This is part II of the race we did last week, if you are late to the party checkout Part I here
it is funny how difficult it can sometimes be to rest when you are exhausted not sure what chemical malfunction of the body is responsible for that but I think Lactic acid, Adrenaline and Caffeine in unfriendly proportions might have something to do with it. After my first lap, I soft pedaled to our basecamp and drank a Gatorade, coke, water, another Gatorade and another coke then laid down to take a nap but I guess the aroma emanating from me summoned this flesh eating flies to a feast. I aborted that plan and headed over to chat with Danny (a teammate in a different Duo who was recovering from his first effort also) and another racer evangelizing the benefits of Beet juice as a recovery beverage even offering us a trial to which we declined (don’t try something new on race day, definitely not half way into the race). All this while it never occurred to me that I did not note the time I got back in so I could not tell what time I should start heading back to the exchange tent to pick up from Ron.
After reclining for about an hour, I refilled my bottle, lubed my chain just as Jason came in from his lab. He helped me fix my limit screw availing me with my bailout gear which I had avoided since my last mishap. On the issue of a bottle, It seems almost crazy to use a bottle and not a pack in such a technical course. It was also very difficult to drink, I thought of wearing a hydration pack but I do not see any of the cool guys use one so I decided to go with a bottle, well for one thing the trail was littered with bottles so I guess these guys are either pros who discard their bottles after drinking or were having trouble like me riding over baby-head sized rocks while trying to fit our bottles in the cage.up and headed to the exchange tent to look at the leaderboard where I discovered we had dropped to 2nd in our class. Usually the faster guy goes out first but in the case of the current leading team, their second guy was faster… A lot Faster…’ My first lap was done in 1:25 and this guy did it in 1:19, at this point this team was on their third lap and Ron was nowhere to be found. I was about to resign myself to the fact that he must have had a mechanical, a crash or both when he pulls in doing it in 1:30
I headed out on my final lap feeling quite composed and cognizant of what was to come, I carefully threaded my way through pretty much all the rock gardens I had previously had trouble with. I passed 3 or 4 guys and 2 girls on the climbs and was feeling solid, I tried to go at a hair just below race pace but was brought to face the impotence of even my race pace when I got passed by a couple of the Expert class riders (those guys do not even coast, their cadence on the flats was higher than mine going downhill). Through the Pine section (a section of the trail that meanders through a grove of pine trees with the floor completely covered in pine needle giving it a cushiony feel). I get passed by a lady on a FS bike and in my head I make excuses why I am not that fast (her nice bike, her weight, her shaved legs etc.) The fact though is she was a far stronger rider than I am but she was for me a rabbit to chase I knew I would not catch but I pushed to keep her in sight as long as I could (I didn’t last very long).
I got to the baby head monster down hill section and this was the beginning of the end. Prior to this section I was confident I was on a 1:17 pace but it just seemed like my body had taken such a beating from all the rocks it was difficult to flow through the trails, pick/hold lines or crank out any significant power. I was squeezing the break so hard down this DH section I had to stop and shake them out a little at the bottom. At one section, after I let go of the breaks, my fingers were locked in place and I could not relax them…I was thinking this must be how all this people with Arthritis feel.
From mile 10 it was pretty much a climb in, I believe I officially bonked on this section, I kept praying and asking God to keep me from any mechanicals or crashes till the finish line, I definitely did not have the energy o will to deal with either.. It took everything in me not to get off and walk on the climb out, I totally fell off my original pace and thought I was going to finish in 1:40 if I were lucky…At this point, the 12 year old kid passed me and said…good job men (at least he didn’t call me big guy). I managed to crawl in in 1:30 five minutes slower than my first lap . Ron had a solid first lap but we were unable to dethrone the other team now, it was not even close, their fast guy did it in 1:15.
We were happy with 2nd place and figure even if we don’t race again this season we have earned it….