Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I woke up to some awesome weather, cool and overcast. Perfect. Coffee, get the kid ready for school, load up and hit the road. I was feeling good, little did I know that feeling was fleeting and things would take a turn for the worse.
I made it to Brevard with plenty of time to sign in and get ready, taking a nice warm up ride. I still felt fine.
Todd told to ride neutral until we hit the left turn on hwy 280. I guess the "other" Canadians, didn't get this memo or don't speak English so well because they tore out of the parking lot like bats out of Pisgah Hell. Pinning it from the start. I was missing the pros from years past who were able to at least keep the pace steady. This was the fastest we have ever gone out of the gates. I rolled up to the front, and let the 3 guys know that we were neutral until the left on 280. One guy laughed and said " Oh, I'm pulling off soon anyway".... doesn't get it.
So we all tried to hang on and after the race, found out that we all thought the pace was way too high. Anyway.
Left turn onto the gravel up into Turkey Pen then drop down the single track to S Mills River. I was feeling a bit off, and not managing the trail very well. I was bouncing all over the place and not sure why, I simply did not feel in balance. I slowed down and went my pace trying to find my mojo.
Up Mullinax and onto the steep grunt climbs. I had some momentum, slipped on a round rock, and came to a sudden standstill twisting my wrist and jerking my back. My wrist hurt but everything else felt ok. But, over the next 10-20 minutes, I felt a burning sensation creeping up my left leg, into my glute and finally stopping in my back. I stopped and got off the bike, knowing that my "race" was over. I couldn't keep power on the pedals and I couldn't ride the techy stuff.
I got back on the bike, and tried to relax, find an easy gear and just spin. And that's how I spent the rest of the day, just spinning, trying to keep moving forward and not giving up. We still have 4 days left and anything can happen. Typically when my back does this, under normal circumstances, I recover in 2-3 days. Racing bikes? Its gonna take a miracle.
I managed to find a position on the bike that would give me periodic relief, especially climbing up Buckhorn Gap Trail. I made my way to the top then left on Black Mountain. The hike a bike then the down hill. I know quite a few people who like Black Mountain trail, but it is so eroded, that its not fun for me anymore, much less with a tweaked back. But that's how it is so I gotta roll with it. And that's what I did, walking some riding some, grimacing lots, down to the bottom and to the finish. 3hrs 41m, about 30 minutes slower than I had planned.
Massage by Hands On Healing Professionals, cold dip in the river, Ibuprofin, warm epsom salt bath, ice pack, stretching exercises, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be a bit more limber..
The weather stayed nice and cool for the whole day, perfect for me. Although my new friends from Curacao were cold.
Can't wait to line up again tomorrow.
Posted by Stephen at 4:46 PM