Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 Lumberjack 100

I've had a pretty rough spring in terms of injuries and mechanicals, so I was really ready to put together a good race before summer started. My goal was to try really hard to pace myself in the early part of the race and then ramp it up at the end. A few twists and turns aside, everything went according to plan.

Lap 1: After freezing my a** off on the two mile ride out to the start on the pavement with the sun not yet over the tops of the trees, we were off. For the first 45 minutes or so I found myself in the middle of a looooong line of riders snaking through the singletrack. The pace was super mellow, and you could hear a bunch of different conversations going on simultaneously all around. About ten miles in the pack started to thin out and soon I was in a good group of 5 or 6 other riders. I went real easy and finished up the lap feeling fairly fresh.

Lap 2: On a whim Thursday night, I threw an expired bottle of Endurolytes in my food box. This would prove to be a very wise move indeed later in the race. Before setting out on the second lap I downed three of the white pills and changed out my bottles. I had a few rough spots on the second lap. There were definitely times where I struggled, but there were also times where I felt really strong. Such is life racing for 100 miles. I had one quick spell of cramping just past the aid station. My left quad seized up, and I quickly stopped pedaling and got off to the side of the trail. My first thought was, "oh F**K!". But then I stood still for a moment and took stock of the situation. I massaged my leg a little and drank about half a bottle of Heed. I got back on the bike and gingerly continued up the hill in my granny gear waiting for the cramps to reappear. Miraculously, they never did.

Lap 3: I downed three more of the Endurolytes and three ibuprofen before setting out on the final lap. As soon as I rolled away from the pits I knew I was going to finish. All those steep climbs would only have to be conquered one more time. I had a few rough spots here and there to be sure, but compared to the carnage I saw on the side of the trail I felt great. No cramping and aside from some irritation in my hands and lower back life was good. I stopped at the last aid station, about 16 miles from the finish, and filled up my bottles. I also slammed two little dixie cups of cold flat coke, it was delicious. From there on out I probably passed a good dozen riders. The heat was taking it's toll, and almost everyone I saw out on the trail was complaining of some cramping issue or another. I was still feeling great, powering up short steep climbs in my middle rang that I had cautiously walked up on the second lap. And then it was done. It feels so good in so many ways to finish one of these races.

Special thanks to Sarah for sitting around in the buggy woods all day to take care of Hugh and I. And also for cooking all of our delicious meals over the weekend. I'm already kind of sort of looking forward to next year.

1 comment:

SARGE said...

Thumbs up, nice job!!!