Saturday, April 30, 2011
Small steps suck to take this time of the year but it's what I have to do at this point...Today was the first ride outside since the bone bender, it felt good to get out on the bike again!! My knee felt pretty good, not 100% but not bad either.
I had more incentive to ride today and that was to benefit the owner of the shop I ride for, The Bicycle Shack. I was going to ride today no matter what my knee felt like, just to show support for a man who has helped me and a bazillion others in and around cycling.
There was a group ride followed by a waffle breakfast to collect donations to help Chris Smedley win his battle with pancreatic cancer. The volunteers were also selling team green Chrisstrong bands. I don't know how many people read this, but you should buy a Chrisstrong band if you see it. He's a good owner to ride for and a good person in general!!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I'm feelin a little better about my IT issues these days. I jumped on the trainer yesterday to find out if I could pedal without pain and sho nuff...pain free!!! I did ride really easy though.
Today, I did the same and again the result was good. I was feelin mighty low based on the pain I had and how long it took to recover from it the first time. So with this bit of encouraging news I think my "A" race will still be intact...HOORAY!!!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Ok, so it's been more than a day since this race...There's a few good reasons why!!
1. It's hard to write an interesting blog when you're freakin tired!!
2. I've been a bit depressed about the IT band issue that I currently have and was feeling waaaaay uninspired!!!
I spent the majority of the day on Saturday getting ready for this race. I had forgotten how much stuff you need to rumble in the jungle. By 10pm I was finally done with the race prep. It kinda sucked that it took that long, but there was an hour and a half nap and a 16 mile ride to prime the legs in there also...
At this point the truck was loaded and all I had to do in the morning was pack my cooler and head to Leadfoots house to be on the road to Lawrence by 7:30. We hit the road at 7:25...Wooooooohooooooo!!!
We get to the venue, park the war wagon, and proceed to get ready for the impending 3 hour melee. Both of us were already registered, so all there was to do was the minor things...We finally head out for a warm up/recon. The promoter had changed the first part of the course to aid in parking, so we scoped it as part of the warm up.
Sufficiently warmed, we realize the rider meeting is going on and by the time we get there it's over...ooooops!!!
On to the start...the start for this race was a LeMans start...We had to run up about 100 yards of rocky jeep road. They say go and I start running, some are sprinting, some are running (me), and some are jogging. Out of about 250 racers, I make it to my bike inside the top 20. I jump on, jam it into the big ring, and pin it!! The first section to string out the race was about a mile of pavement onto double track, into a field, and then into the singletrack.
My plan was to be inside the top 20 headed into the woods and I accomplished this!! The very good reason behind killing it at the start was to avoid having to walk on a lot of the first section of singletrack due to the amount of technical riding there.
As it turns out, the further back you were going into this section, riding became an impossibility. Due to the amount of people and the nature of the track.
At this point I'm inside the top 10 and riding well!! I managed to make it through the technical stuff without being bitched at for going to slow. Out of the gnarly and onto what most would consider sweeeeeet singletrack. I pick up the pace and at this point I realize that an massive explosion is imminent if I don't back off a bit. I ease off a bit to recover, I let a few riders pass and jump right on their wheels and maintain the spot for the 1st lap. I rode into the transition in 11th...
Lap 2...I stop in my pit to grab another bottle and my camelbak. I jump on and punch it down the road again...I get to the first section of singletrack and I'm not riding so well at this point...I think I went a little too hard on the first lap and didn't drink enough water either...
I pinball through the gnarly stuff fairly quickly, get to the sweeeeet stuff and motor along feeling just ok. About half way through this lap my legs start to cramp a little...I'm thinkin this is not good!!! Oh well, I have my camelbak on and proceed to drink as much as I can stand because I'm not using it on the last lap. Hopefully this will help...not so much...
A little while later on the same lap my knee starts to ache...remember the IT issue at the beginning?! I'm thinking at this point...fuck...if this get worse, Im screwed!! So now I'm wrestling with myself with about 3 miles to go on the 2nd lap. I'm not riding well, my legs are cramping, and now my IT band is about to go on strike...FUCK THIS, I'm calling it a day...
This goes on for a bit, and then I see Weedhopper...A young roadie, that has more or less just started MTBing, is a 2 on the road, races for the Mercy team, who was on a team that beat Leadfoot and myself at R.I.M. 2 years ago, and hasn't let me live it down since!! Oh no!!! I think if he beats me today I will never hear the end of it...needless to say I get to the transition and keep going...
Lap 3. In my pit. I take one more huge drink from the camelbak, throw it down, grab a mini coke and chug it, drink as much of my carbie drink as I can stand, eat a gel, wash it down it a bit more coke, and hit it again...
I am now at this point focused again, must not be passed by Weedhopper. Into the gnarly for the last time. On lap 2 I decided that walking briskly up the handful of technical power climbs was a better idea than using 200% effort to try and climb these with the outcome being not making it and having to catch myself, get off my steed and walk anyway...I think it was a good idea, I used waaaaay less energy but didn't look as cool....oh well...
I'm about out of the gnarly on a farily tricky descent when my focus runs away screaming I QUIT, FUCK YO COUCH!!! At this point I proceed to pinball and get bucked off my steed and land on my side in the rocks...I'm almost certain that when I got bucked off I was holding on to the bar going down this hill with my feet following behind me like superman...then I hit the eject button...
None the worse for wear, I laugh it off and get going again. Finally through the gnarly, I proceed to just move toward the finish as fast as I can, which isn't very fast at this point.
Suffering greatly now, I'm about 3 miles from the end and my knee says I quit. It felt like someone stabbed me with a knife...IT SUCKED!!! I had to stop and try and stretch it out so I could finish...which I did. Finally I get to the transition, and say NO MAS!!!!
MY goal for this race was to do four laps. I kinda met that goal. I finished the 3rd lap with 8 minutes to spare, so I could've gone out again. As it was, I finished 14th out of 23 in the mens open (pro,1,2) and 24th out of 134 overall in the 3 hour.
I think if my knee wouldn't have been toast I probably would have gone out for one more. It's easy to say now, but who knows...
I thought about this race for a few days and the only thing I would've done different would be to use the camelbak on the first lap and then ditch it from there...oh well...lesson learned.
As I write this, I haven't been on my bike for a week due to my knee issues. I'm gonna give the trainer a go for a really easy spin, hopefully I make it through with no pain, because my A race is coming up in June...This was to be the start of preparation for that...we shall see...
Oh yeah, Weedhopper finished 2 spots behind me in the class. A small positve!!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
A rant first...so the first race I had planned on doing was cancelled...due to the promoter being a dumb ass!!! The weather was perfect, the course would've been crazy fast, but noOOOOOoooo!!! I'm sure I'm not the only one who was a bit mad about this knucklehead dropping the ball. Deep breath...in through the nose, out through the mouth...that's better...mostly.
Today is the day before the 2011 Bone Bender 3/6 hour race. I have much to do today. I need to get a ride in, but as of right now, the weather is 39 degrees, the wind is howling from the NW at 20-30 mph and I'm not really feeling the whole winter riding gear to get what I need at this point. It's supposed to clear off and the temp move into the 60's, that's when the rubber will meet the road.
Before I do that, I gotta gather all my stuff, mix the bottles I'm gonna use, four I think. Prep the Truth for a 3 hour melee in the mud. I'm bringing the fast tires just in case the conditions are better than expected, but the mud tires will be mounted for the race.
Last weekend, due to the race being cancelled, I spent my time wisely inspecting the course. Just like any MTB race the start will be crucial!!! The first section of singletrack is crazy technical for at least a mile, after that the course has it's moments, but no extended sections like the first.
With that being said, drilling it to the first section will be a painfully
wise decision!! I heard nothing but horror stories of the bottleneck at the entrance to the singletrack last year, fortunately I beat myself blind at that start to avoid such a disaster, it worked!! This year will be no different!!
The race nerves have just arrived...it's a good thing, it's been a while and to be honest, I've missed them.
Stay tuned kiddies, race report tomorrow.