Monday, November 10, 2008

Swank 2008

The day dawned bright and clear. That made me happy. It was cold, about 32 degrees but the bright sunshine told me that it would warm up some. And, that was at 6:30 am.

I got the family stirring, fed and in the truck. We headed out, early, which is how I like it. A quick stop by Starbucks, then hit the road for Brevard. The problem with the road between Asheville and Brevard that early is that there is nowhere to make a pit stop, if you know what I mean. The woods were fine, a little 6 inch hole in the ground, and my gut was relieved and happy.

On to the start, picked up my packet/number, and got dressed. I have realised that warming up on rollers works best for me, so that is what I did. I was a bit wobbly but then remembered that I had not been on the rollers on my mtn bike for a long time, and had not been on my mtn bike ( I had been training on my road bike) in two weeks.

I got off the rollers, road up the gravel road to take care of something or other, and realised that I had a quickly deflating front tire. I panicked, looked at my watch, and panicked some more. There was a pin head sized hole in the center of the tread. I had 30 minutes to fix the flat. I have tubeless tires on the bike and I really didn't want to put a tube in. The other problem was that I only had one spare tube, which I did not want to use, in case I needed it no the trail.

I ran around, and located someone who had a spare, someone else told me that had some Stan's Sealant if I wanted that. After some short instruction on how to take care of it, I figured it was worth a try to Stan's it. I pooped the bead loose, dumped X amount of Stan's in and started pumping with my floor pump. Air started gushing out of the rim, I pumped faster. Air and Stan's were blowing everywhere, I pumped faster. Suddenly, I heard the satisfying "pop,pop" of a tire bead sealing!! I spun the tire around, listened for a leak but could hear none. It ended up holding for the entire race. Victory before the race even started. For me, at this point, it is these little battles that I cherish.

By the time I got the bike rolling again it was time for the rider's meeting. Todd gave us the details, told us how not to get lost, and we started with the 1/4 mile lemans run!! I don't really enjoy running in my mtn bike shoes.

My plan for today was to follow my heart rate monitor. This was my first race using it and I was curious as to how it would play out. After the run, I was already close to 100% of my limit. My goal was to stay below 80%. I would end up spending 3% of the next 5 .5 hrs in this zone.

I did what I could, but if I had slowed any more, I would have fallen over. I won't bore you with all the details, but I really learned the importance of some weight lifting and speed workouts. I have read about it, and tried some, but seeing it first hand makes a huge difference.

The ride was great. It was nice going at a slower pace, not pushing it the whole time. One huge difference was that I was able to gauge my food needs better. I did get hungry a couple of times, but I was able to eat right away, and my body never was pushed over the edge. A lot of people ended up passing me, and it bothered me a little, but my goal was to assess my fitness, and that is what I did.

The weather was great. It alternated between warm and chilly. My temps were easily regulated with arm warmers slid up or down. The rest stops were great, and of course the time spent in Pisgah was even better.

After getting to rest stop 3 , which was also rest stop one, where Rhonda, Jubal, Jackie, Jen, John and Sarah ( wow, that stop had a lot of J's), I only had 9 miles left to ride. I was feeling good, Rhonda said I looked good. I stopped for no more than 30 seconds and took off.

I thought I might be able to pick the pace up, but then realised that I should just keep it steady. One of the mistakes I have made in the lap races this year, is to pick up the pace towards the end, using valuable energy that could have granted me one more lap, and a couple of spots.

It was great to hear the crowd back at the start finish. It was even better to hear Todd calling my name and hi-fiving. Then to top it off, there were Rhonda and Jubal!!!

Two Cheeseburgers later, we went back to rest stop 3 to hang out there, and help clean up and bring things back to the finish line.

38 miles, 5.5 hrs. Definitely not my fastest ride, but my goal was to learn and that goal was achieved.

I'm looking forward to next season!!

Have a great day.

1 comment:

Ask Asheville North Carolina said...

Like that crowd pic with the bikes on the ground. Like an army, lol.