This has been a different kind of year for me. In the past it was all about doing as many cross country races as possible. In 2003 I ended up doing 25.
This year I have been shooting for quality over quantity, plus I find myself doing longer races. I haven't had much luck with the whole cross country thing this year. I have had some success in the team endurance races. I do not know how or when my racing style changed, but it has and I am loving it. I am now trying to do some individual endurance stuff, and I have to tell you it ain't easy. I give mad respect to the folks that pursue this style of racing and suffering.
Yesterday was my first true solo endurance event. Mind you it was just a little 6 hour race, but hey, I had to start some where. I had a few team mates to join in the fun with me. fatmarc , Matt Run Forrest, Spot Paul, and our step team mate Jason. I was using this race as prep for the Shenandoah mountain 100 and I learned, the hard way, 2 very important things.
First thing I did wrong was change my hydration method. I have always used water in my camelbak, and a bottle of sports drink. Yesterday I put gatorade in my camelbak. The result was a very upset stomach. I was fine the first 3 laps, but then I started having problems taking in food and water, this was a problem.
Second thing, I went out a little too hard. I was feeling good the first few laps, now I wasn't going at race pace, but I wasn't conserving my efforts either. This would come back to haunt me later.
Here is how my race went. It started off good, Marc, Matt, Paul and I were all together and in a pretty good position. I started to hear a rattling coming from my back wheel and thought my disc rotor had come loose. I decided to just ride it and switch bikes after the first lap. Turns out it wasn't my rotor, but my caliper. I had lost one bolt and was about to lose the other when I finally stopped to check it. I managed to make it through the first lap, make a quick bike change and catch back up to Matt. Marc was long gone by now and Spot Paul had slipped back a little. Matt and I rode most of the race together, he would get away from me on the flats and down hills, and I would catch back up with him on the climbs or in the pit.
Like I said earlier, my first 3 laps were great. Matt and I stopped, grabbed some fresh camelbak's and a quick bite then headed out for lap 4. I was still feeling OK but this is when I started having stomach issues. Every time I drank something I would feel queasy. My mouth and throat were dry but my stomach wanted no part of it. I tried taking little sips but it wasn't helping.
We stopped again and Diane was telling me I didn't look too good. I tried to eat a little, but I wasn't nearly enough. I went out agian anyway. I was determined to ride the whole 6 hours. Lap 6 was tough but lap 7 was brutal. I was still able to rip the descents, but I found myself walking even the smallest climbs. I came in with still half an hour to go, but Matt and I both decided to call it a day. In hind sight I should have sucked it up and went out for an 8th lap ,but I am not going to beat myself up over it.
While suffering through my last lap I was having serious doubts about the Sm100, I was thinking that if I can't ride for 6 hours how the hell am I going to do 10 or 11. I spent some time thinking about it today. I now know what not to do, and I am also more determined than before to do this race.
Now for all the good stuff. Congratulations to Marc for having a great race. Marc through down 9 laps and edged out a charging Ben Yoder for 2nd place. Amazin Andrew is coming back into form for sure. Andrew raced in the open Single Speed class where most of the people he is racing against are 30 years younger than he is. Andrew finished 7th in very strong field. Our step brother Jason got in just under the 6 hour mark and was able to complete his 9th lap as well. I think he ended up 5th or 6th.
Well I must continue recovering.