Well, I'm officially insane. Yesterday I finished my second 6 hour race of the season up at Smithville's Smith Fork Trails. The course was short, 3.5 miles, but brutal. It was nearly all double-track, but there were a lot of really nasty transitions from descents to climbs. There's one in particular that was 20+ mph descent for 100 yards followed by a granny gear (by the end of the day) climb for 25 yards. That constant up and down took its toll yesterday.
I didn't race the whole 6 hours. I pulled out with about 30 minutes to go. I was in 4th and thought the guy in 3rd had cracked and I would be able to over take him. At five and a half hours, we were staying even. Short of him having a mechanical and having to drop, there was no way I was going to pick up that last place so I pulled out. I was two or three laps up on the guy in 5th and when all was said and done two or three laps out of 3rd. When I pulled out, the guy in third was about 15 minutes in front of me.
My legs are doing remarkably well today. The last race was harder on me the day after for sure. That's always a good sign as it means I'm starting to get my cycling strength back. So far this year I think I've put in 20 hours on the bike, and over half of it has been in these last two races.
Yesterday, I spent the last hour and a half of the race in a perma-cramp that I was only able to push through with copious amounts of caffeine - which is a great pain-killer if you didn't already know it - and mental focus. When I saw it wasn't going to be possible to make up that last spot, though, my focus gave out and I couldn't keep going. I knew I was in trouble when I had to start rolling the jumps in the course because my quads wouldn't take the punishment of landing.
The question invariably comes up. Why do I put myself through something that borders on torture? I guess because I can. Yesterday, I road 49 miles in about five and a half hours. There's a weird kind of pleasure I take from spending more time
I on my bike in one afternoon than most people like to spend in a car. Think about it. When was the last time you spent 5 hours in a car?
That's the same reason why people do a century on a road bike - there's a lot of people who rarely go 100 miles in a car at one time. Imagine doing it on a bike. Most people can't. Of course, you have to be kinda crazy to enjoy this kind of "fun", but like I said... I'm officially insane :)