Monday, August 07, 2006

So, You Want To Be An Endurance Racer...

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.



Jason said...

Way to hang in there Buddy. I think you'll do fine the 100. Use these coming weeks to experiment with some hydration methods etc.,

I stared off too fast yesterday too. I blame you. HA!

I went though some of those same things in the past. I think I have it down now. NOW I need to figure out how to get faster. If you want e mail me and I'll give you my super top secret guaranteed to finish just off the podium nutritional tips :)

Great seeing you guys. See you soon I hope.


bob said...

way to tough it out.

Gatorade doesn't work well with me either.

Buddy said...

Thanks guys. Jason i will give you shout re: some hydration ideas. To let you know I was taking endurlytes.


Frank Brigandi said...

Well, look at it like this maybe.
You rode approximately 40 miles, dehydrated and malnourished....100 miles on top of your feedbag issue, well, no probpemo. It;s not a mattter of hours, it's a mater of how many miles each hour. The longer 75 miles + races, usualy have long climbs, ( easier to pace yourself definately) and fun descents, lots of fire road cross over stuff or climbing in them. THey try to minimize the circuit race technical aspects because the promoters don;t want anyone getting injured while in pursuit of bragging rights for a finish in any aspect. They also don;t want to get kicked in the nuts and have no one show up the next year because they are total physco's for creating a death march format of a race. I canpersonally atest, that doing a 35 mile circuit race is far more severa than going 75-100 and having fun. Shit, One race I did, ( I just participated as a traning race) I stopped to go fishing for about 45 minutes, I brought my ppocket fisherman along. Did some catch and release and had a great day....just nail down your hydration issue and the eating hicup you suffered and you'll be ducky.

Frank Brigandi said...

I was going to hand you a dogfish head chickory stout and a hotdog, but you had an unusual Hue to your skin tone...mostly on the side of Malaise more than exertion. And I don't like seeing beer come out of someone's nose, it's just a fucking crime and wicked beer foul. woof..

Buddy said...

Thank Frank, I was feeling pretty bad. I have heard the some other people tell me the same thing about the difference between long circuit races and 100 mile one loop races. I am feeling confident about the SM 100.

Thanks all,

IF Chicks said...

Hi Buddy,

Glad to hear you are coming to the SM100 this year. Andrew did really well on the course and maybe can give you some tips that worked for him.

It will be easier in some ways than a lap race, but the climbs are long. Maybe consider picking one easier gear (than you use in shorter races) so you can keep riding more instead of walking.

You are a really strong rider and just believe you'll do great (you've been working hard all season). You've been learning a lot from all your races this season and will be reday to have it all come together fro your first 100 miler.

who else is coming ??
keep up the spirits and congrats on finishing this last one !


Chris said...

Buddy... Nice work! I think you will kick it a the 100. You work hard and it will pay.