What can I tell you about today? I usually start a blank piece of paper with a blank mind and today is no different.

This week I am mainly resting, with short, snappy race-pace preparations peppering the recovery before Olympic distance race number one, which is on Sunday. So I suppose I can yak about pre-race nerves for a little while.

Resting has a surprising effect on the body, in that it has a habit of making it feel like the victim of some sort of head on human/bus collision. When this feeling subsides, however, it is replaced by something which resembles a very tightly wound up coil. The real art to feeling good on the start line (for me) is flicking the release on that coil at just the right moment.

I have had start lines filled with apprehension, fear, lethargy, exhaustion, excitement – I have been through an array of start line emotions.

As yet, I still don’t know what Sunday’s pre-race feeling will be. I’m torn between accepting it’s a practice run at a whole new distance, and wanting to absolutely mash the thing.

I find it scary that hours and hours over months and months of training come down to how you’re feeling on a given day.

Sometimes, as I race, I tell myself there is nothing I can do on the day that I haven’t already done – the foundations are set. If I’ve put the training in, I’ll reap the rewards, if not, I’ve got only myself to blame. Accept it, keep calm, carry on.

On other occasions I play harder on myself, the mantra is more: All those hours, early mornings, 9.30pm bedtimes and declined drinks come down to this second, this minute, this hour on this day. So you damn well better make it worth it.

I’m not sure which is more effective – but I do know my mind controls every limb in my body, so I suppose all I can do is work on learning more and more about how to prepare it.

This season, this year, it’s all about building experience, learning to train, learning to recover, learning to race. I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as I learn.
Except, it totally does matter, because I absolutely want to destroy it… wish me luck.

Published by michellearthursbrennan

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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