Is it always like this?
Neil says yes and that I just forget about it in the post-race high. I firmly believe no. Never have I been quite so terrified before a race. Nervous? Yes. Like this. No.
I'm trying to bury myself in meticulous planning (let there be lists) and have labelled up little bags of food for all the different stages. Just need to pack a box for my loyal support crew (bacon, rolls, tea, magazines...why am I doing the race and not being someone's support?)
We drove half way round Scotland last night to pick up a kayak which I'm hoping will be suitable for the race. The good thing about it is that it's a really fast kayak. The bad thing is that it's a really fast kayak, thereby removing a possible excuse for being last. Red Kayak is currently taking up most of the entire volume of our wee flat, thus proving that 5 bikes by themselves are not in fact too much for one building. You can fit an entire 18ft kayak in there - loads of space!
This week's Coast to Coast adventure has been a long time coming. The months leading up to it have been filled with sporadic, though very happy 'training' and lots of sky rides, cycle coaching and organising events. I'm not sure whether I'm as fit as I was last year or in fact if I'm fitter. I can guarantee that at 6am on Sunday morning, I will not be feeling fit but I'll have the afternoon cut-off in my mind. Just need to make it onto the run before then.
I think I'm only a little bit scared about being last. I did, after all, enter the 'expert' category in a fit of madness and therefore deserve all I get. In a way, being last might actually be good in that the safety cover /broom wagon for the kayak stage will probably be close by. So there we go, nothing to be scared about at all in kayaking 12miles down a freezing loch ness by myself.