Pre-Race Jitters

So I’m racing on Saturday. It has been a long time since I’ve raced. And a really really long time since I’ve done a mountain bike race. In fact I think the last mountain bike race I did was in 2006… So to say that I’m stressing and obsessing would put it mildly.

My last mountain bike race at Mt. Tremblant.

My last mountain bike race at Mt. Tremblant.

As I was driving home to Ottawa this morning after a great weekend in Lakefield visiting my parents, exploring the roads and hanging out with the fine folks at Wild Rock Outfitters in Peterborough (especially the Flirtees girls) – my brain started to work its magic. First, I realized that I left my fancy schmancy spatula/spoon that I bought specifically for my super duper Vitamix – in the drying rack on Coyle Crescent… Shoot. Oh well, a good reason for my parents to pack up their kayaks and my dad to bring his power tools for a weekend of Ottawa kayaking and deck building (and spatula schlepping).

Right, seem to have got off track there – this happens sometimes…

Saturday I’m racing my brand spanking new Opus Fhast 2 29er. I’m nervous. I realized I have no idea what tire pressure to use or even how to determine what tire pressure to use. Should I use my Camelbak or a bottle/cage. I could get a flat tire, then what will I do. I don’t even know the protocol for pre-riding and warming up. Is it too much to expect to ride a lap of the course before the race. How do you warm-up for a mountain bike race? I don’t even know how to pace myself – go from the gun, play catch and pass, or what?

Yes, I feel like a first time racer. I want to have a good race but I have no idea what to expect. What is a good race in this situation? I don’t even know how to pace myself because I have no idea how long the race will be. Yes, stressing and obsessing are the appropriate terms.

Luckily I have a secret weapon. Her name is Lois. I emailed Lois and asked her all my questions. She gave me some very sensible answers and has calmed my nerves a little bit. But I know on Friday night and on Saturday I’ll be going a bit crazy brainish again. This is a good thing though – right? I guess all I can do is clip in, look down the trail (not at my front tire), pedal hard, remember to drink some water, smile and enjoy the moment. (But I really really would like some more pointers – so if you have some – I’m ready for them!) One more question – how do I attach my number to my bike – do I need to bring my one straps…