Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rock Cut Race Report

I have so much to say about the race today, I'm afraid I would lose all my readers from being bored to death. (both of you.)

Part of the reason I have so much to write is because I retreated into my mind for about an hour and a half of the race today once the pain became unbearable 8( . I figured I was either going to sum the whole thing up on 2 or 3 simple words, or I would ramble on forever. I'll try to compromise.

The first race of the season for me used to be the Yankee Spring TT. A short, 50 minutes of pain and you were done. Still, it was a good race to judge my early season conditioning and handling skills.

The race today was like skipping to the end of the season and racing Iceman, without the benefit of all that extraneous training and racing in between :P . Once again I bit off more than I could chew by deciding to race the 35 miler. Granted, I did think I was ready for the distance. Perhaps I overgeared. Perhaps my diet wasn't right. I certainly could have used another water bottle during the race, but I don't think that can account for the misery I endured.

The first lap started unassumingly. I got a not so favorable starting position, and a larger part of the field when zooming by. The charge was lead by Jesse and Marko LaLonde, the brothers of screaming hellfire on wheels. I went out a little harder than I probably should have, but I soon settled into a pretty decent rhythem. And the cool thing is most of my xXx teammates where there too! The course had a little of everything. Singletrack, two track, tight'n'twisty, fast'n'flowy (though I would have liked more), a couple creek crossings, and some really nasty mud. I rode the first couple of these with some success. Once I had to dismount things went down hill fast. Imagine yourself running through about 6-8 inches of slightly wet peanut butter (and if you rode 12 Hours of Addison 2006 you can). In an attempt to keep my position after the mud, as soon as I got on solid ground I attempted my best 'cross mount. I failed. Miserably. Let's just say one of my Baby Makers isn't on speaking terms with me for a while.

At the end of the first lap I was greeted by the BoneBell spurring me on for another lap of pain. Only this time, it really got painful. I had been trading places with teammate Ken who was now up the trail a bit from me. He had reeled in Parker and moved on. I decided to try and bridge up to Parker and see if we could pull eachother on for a while. I caught up, and we too traded places back and forth for a while, his geared kung fu was far superior on the flats and downhills, but my singlespeed jedi mastery bested him on the climbs, at least for while. We encountered another minature Everglades and both dismounted. However, before remounting I had to clean the gobs of crap that had amassed betwixt my front wheel and the fork bridge. I also noticed that my front wheel brake was full on!! A rather ill-advised brake cable routing was causing the housing to pull out of the caliper and engage the brakes. I have no idea how long or how often this occured during the race, but it SUCKED. Parker was gone, never to be seen again.

In the middle of the first lap it began to feel like my breakfast was going to make a second appearance. By early in the second lap it was full blown heart burn. That was odd, but certainly unpleasant. Midway through the second lap I dropped my waterbottle, and things just got worse. No water to put out the fire, and I couldn't get food down without water to process it. Not good. Combined with all this, my legs were starting to give out. No cramping, but I just didn't have any more juice. Teammate Greg passed me right about this time. He was on his second and final lap, as he had the great wisdom to choose to race the 2 laps rather than survive the 3. He remarked that he didn't know how I was going to go out for another lap! He wasn't alone! I was climbing so slow that I was just about ready to throw in the towel. That's right. DNF. I just didn't have it in me to go on. I've never DNF'ed before, and I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but at this point it seemed I would be reduced to walking the entire 3rd lap. But I knew I had a watter bottle waiting at the start finish line, so I decided to grab it and get some water down and see how I feel.

Question: What happens to water in a plastic bottle sitting in direct sunlight for 2 hours? Needless to say, I wasn't drinking that! Fortunately teammate Guy was there at the start/finish, done early due to a detached crank arm :( . He traded me a better bottle, and I was off. After that sacrifice, I couldn't just quit!

The third lap was just about survival. I walked when I had to, though I managed some technical climbs I didn't think i had in me. I don't even remember the finish line. There was no final kick. I definitely left it all on the trail.

It took probably 30 minutes sitting or lying by the start/finish before I felt well enough to go back to the car, get some soda, and change. I got the soda, and spent another 10 minutes laying on a park bench before I could wash up and change. Luckily some friends from Half Acre where there with a yummy malt beverage. Now I was back among the living. A stop at Culver's on the way home for a well earned (thanks Sugargirl) Butter Buger and a Shake, and all was well with the world again!!

Bring on the Stampede!!


Blogger Mary said...

Mike you write great, I feel like I was there and watching. Can't wait to see you in May, hope you feel back to normal after that race.

22/4/08 12:37 AM  
Blogger Greg Heck said...

Nice job!! You are more of a man than me doing three laps on the SS.

22/4/08 9:42 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Ha!! Meredith did that race back in 2002... He didn't race the mt bike again for 4 years following it... I hope you recover a little quicker than that...

Sounds like you had fun...

23/4/08 11:24 AM  
Blogger Soupy said...

that's funny!! This was the first race I've ever done where I seriously questioned whether I ever wanted to race again!!

23/4/08 3:41 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

ditto roberts comments!!! I get cold just thinking about it.

28/4/08 2:35 PM  

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