Over the course of the past couple of weeks I've asked myself whether I am ready for Mt. Tam and the best answer I can give is I'm cautiosly optimistic. Cautiosly optimistic vs. confident vs. overconfident. After a year and a half of riding double centuries I am discovering that the line separating these levels of attitude is awfully thin.
In this period, I think I had my best legs at 2008 Eastern Sierra. I'd done lots of training and good rides at Solvang Spring and DMD served me well. After a good ride at DMD I felt confident and was looking forward to Eastern Sierra. I had another good ride there. It turned out that would be my downfall at 2008 Terrible Two. After three good rides I thought I was hot shit and knew everything there was to know about riding, nay, racing, double centuries. So, at Terrible Two, I went with a very fast group and rode way too hard for 75 miles. As a result, I overheated, under-ate and under-drank, and Terrible Two became Terrible 1.2 when I cramped in both legs simultaneously at a water stop at mile 120.
This year, I haven't had the time to train as much as I would like. Thus, I've ridden conservatively. My times at Solvang Spring and DMD were slower than last year, but then I had a very good ride at Central Coast. Riding very conservatively on a pleasantly cool day, I met my goal of finishing the Terrible Two, though I was waaaaay back on the finishing list, considerably behind a number of people who'd ridden slower at DMD and CCD. So, more food for thought.
When we went to a family camp in Santa Barbara in early July, I had a series of very good rides, doing several hilly and flat interval sessions and returned with legs that felt much better than the pair I'd brought to Santa Barbara. But the longest ride I'd done there was 50 miles. In fact, that was the longest ride I'd done since Terrible Two on June 21 and that is just not a good way to train for a double century. So, last Saturday, just a week before Mt. Tam I put in a 110-mile ride. The ride went well, and now I feel cautiously optimistic. I would be thrilled to have a ride as good as I had at CCD. Weather promises to be cool and mostly overcast. I just have to remember to ride smart, eat and drink lots, not hammer over Marin County's never-ending rollers, and think happy thoughts.
Decided that I'll be riding the black steel/carbon Rex. Keeping my fingers crossed and wishing myself luck.