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Reports RAAM 2019 #1

Period: start preparation

I chose Mel Theophilo to accompany me in the report of this moment, she was head of the RAAM 2019 team and is a longtime friend.

My report - preparation for the start of RAAM 2019

The long awaited day! Along with his arrival comes that anxiety, that "panic", insecurity, is it all right? I start the countdown.

At this moment, thank God I had Mel (my friend and team leader). It was her first RAAM, but Mel has been with me since my first ultra solo (Extra Distance SP, 2005), she knows very well how I feel and what I feel in those hours before the start. I have complete confidence! Being with Mel in my competitions means being 100% sure that everything will "go" as planned, all the organization's requirements will be fullfilled and our entire structure will be ready.

The start was scheduled for 1:00pm (close to that). The night before, my sleep wasn't good and we couldn't call sleep at all, it was a sum of naps. I woke up before everyone else in the house but stayed in bed. Alexandre (my husband) got up, kissed me and left. I got up afterwards, did my yoga, and felt a little better. I took a shower, it would be my last calm shower for the next 10, 11 or 12 days... who knows what would come?! At 9:00am I was already getting my cycling shorts. Oops! At that time I stopped, because I was very agitated. I changed out of my shorts and went downstairs to eat with everyone. We had rented a house for the team, I highly recommend it, Mel and Vivian did well on this one!

The food made me sick, I was anxious. It's no use, not even bread would come down! Okay okay, I ate bananas, honey, oatmeal and protein shake! Everyone on the team was keeping an eye on me, "filming me", seeing if I had actually eaten anything. It was at that moment that I saw that the pre-start noodles wouldn't happen, but they managed to feed me!!

Funny, I don't remember what I ate after that day... I just know I ate something. I remember leaving the house around 11:00am, 11:30am because we needed to line up in the parking lot of the Oceanside pier before closing the access.

When I arrived at the competition area, I was very introspective, closed off, quiet with my thoughts and obviously very afraid. Keeping quiet for me is a process of overcoming all this agony, overcoming the pre-start minutes. Lots of trips to the bathroom (numerous). I took the bike, spoke to the team but the feeling was that I wasn't there. Crazy stuff!

I only felt better when my name was called and I lined up the bike. Then came the trembling that I'm used to, I knew that when I was warm everything would be better. The team was perfect and eager as I was, of course. After all, it was the start of RAAM and who wouldn't be??

After the start, the feeling changed, after that it was just joy. In a matter of seconds it all turned: "RAAM is out and my team is the best in the world! We will arrive in Annapolis and if we have the chance and health, they can whip me for the placement! That's our motto. With Mel incommand I know that we will follow our motto until the end. We are a strong team! We are ready for anything!" That was the thought I had on the first kilometer of the 5,000km we were going to face. I came out of fear, insecurity, anxiety, and in a few pedals I felt like a fortress. Amazing right? How was that? Ahhh in the first few meters of pedaling my eyes met Mel's and she gave me a simple OK sign. Ready: there I saw. "Let's go in the Dani way of being". The RAAM has started.

Mel's report - preparation for the start of RAAM 2019

For the team, we put together some questions so they can remember the race in a simpler way.

1) How was dealing wioth the pre-competition team and Dani?

Our team is experienced and very united, we have a lot of intimacy in these race situations. It gives you peace knowing that you have a team helping you, it gives you confidence. Insecurity is something that has never been a problem for us. Of course there is always pre-competition anxiety, we know the difficulties of each challenge and we respect each course and opponent. Besides, Dani is an athlete who knows herself a lot!

2) What difference did you feel in pre-RAAM 2019 preparation and anxiety from other companies that praised Dani?

I think basically the level of exposure and the fact that she took the same race, very well, 10 years ago. The RAAM has greater visibility in the cycling scene, it is considered the toughest event on the world circuit of Ultras cycling. It requires a large financial investment in addition to demanding a lot of time for training. In physical and psychological terms, Dani is a very experienced athlete! In various sports and circumstances.She handles it very well.

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