I had a glimpse of it near the end of my 3 day shake down run..
Got a email this morning from ML asking a simple yet immense question:
"Marshal, are you ready? Are you in 'that place' you need to be?
I assume you are still grand depart?I am about to release final details on the route changes.
So am I in ‘that place’ one needs to be at going into something like the TDR?
Anyone who has raced, not just toured but rather raced (or contested to the best of their individual capability) a self-supported multi-day probably truly appreciate and understand what this question implies. I am sure others who have participated in other types of intense, extended competitions also understand what it means to be in the right place preceding an event like the TDR.
Anyway, for me I can answer yes in several ways.
· Yes, my physical condition is in ‘that place’. Disallowing age factor, basically best ‘bike’ condition of any time in my life.
· Yes, my bike, gear and route prep are set and ready to go. I feel I have the right/best balance of light vs durable.
· Yes, my mental state is ‘there’, eager yet relaxed.
· Yes my race strategy(s) are flexible, honed and tested.
Of course nothing is guaranteed, like all participants, a simple mechanical or minor physical injury could derail everything in an instant.
But I am standing right on the threshold and looking in.
And I like what I see waiting.
Barring a significant mishap along the way I will soon be experiencing and living in ‘that place’ for about 20 days.