I feel like I have been putting this blog off until now. I have been processing what happened this past weekend in the desert of Arizona. Here is the key word buzz–wind, rain, cold, smoke, friends, GI upset next to the trail, steep SS gear, friends, support.
OK. So I attempted my first solo singlespeed 24hour race at 24hrs OP this past weekend. Got that. I felt that my age (38) and experience in endurance events, Leadville, 12hr solo races and Ironman finishes would carry me through this race. I really am not an ego guy so this wasn’t an ego thing, just an eyeopener.
So I know that you can’t just replentish your caloric intake 1:1 for what you burn. The human body can’t process it that quickly, especially at any level of intensity. I went into the first few laps just spinning when I felt like it and coasting when I could to conserve energy. I watched my heart rate (ave164bpm) for the first few laps but the WIND was burning more calories that I realized and I got into a deficite. During my stop on the 2nd lap, I put down a couple pickles, cheese puffs, and some other solid foods. My body was wanting to replentish but the blood was in my muscles and not in my stomach to process the food. Needless to say I got bloated, cramped and had to poop during my 3rd lap. This past winter I rode with some guys that always carried toilet paper in their Camelbaks so I had some in my pack from these rides, thankfully.
The 4th lap was it. I felt like crap and was getting cold. Although I took my Garneau Seattle Jacket on that lap to protect me from the rain, I got cold. When I came around this lap, my CW-X EZ Up was folded up as was Mike Melley’s (2nd place SS Solo). Bad sign of things to come. Realizing that I was not in the proper shape to be cometitive, I packed it in. Needless to say, I didn’t finish last! There were several that had the same idea and packed it in for various reasons before I did.”
I spent the rest of the race sleeping in my wife’s smokefilled car and helping support Mike Melley on his way to 2nd place solo finish (winner of 24 OP SS Solo 2008 and 2010, not competing in 2009). This in it’s self was a rewarding experience.
On the first lap, I was at the top of the rock drop and the racer in front of me stopped so I dab’d and couldn’t regain my footing to ride down the rock pile so I ran down. I was showered by “BOOOOOOOs” so I gave them all a smile and the bird, all in friendly banter.
Spending time crewing for Mike along with Kevin, Katie Ellis and her mom was an eyeopener. I raced with a 4 person Marin team at this race last year but hadn’t spent time at a 24hr race since 1997 24hrs of Moab. I have new respect for CREWS and SOLO racers. Solo racing 24hr races is not necessarily about the elite racer. A guy or gal can train and take their time knowing that it’s a LONG day and night of riding. These racers know their limits and are different than a person doing an Ironman as a agegrouper trying to finish. They are MORE mentaley tough than an Ironman finisher. I an mot sure I have that mentality yet. I’m sticking to 12hr and 50 milers for the rest of the season. Next up 12hrs Dawn till Dusk, NM- Sea Otter, CA.