Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An unnececary hard mental journey

I have not written in quite some time, partially due to frustration regarding my last race. Partially due to vacation (Which helped me squelch the frustration).

Summer Solstice promised to be an amazing 24 hour race after great spring showings and lots of early season training. I was on a great team with great guys and we were there to have fun. All of these things happened. It was a great time, it was a great race. We all had a great time.

Friday night we arrived at the campground and setup camp. We went to the local town and I ate a great heaping dinner of Liver and Onions at the pub with a couple of beers. Best plan would have been to go back and go to sleep at this point. However we went back had a couple more beers and went up to the on-site brew pub they have setup for these events. I did not by any means have too many drinks that night but enough, coupled with lack of sleep to bring my on-bike performance much lower than I was expecting.

My first lap my Odometer failed and I spent too much time fiddling and not enough time riding which ended me out with a 57 minute lap. I was disappointed with this time and it would only get worse from there. I was too hard on myself and probably drained the others on my team a bit too with my mild negativity. I pulled the fastest laps on our team and was still negative about my times at camp, this was not fair to anyone.

To boot I tried different race nutrition which kept me full but never actually energetic. Not sure if this was more due to lack of sleep the night before. As you can clearly see in the image i was just worn down during this race.

In my first night lap I had decided that I was going to put the negativity behind me. I was riding hard thru the first 1/3 of the course when something I have never seen in a race happened. Medics cleared us off our bikes and had us wait as they carried a rider past on a backboard. When we were given clearance I shot off again and within seconds bailed on a wet root only to land right beside the bike of the injured rider and the shiny metal sheet they must have used on him for some first aid. The rest of the lap I rode cautiously ending me up with a 1:07 lap time which I was not overly upset with considering the time we spent waiting on the sidelines.

My second night lap I was ready to take on the world. I had had sleep, my nutrition was coming into order and everything was great! I hammered thru a little 3/4 of the lap and was just killing a hill when my left pedal felt funny, 3 more cranks and my foot hit the ground... My left crankarm had completely fell off the bike. I luckily was able to find all the parts and had the right hex head on my toolkit to get it all put back together altho it took me way longer than it should have. I ended up with a lap time of 1:25 which took a little wind out of my sails.

More sleep more food and a 4th lap. Great lap daylight again, trails still muddy from the rain and slippery but with daylight I could actually navigate around slippery roots instead of sliding across them. Nothing crazy in this lap. 58 minute lap which I was ok with after everything was said and done. Got back to the tent and I guess my team did not think I had a 58 minute lap left in me as no-one was there to take over. A couple fello singlespeeders were heckling me to take a second lap but I had no calories or water left. A couple minutes past and a teammate showed up and went for a ride.

My teammates did good times in their next laps 1 each. The last guy to go out estimated himself to do a 1:35 lap which would not have allowed anyone to get back on the course by over 15 minutes so we showered up and went up to cheer him in. He came in at 1:12 with time to spare and there I was in sandals and comfy cloths. I should have just kept the grungies on and got a great late morning lap in. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.

Anyways afterwards we all had a couple beers and relaxed before my wife and kids showed up to pick me up. I took my daughter up to the awards area and introduced her to a few people. All in all it was an amazing event with some minor issues and alot of rain which postponed the race by 2 hours. I cant wait to do another 24. I had a blast but was too negative on myself at and after the race. My team was amazing and we ended up in 8th place out of 20, would have moved to 6th if I did that extra lap.

I finally came to terms with the fact that it was great while at the cottage. It was the first race since i started racing that I did not do better than all previous races. I will call this one a learner.

Next adventure is this Saturday. I am doing my first Solo 8 hour race. I did a 6 hour last year so it should not be a stretch. I am going in with a positive mindset. Proper rest and a better nutrition plan. Wish me luck. I will be racing the Hardwood Summer 8 in Single Speed Solo category. Fixing to be a load of fun!! I'm out...

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