A quick look back through my blog posts since February will give evidence of the main track my mind has been traveling over the past four months, and “track” is a good term for it because some of the roads I’ll be riding in Kansas are little better than dirt tracks between farm fields. That’s right, Dirty Kanza weekend is almost here.
I’ve reread my posts about last year’s race, especially the section about my feelings about my DNF, over an over again. I’ve read and reread every other race report I could find, not even so much for information as to relive it through someone else. I bought a new bike (and even made sure it was all tuned up for the race). I’ve tried to turn over a new leaf as far as training, with moderate success.
|May ’12 is basically every training mile I rode before last year’s race. This year, I have 888 since the beginning of Feb.|
I’ve ridden a lot of challenging gravel miles. Thank goodness for Chuck, who got roped into this crazy race and lives much closer to me than my teammates. He was way more conscientious with his training than I was, but he was always up for a training ride…and for figuring out where and how far and when we should meet.
|Part of our North Hermann ride, perhaps my favorite of the year.|
I’ve worked on my nutrition and know things that work for me. Perhaps more importantly, I’ve learned several times over how important it is to keep eating…something that tends to elude me on the bike despite never being an issue in real life. And hey, I’m not riding my saddle for the very first time in a 200 mile race (like I did last year…not recommended and yet very much the right decision for me).
In short, I’ve done pretty well for me. I spent the long weekend fighting a sinus infection and doing family stuff and planned to start packing yesterday. And then Nathan woke up with a bad stomachache.
The medicine didn’t really help, so by 9:30 we were sitting in our doctor’s office. I always go into his appointments with him, but yesterday I thought, He’s almost 19…he can go in by himself, and stayed in the waiting room. That lasted until our doctor poked her head out the door and motioned me back. Uh oh. “I’m worried about appendicitis,” she told me.
Along with appendicitis, I was worried about the fact that we’re still paying on the boy’s last surgery, so when she told us we could go home and see if the pain went away (if it wasn’t appendicitis) before going for a CT scan I was up for that plan. Nathan napped, and while I could’ve spent that couple of hours getting things together, instead I spent it freaking out and crying about medical bills. But that’s OK, because then I had it out of my system when he woke up still in pain.
Nathan was actually scheduled to see the doctor who did his previous surgery that very day and I had hoped we’d finish with the scans in time to cross the parking lot to the other office, but when his appointment time came we were still waiting for results. I called the doctor to explain why we were missing, and he asked if I wanted him to find out the results. It was a short jump from getting my answers to offering to do the operation, which is how my boy was in surgery within two hours and home by 9:00 yesterday evening. A stressful day, made so much better by someone I knew and trusted stepping in and taking care of things.
Today, Nathan is sore but recovering. Even though he’s 18 I feel a little guilty leaving him on his own for the weekend right after surgery. I’m leaving tomorrow evening, and I have almost nothing ready. I spent tonight watching Harry Potter with my boys. It’ll all get done, or it won’t. It’s so weird to have been thinking about this race so much for the last few months and now feel so…huh…it’s almost here. Detached, I guess.
I’m sure the excitement (or terror) will kick in once we’re on the way. I’ve got a lot of online friends I’m looking forward to meeting this weekend, and every trip I take with Team Virtus is a blast. You never know what will happen with weather or mechanicals, but if everything goes well I think I can finish. Not fast, but honestly just dragging my ass across the finish line will be win enough for me. We leave at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and I’ll try to post some updates on my facebook page or the SuperKate page; remember that my phone is my only way of calling for a rescue, so I’ll probably keep the posting to a minimum. You can also check for updates on the Team Virtus facebook page, where hopefully our crew can post some information about how it’s going.