I remember signing up for the Swanson Shootout, a mountain bike race, last year and feeling incredibly unprepared. I hadn’t been on my mountain bike at all over the winter and only had spent a few days on the trail the week prior to the race. I ran into my friend Alex prior to race and he asked me how I felt. I told him that I was not ready and was really nervous about the race. He told me, “if you wait until you are ready you will never race. ” This was the best advice that I got a new racer. He was absolutely right. The year before I only did one race. My goal for 2013 was to complete 5 races. I ended up racing 13 times and I can honestly say I never felt ready for any of them.
The race at Swanson is tomorrow and this year my preparation is even worse than last year. I have not been on my mountain bike all year and I signed up for my first 4 hour marathon. The marathon terrifies me but to get stronger you have to get out of your comfort zone.
Good luck to everyone racing tomorrow, especially to the first time racers. I know exactly how you are feeling. Go out there and have fun, I promise you will be glad that you did!