Here we go again. My solo entry into the Strathpuffer 24 was successful last night after the customary “stay up late and hit refresh on the computer keyboard repeatedly then bang your payment details in dead fast” session and effectively signals the start of the 2013 endurance racing campaign.
No more easy rides for a while. 12 weeks of hard training, balancing training hours with Real Life, mental preparation, worrying about the cost of it all, how far away it is (it’s REALLY far away), to-ing and fro-ing over equipment choice and weather watching.
Ok, it’s not all like that. I actually enjoy the training and preparation aspects of endurance racing as much as the racing itself – as well as the quite large amount of riding bikes involved I love noticing the inevitable increases in fitness and the dropping of excess weight. I love the smaller races in between now and the big day that to ‘normal sane folk’ would be pretty big on their own, entered merely to break things up, keep things sharp and to gauge progress. Perhaps most of all, I love the planning of occasional big rides with friends – often friends who are in the same situation and will be racing in the same races throughout the coming year.
The last time I raced at the Strathpuffer things didn’t go entirely to plan but I did alright. I’ll probably be racing on a singlespeed again this time around due to having convinced myself that it’s the ideal race to approach on a one-geared bike (despite it almost killing me last time). Hopefully this time I’ll also be a bit stronger a little bit wiser….