As I was laying on the bathroom floor last Wednesday night, in between fits of vomiting, I considered that it might be a really good idea to switch from the Cohutta 100 to the Big Frog 65. Each course, amazingly enough, has almost the same amount of climbing, so the 65 would be no walk in the park.
I made my decision, got permission to switch and have not looked back since.
We got to the venue just in time to meet up with Chris Strout and Brad Majors, teammates on the WBR/Siren team. They went for a pre-ride and I got checked in then hung out with the family. When the guys got back we soaked in the river for a little while then went to get some dinner.
5 am came as early as 5am comes every morning, I'm just not usually in a coherent state of mind and don't even know that it is 5 am. But on Saturday it was, 5am. I got up and started getting things ready. I was feeling calm and felt like I was prepared for the day ahead. Little did I know, I missing a single item that would have improved my race.
Off to the start at the Ocoee White Water Center. 7am the 100 mile ride started, and then the 65 milers lined up. I got called up to the front, thanks Bruce.
The race started up the 3 mile pavement climb. Dwight Wyatt hit the gas and I had to let him go. This was his first time ever to ride 65 miles on a mtn bike and he rocked it.
Nutrition wise, I will say that we have the calories figured out. Namrita has been so helpful in helping me get dialed in. Sweating though, is a different story. Actually not a different story, but the same story. And it has nothing to do with Namrita's advice, it was all my mistake. In fact, if I had stuck to the plan, I believe that I would have been 30-45 minutes faster!!!
I was doing fine, sticking to my targeted heart rate, even sweating....for the first 30 miles. Then I stopped sweating, got nauseas, and thought my race was over. At this point I knew that I needed to add more sodium to my diet. But, I had forgotten to bring some along. I had planned exactly how to carry it, how to measure it and everything but it was sitting in the van back at the start. I figured someone out there in the wild would have some salt. Someone, surely, had gone to Hardee's for breakfast and had a little packet of salt left over. Someone on a camping trip would have some. I even went as far as stopping cars passing me and asking if they had salt. (I figured I might get DQ'd for that but I could not have cared less...I needed salt). I never found any.
Instead I resorted to cooling down first by spraying myself with the water in my Camelbak, and second by jumping in creeks and soaking myself with water. That creek water felt great. Immediately when I cooled off, the nausea would leave.
So, I lost places by taking the time to cool down, but, if I had not taken that time, I might still be out there. I even stopped one mile from the finish to cool off one last time. I knew that the last mile was pavement that had been baking in the 86 degree heat all day. And it was worth it because I was able to push it all the way to the end.
I ended up finishing in 6hrs and 50 minutes. I am pleased with that time and look forward to the rest of the year. And next time, I'm not gonna forget my sodium!!
Have a great day.