Sunday, April 22, 2007

3 for 3(in DNF's)



This weekend was one of much anticipation and preparation. Originally, I was supposed to race the Chohutta 100 with Brandon but a last minute decision put me in Leesburg, VA for a 13 hour solo mountain bike race. I made the trip with a couple guys from the local shop as well as Jen who was going to pit for me. We decided to leave late Friday night and sleep in the car in hopes of getting a good spot in the pits. Arising Saturday morning, we found a gorgeous spring day. Temps near 80 and plenty of sunshine. A great day for both tanlines and racing. After setting up my table and showing Jen the in's and out's of endurance race pitting, I took a leisurely ride into the woods to check out the start. The course was cool, very fast but bumpy with very little climbing(I'd be surprised if there was more than 100 feet per 8 mile lap). Later on, it would be appropriately deemed as "the hardest, easiest course we'd ever raced". The start came around 11 and we all took of into the trail head. My start was perfect, I was sittin pretty in second right behind the man to beat, Steve Schwartz. After two laps of socializing, Steve and I found ourselves to be several minutes ahead of third and both figured we'd be able to take it all the way home. On the third lap Steve got a little gumpeous and put in a little attack which I ignored as it was only 2 o'clock in the afternoon and I was already feelin really good. The next lap wasn't so good. I lost about a minute on Steve but it felt like I just time trialed a lap. I started to worry, but tried another lap thinking that with a little food and water I'd be back on Steve's wheel. Another lap came and went but I felt no better. Actually, I was getting worse, I had a pain in my chest. It hurt to eat or drink anything. Now I really started to think I had a problem. I took a lengthy break between laps 5 and 6 and waited for Topher and try one more lap. Topher pulled in about 20 minutes later and we headed out again. For about a mile I thought the rest had taken care of my problems but then it hit again and I watched Topher drop me while I was at what felt like time trial pace. I limped through the rest of the lap and came face to face with a big decision: keep racing or sit it out. I took an honest look at the situation and whether or not I would regret stopping but I felt so bad that I was sure I wouldn't(which is true). It had only been 3 hours since the start of the race but I honestly felt like I had ridden 12 already. My chest still hurt and the only thing I comfortably ate that day was a popsicle.


So my third attempt at a 12 hour race was thwarted once again. I think that this was the worst one so far because of its mysteriousness. Lodi farm I had bad heart burn, and Ole Bull I got really cold and lost my brakes. But this time I haven't the slightest idea was went wrong other than I felt like cow shit(which ironically covered the entire farm that we raced on) Congrats to Topher and Keith who came home with 2nd and 3rd in the SS class not to mention some loot, to Matty B who finished his first solo endurance race, and to Jen for the pit. She did an awesome job, a little more experience and I think she'll be one of the best in the biz...

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