but definitely no more arrogant. i, like scotty, am having concerns as to whether or not i've been riding enough. reassuring him has really just been a way of helping my own psyche. if you can ride 100 you can ride 320. you have to believe that. nobody does a 320 mile training ride to test their ability. beyond 100-150 miles it comes down to mental preparation. how willing and how able are you to suffer? how excited are you to suffer? how well prepared are you to battle the demons that crawl out of the shadows in the darkness of pre-morning when you've been pedaling yourself blind for 24 hours? if you have allowed the fear of failing transiowa to motivate your training, chances are you're physically capable of finishing. being physically capable of finishing transiowa MIGHT be half of what's necessary to actually finish it though.
so, i've been trying to train at varying heartrates on different surfaces in different conditions for different lengths of time. that's the extent of my training plan. keep mixing it up so you're prepared for anything although maybe not great at anything (which will probably become obvious in my cross country racing). but lately i've also started doing more solo touring style rides. getting used to carrying more weight on the bike and the back. riding easier and trying to keep my heartrate controled. stopping and being deliberate without hurrying through my pack to find the things i need. mentally figuring out the organization of my packs and working on memorizing it to minimize wasted time off the bike. i don't know if its possible to ever feel completely confident that you are ready for transiowa...at least not for me/my mentality. but i've been here before and i know how it will go. i will stress/overthink/overanalyze/second-guess every decision i make and every ride i've done or gonna do. i will do this obsessively until about a week before transiowa. that's about the time i take a huge breath, let out an even bigger sigh and realize it doesn't matter anymore. i've done what i've done and i can't change it. i can't fix gaps in my riding over the last six months, i can't put on enough miles in that last week to matter, in fact i can only make it worse. i will be as ready as i am and stressing about it will do absolutely no good. the body will realize that and start to relax. that's when the mental preparations really take over. lots of focusing on accepting the pain. focusing on the end when there doesn't seem to be one. strategizing how to deal with the devastating effects of those final hours of darkness. transiowa will happen whether i'm ready or not. the suffering will happen no matter how well prepared i am. somehow i'll find a way to enjoy it.