Sunday, July 6, 2008

Marysville Visit PA Stage Race.

So I get a call from my coach last week, he suggested I bust out a stage race... My "plan" for the weekend consisted of a nasty block of super lt death and some long drawn out micro intervals tacked onto the normal 3 hours of endurance each day. I agreed and prepped the 9.8 for 2 days of consecutive riding. I can't remember the last time I rode the 9.8 two days in a row, maybe before I went to Orlando for work and the SRM was on its way back to Colorado... most likely.
Saturday... 23 Miles of XC. ~7.25 mile laps and if your not so good with the numbers, I had to do 3 of them. I had a 2:30 start time which was just enough time for the humidity and sun to crank things up to about a solid 8.5 on the sticky scale. I guess it had rained the night before because the trail was slick and full of roots.
Gun goes off, I instantly lactate up and my legs are trying to convince me to slow the eff down. I head into the single track in 6th. I like to start fast to get ahead of the traffic at the risk of being a little less fresh later, well traffic is what I got so negotiate for the first 2 miles or so. a couple guys in front of me crashed and a pass or so later I moved to third wheel. The pace wasn't anything special but we easily got a nice gap. I moved up to first wheel in an effort to control the pace through the singletrack. The course was awesome Kuhn and his Visit PA crew did a nice job on this one. While my group slowly gaped the reminder of the field, we had a nice chat about nationals in a few weeks, and some other cycling related small talk. I tried to drill it out of a few corners to I dont know keep things interesting. It dawned on me that I think I'm being toyed with... I usually don't talk a lot during races. We go through the feed zone headed to lap 2, I drift back to 4th hoping for some draft... I take my bottle from Lauren and we head back into the singletrack... Here is Tactical error Number 1: the leader drills it when we hit the singletrack, I'm in the awesome last place in the group yo yo position, wishing I was up front controlling the pace still. While chasing our 3rd place rider goes down, maybe 15 seconds later, I traverse a slew of roots on a step down, the next thing I know I am bouncing on my hip... sweet. I jump up and let out a few gasps to accompany my limp, my entire left leg is numb. I remount then realize there is a log 10 feet in front of me I cannot clear. Tick Tick Tick, there go the leaders. 4th catches me... he asks if I am ok. I say I just need to walk it off... It takes about 180 Tick Tick Ticks for me to feel ok again... I work back up to race pace and press on. maybe a half hour later I catch 3rd, I attack and gap him. The next few miles are a bit of a blur, I went into mindless maintain mode and tried to keep myself and my bike together. My hip hurt every time I weighted it in a turn. The heat started to hit too. I unzipped the jersey and went euro mountain style. As I entered the field on the last lap I saw 2nd place exiting the field, I estimate I needed to make 30 seconds to catch him. I kept my pace. Suddenly I saw him in front of me, I attacked and went for it. He was cramping pretty bad, I heard him yelling after. I felt bad suffering is one thing but shutting down is another thing. I charged the rest of the lap and brought it in for 2nd place on the day. I was pretty messed up after the race, my hip, ankle, and knee were a bit upset with me. Time to recover for the Hill Climb.

Sunday Hill Climb.

I'll keep this one brief, 2.5 miles total 2 miles of climbing, 867 feet vertical. Sweet on a normal day... not so sweet when you cant get full power out of your left leg. whatever. I had to race with the elites on this one. I also got a crap start position and was like 30 deep on the start, whatever. Finished mid pack after I shut it down about 1.5 miles in. Just didnt have it.

Sunday Short Track.

I have never short track raced before. this was a wide open, but twisty .4 mile lap. Once again I had to wrestle with the elites. Gun went off, I was maybe 25 deep. Worked my ass off and bridged up a few times as gaps developed. I placed a few more attacks, and rode into my legs. It was a lot of fun. Lauren got some sweet pictures too. I should do more of these. ended up 16th in the elites, which I thought was pretty good.

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