Thursday, 9 March 2017

Racing The Munga - How to Prepare (Part 6 Last But One)

Learn to live with compromises. 

It's a simple issue but one that some people struggle with. If your bike shares a bed with you and your partner sleeps in the garage then you are probably one of those people who get edgy every time your bike creaks or the brakes squeal. Get over it. When you are in the middle of the Karoo and you break a spoke, or heaven forbid a fingernail, no one else cares. Least of all the sheep. I've seen people break a derailleur and convert to single-speed. I've seen them riding with pringled wheels and even walking with bikes on their backs. I've even seen someone riding with only front brakes over mountainous terrain. All these people finished the race they were in. If your bike isn't in perfect working order there is nothing to be gained from dwelling on it. Stick your earphones in, choose some happy music, crank up the volume, and get on with it. Yes, earphones are allowed on The Munga as are aero bars. Do yourself a favour and download an audiobook or two to help while away the hours.  

Become your own expert. 

When I arrived at Van der Kloof dam this past December I was shattered. Amy McDougall was there and came over and chatted. She could see that I was exhausted. She asked if I was stopping or pushing through. When I told her that I was going to push on her response was, "You know your body." She might be young but she is crammed full of race experience and wisdom. 

No one knows my capabilities better than I do and she knew that. She also knew it wasn't her place to suggest otherwise. 

I left Van der Kloof and, as expected, I recovered and had an enjoyable ride to the next race village. Don't let other people tell you what to do unless you are not the best expert on yourself. If you aren't, then listen to your body and try understand your headspace under stress and start figuring out what's best for you. 

Set new endurance boundaries for yourself and then go out and break them and set new ones. You are so much stronger than you think you are. I'm no stranger to feeling completely shattered. Read this post:

Funny thing about that race is that I went on to win and set a race record in the process. 

Then there's this strange story. I heard of one guy who decided to pull out of The Munga and was trying to talk another competitor into quitting as well. Sis! If someone tries to talk a hole in your head immediately strike them from your Christmas card list. 

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