Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If your head is down you might as well bop it!

I feel like my early season form has disappeared. This might end up being my theme song until I'm back to normal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Race #39: Sampson and Delilah?

I was working a lot this week but I really wanted to give the Crit a try again. Unfortunately I have been so busy I really haven't slept too much and my stress levels were red-lining. But I pushed myself to get to the race.

So the gun goes off and I have a good start. There are Preems for the first ten laps. At first I didn't care, but after a lap I was still up front so I thought I would try to reel this guy back in. Bad idea. I hammered on the front for a couple laps and on the uphill of my third lap I found myself pushing about 27-28 mph and running out of gas. I ended up throwing out the anchor and getting spat out the back. I kept the pack in sight for about two more laps and then they disappeared.

Every time I came around everyone was looking at me like I might be the leader, and I could see the pity in their eyes when they realized I was some dropped schmuck. So I pulled over and DNF'ed. I was so upset.

I went home and got a lovely ride in with Bjet. It turned my frown upside down. She blames my lack of sleep, but I can't help but notice that I haven't been riding as strong since I shaved off my EuroMullet....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Race #38: Band of Brothers

All the reasons why I came to BioWheels were completely cemented at this race. All my teammates are great people who will help you at the drop of the hat, push you to do your best through competition (I have been training my ass off to do the kit justice). At the last minute the bad luck I skirted in Cohutta caught up with me as my dry conditions tires were sliced by the Lord Himself (or is this good luck?). Nate hooked me up with better tires, brought up in the middle of the night by Mitch. They both stayed up with me trying to get them to seal.

It’s a little intimidating to know that you are slated to do battle against 223 other 100k open racers. Like Cohutta I had pushed myself to go out hard, thinking that if I could stay ahead the gaps behind me may buffer me from losing time and positions. My smarter teammates knew they should pace themselves and use the end of the race to pick off spots.

Unfortunately I began to cramp on the hike-a-bikes early. It was frustrating to feel early on that I wasn’t really racing but trying to survive. Maybe it was the humidity, the lack of easy places to drink or the two beers and the hot tub the day before — I wasn't feeling my best. I did have some moments of glory. I was with Amanda McKay when I rode a creek and climbed out of that bad boy like a real mountain biker. I was shredding some trail at about 14 mph (great for me) before and after checkpoint 1. I passed some people here that ended up finishing an hour behind me.

But the cramps came back and I slowed. I was with Charley Miller when his legs forced him to DNF after this crazy horse trail descent over 2x4s. I was climbing the next hill when I fell over and got a cramp so severe I laid on the ground for a moment! I nearly DNFed right there. But I saw Karwisch and he cheered me up and I soldiered on.

I have no idea what happened at the end of the race. I followed Karwisch to checkpoint 2 and caught Mitch there. I was a few minutes behind Mitch at checkpoint 3. They turned on the rocket packs while I threw out the anchor!

Talking about great teammates. Joe's shoe destructed so he had to DNF, and Nate's bike is too pretty to gunk up — so they came to aid station 3 to give us royal treatment!

I need to learn to shred some trail — I lost so much time in the final part of the race through the rock gardens. I crashed a handfull of times and I feel like a defeated boxer. I came in 36 out of 116 finishers (another 107 racers DNF'd or DNS'd). 7:14:50-sumthin. Lost a lot of time with little dabs and slips. But hey! I have progressed so much as a mountain biker. Those perfect races are few and far between.

Lessons learned:
– Perhaps use time off the bike to refuel. Should have been chugging on the early hike-a-bikes.
– Hey dummy, there is Heed at the Aid stations. At Cohutta I fiddled with Nuun tablets on climbs!
– Maybe not pre-open Clif bars before a muddy race. Gross.
– Don't over-train! I wanted to repeat my success at Cohutta.
– Learn more about the drive train so I maintain it during the race.
– Remember to stretch and pee on & off the bike if possible.
– Remember the First Aid kit! I am black, blue and bloody.

Side effects:
– Major chain ring wound in the back of my left leg. It got packed with mud.
– Shaved a lot of skin off one of my knuckles, also got packed with mud, yuck.
– I'm worried I swallowed some nasty mud. I have had minor IBS since the race, maybe I'll go to the doc!
– My back is killing, better go to Sophie at Norwood Chiropractic ASAP!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bridget got third at Mohican! She is a real mudder!

Tons of muddy trail today. Actually quite fun and challenging. I had a rough ride, I came in at 7:14:50. I have to thank my team - they hooked me up with new tires and tons of help. I am super lucky.

Sunny Mohican pre-ride with the teammates! Unfortunately this is the last time I smiled. Slashed my tire. Then more rain and lightning! Today is going to be tough.