I'm not sure who said it, Lance Armstrong maybe, but the quote is "Motivation is great, if you have the legs." Something like that. I think that most people who enter an endurance event have the motivation to really dig in and train. Some don't. Putting off training until they are struck by the "oh shit" moment a month before their race to start. I am not one of those people. Mostly.
I admit that I could have trained harder for LOTOJA this year. I could have added a morning here and there. More short, intense rides. But the motivation wasn't there. Except for my two rides per week plus the occasional third. I was motivated to ride, just not get up early to work it in. This is a sharp contrast to two years ago when the fear of my first half iron-distance triathlon had me in the pool twice a week, running three times a week and cycling twice a week, plus the mini tris where I would do all three sports. I guess I know that I'm a cyclist and can endure the 206 miles to Jackson with a minimum of training. Plus all of my rides have been solo. I figure 120 miles with my nose in the wind is as bad as 200 in a group.
Don't misunderstand, I've been training for months, just not as hard as I should, or could, have. I had a pretty steady build up to our Disneyworld vacation in mid July. I missed a few rides because of work and family stuff, but since I got back from the trip it's been pretty solid. My long rides went 75, 85, 100, 120 and 85. I took last Sunday off to sit on the beach. My Thursday rides have gone pretty well. Lots of climbing. All has not been ideal though.
I had to start riding with a heart rate monitor again. I was pushing too hard and struggling to finish my longer rides feeling good. But the monitor took care of that. The other problem is my ass. My ass has not been happy on a single ride this year. It's a good thing that the Fizik Arione saddle I have is long because it makes an excellent perch to squirm around on and hunt for comfort. Pressure, abrasion, I get it. I've tried new shorts, expensive new shorts, cremes and saddle positions (up, down, tilt). Nothing helped. So I bought a new saddle yesterday. Less than a week before the biggest event of my 2012 calendar and I have a brand new, non broken in saddle that I need to sit on for 206 miles.
I must be mental to try it. But I figure it can't get mush worse than what I have been dealing with. Though I suppose it can.
The preparation is driving me nuts. If I were going to ride 200 miles tomorrow on my own, I would take my phone, a $20 bill, my credit card and head out the door with a really vague idea of where I am headed. For this, it's different. Hotel, support crew, other riders, start times ... Still, it's going to be fun. I get to ride with friends I don't get to see much and push myself harder than I normally would to keep up.
I'm ready as I'm going to be. Just need to fine tune the position on my new saddle a little bit. I have time.