Nervousness is setting in

In case you haven’t guessed, I like to push the boundaries of my endurance. Actually, I just like to push boundaries full stop. I ride life like it’s a runaway train.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes get nervous about the crazy stuff I sign myself up for.

This weekend, I am going to be totally audacious. I have signed up to ride in the Audax Australia Fleche Opperman 24 hour team cycling challenge. The challenge requires teams to ride a minimum of 360km in 24 hours as a team (i.e. not as a relay). Teams set their own routes but:

  • must finish at the designated finish location (for South-East Queensland, this is the Ipswich Brothers’ Leagues Club)
  • the route must not travel down the same roads in the same direction more than once because the idea is to simulate cycle touring
  • each team member must ride at least 25km in the final 2 hours of the 24 hour window.

The team I joined will be attempting to ride 369km within the allowable time. I’ve never been beyond the 200km mark so this will be entirely new territory. I don’t know how to prepare for Saturday’s adventure.

  • I don’t know whether I should just take the whole week off exercise and get loads of calories into me (I’ve estimated I’ll be burning 11,000 – 14,000 calories during the event). Or whether I should still keep doing some light training until the event.
  • And what should I carry with me to eat during the event? I mean, how does one carry 11,000 – 14,000 calories in jersey pockets?
  • And what if it rains overnight? I don’t own any wet weather gear for cycling; I don’t even own a wind vest (though I think I’ll pick one of them up this week).

Audax cycling is all about being audacious. And it suits my life motto:

For every success, a thousand failures forgotten lie. For every failure to try, a thousand successes prematurely die. (Anon)

This is a huge challenge for me. It’s a real adventure into the unknown. I’m excited … but I’m equally nervous about what this unknown will bring.

If anyone has any practical tips about how I should approach the event, I’m certainly open to all suggestions.


6 responses to “Nervousness is setting in

  1. Wow! It sounds really like a huge challenge! Good Luck!!!

    • Thank you. Yes, I think it will be a huge challenge. But I am starting to mentally prepare and am more confident than I was the other day. I know I can ride 100km quite easily and that I struggled around the 150-170km mark in the 200km ride but then felt good after that. So I am going to break the ride down into 100km stretches.

      I have also learned that we are getting fed during the event, which is brilliant 🙂

  2. I’d say rest is a priority the week before a 24h event (and the week after, depending how you feel!). Short easy jaunts if anything. No training now will make you fitter for it, so it’s about being in best possible shape to start i.e. muscles well rested. Also remember to get plenty of sleep in the days before – so it doesn’t matter too much if nerves affect your sleep the night before. And start fuelling up on Thursday! That’s all my tips, I think 😀
    ps you definitely need some sort of waterproof. Hungry + wet + tired = much easier to get cold than normal.

    • Thanks for the tips Rosemary. I’m heading out today to buy a windproof vest and seeing whether I can find a suitable waterproof jacket too. Especially seeings I’m hoping to do a lot more Audax rides this winter and, maybe, head to the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in New Zealand in November as my final event for the year. Time to start collecting some proper gear and not making do anymore 😉

      You’re so right about resting. It’s a challenge isn’t it – to force yourself to rest when you are used to getting out every day. I think I needed someone to confirm this was the best approach. I rested yesterday and today – just doing lots of stretching. I’m going for an easy run tomorrow night with my sister because it’s our team training session and because I am collecting a new running hydropack today from a Kathmandu Outdoor who gave it to me after I shared my Kathmandu Adventure Race blog post with them. So I’ll want to try it out 🙂

      • Even from over here I’ve heard of the Lake Taupo challenge!

        Sounds good with your approach, glad I could help. I’m sure an easy run will be fine, perhaps a gentle spin on the bike too, just to make sure the legs remember and are primed for what’s coming up!

        Resting is a total challenge. It’s a good job my coach knows all about that, he knows when I’ll be agitating and reminds me not too! 🙂

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