Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Worst day on the bike EVER......and last......for a while.
The only reason why I would ever consider getting back on anything with two wheels would be to get the bad taste out of my mouth left from Saturday.
Last year I completed this race after crashing at mile 7 and riding the remaining 70 miles with a dislocated shoulder and torn rotator cuff yet I think I suffered more this year than last.
Not sure what accounted for the suffering. Some days the body...and mind just don't show up and Saturday they were nowhere to be found.
Felt OK for the first 20 miles apart from some relatively benign crashes, one of which I found myself tangled up in my bike and after hearing a sizzling noise looked down to see my red hot brake rotor searing into my calf. My bubbled skin fell off throughout the day. At around mile 30, I was still in the top 15 but realized that I had no legs and no mental acuity. That was about the time I came across Trevor who seemed to be in the same boat. He had realized that his body and mind were delinquent as well and was not going to finish in the top five, which would be a very realistic prospect on any other day, and so he pulled off the course to wait for me. We decided to limp in together and make the best of it. After a couple hours I could tell that Trevor had found at least a little recovery and could have ridden off but decided to pull my shattered carcass in to the bitter end. There is no question that I would quit otherwise.
I have never felt so impotent, unmotivated, burned out and "over" racing than I did on Sat. Maybe someday I'll find some satisfaction in having just finished on a day when I clearly had nothing to bring to a race, but for now I can only thank Trevor for his help and thank heaven that its over.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Leadville 100 2010 is in the books, filed under success. But the only reason it was a success was due to the brilliant execution of a brilliant crew. I’m not just blowing smoke either, I can actually provide scientific evidence upon request that I had the best support crew of the 1300+ racers.
Mom, Dad, Emily, Luke, Jane, Talise, Noah, Tate, Lydia, Sophia, Uncle Gary, Aunt Ardith, Todd, Julie, and Brooke. I think that’s everyone……Oh Wait…..What about the MVP (Most Valuable Pit-Crew-Chief):
MIKE “the electrolyte slinger” FISHER.
At 4am Mike was down at the starting line reserving for me the pole position for the start of the race. His natural pit crew chief demeanor commanded such respect and exuded such authority that other racers assumed he was a race official; whereupon Mike proceeded to “run with it” and singlehandedly staged the first 500 racers who showed up to reserve spots at the front. He operated the rest of the day with surgical precision and skill providing support for me and half the field at each support station and even improvised an unexpected support stop 80 miles into the race that literally saved my bacon.
I went into the race with little sleep and a bit of a cold; I had proven, based on not finishing the last 3 Icup races, that I was burned out from a season of racing too much. We stayed optimistic that the legs would be there on race day.
The goal was 8 hours and top 25 overall, I had the required split times needed to finish at 8 hours taped to my top tube. By the first support station I was dead on pace. I fell 3 minutes off pace at the second support station which came at mile 40. At mile 42 begins the 3000 ft climb up to Columbine mine (elevation 12,500ft). The climb was long, the air was shockingly thin, and while I couldn’t mentally process it at the time I remember there were two men almost at the top of the climb dressed in suits, one with a cloth draped over his arm like a waiter ceremoniously offering a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and the other presenting hot dogs on a silver platter. If I hadn’t heard other people refer to them after the race I would have thought it was a bizarre hallucination. I got to the top of Columbine which is also the 50 mile turnaround point only 7 or 8 minutes off pace.
Leg cramping was the single largest factor dictating my pace. It began at the start of the columbine assent and continued to the bitter end of the race 6 hours later. On 3 or 4 occasions the cramping was so intense that my legs completely seized causing me to coast to a stop and fall over unable to even clip out to brace myself against falling. The cramping would subside after a minute to the point that I could go back to spinning and willing away further cramp attacks.
The rest of the race was a blur of long exposed straighaways, fighting headwinds and steep climbs that never ended. Not knowing the course I would ask other racers on occasion how much was left of a particular climb, to which they would offer some very helpful and informative data like “It goes all the way to the sky”, or “There’s a $#%t load left.”
I knew in the last ten miles that I was not going to get my goal but having gone in with less than peak form, a cold and suffering almost constant muscle twinging and cramping, I was thrilled with the day. Finished 22 minutes over my goal and 52nd overall. If I can just remove one of those inhibiting factors for next year, a sub 8 hour time will be there for the taking.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Let's not get all caught up in the race outcome and exact results. The important thing is, I had an opportunity to get out and enjoy some lovely weather. Even better, stopped at Madox on the way home and bellied up to a whole mess of fried chicken which was in no way an attempt to repay Pops for coming all the way up to the race and having to endure the embarrassment of my race results that we are not discussing.