I'm Supposed to Be in the Air...

… but instead I get to wait around for another hour and a half. Yipee! I started to call Josh and see if he wanted to grab a beer at the airport tonight, but decided against it since I only had an hour between flights. Ends up now that there’s 4 hours between the time I landed and the time I should take off.

Well, this gives me a chance to update everyone on the Dawn ‘til Dusk this past weekend. I spent the entire week with a stomach bug, and I seriously considered bailing on Jens Saturday morning. Having been on the loosing end of that deal last year, I decided to tough it out and see what I could pull off. Jens took two pulls to start the race, then we started swapping.

First lap on I pushed, but kept a pace I felt I could keep pretty well throughout the day if I kept fueled. Turned in an 1:11 lap. Sweet, a minute and a half faster than my fastest last year. Jens pulled another sub 1:10 lap, I went out for the next one. My first lap the middle ring had started acting up pretty bad, so this lap I decided it’s all in the big ring or little ring. Made the climbs a little slower because I couldn’t grind ‘em out in the middle ring, but I kept in the big as much as I could. Turned in a sub 1:10 lap. I’m feeling good now…

I go out for my third lap after another hour off of the bike, and now I’m feeling it. Mojo’s still there, but this isn’t feeling as good as the last lap. My time shows it with a lap around 1:14. I’m still feeling good ‘cause that’s just a handful of seconds off of my fastest lap last year. I come in and ask Jens if he’s up for two more laps. Yup, he is and off he goes. I need to get some food in my stomach and give it time to digest. He comes rocking in with yet another sub 1:10 lap, and a minute later shows up at the tent “hey, why aren’t you up there?” Crap…

I had asked if he was up for another two laps, not another two consecutive laps. Just a miscommunication. We ended up loosing a couple of minutes as we get water bottles swapped out, more gu, and off he goes. I hit the next lap ready to rock. My legs are feeling it on the climbs still, but as soon as it levels out a bit (or at least drops below sustained 10% grades) I’m hitting the groove. Not many people on the trails now, but I’m picking ‘em off like mad (except for a Health FX rider and one other guy I didn’t recognize). I come around a corner to a guy relieving himself and he asks the time. A few minutes later he’s pushing me. It’s one of the Gallup guys, and I’m not sure, but I think he’s rolling duo as I’ve seen him out a lot that day. I turn it up. I’m not cramping, but I know I go too much more I’m going to be there. My tach is sitting right on the red line.

He’s rolling it with me. Sweet, we’ve got a race for place going on after 11 hours of racing. This is what ultra enduros (or as Dave Harris would call ‘em, just a nice little tune up race) is all about. Pushing yourself as much as you can, and then finding a little more when it comes to the - drum roll please… can’t you see this coming? - eleventh hour. What a pun ;-)

Anyhow, he sticks with me for another 5 minutes or so. As we hit the turn around and start heading back, he’s still with me. It’s a slight climb and I’m turning a 44 by 28/26 climbing out a 2%’ish grade. Nice and gradual with just enough rollers to keep the momentum going with the big wheels. By the time I make it to the next connector, my mark is nowhere to be seen.

I rolled it in, broke camp and hit the road. Didn’t want to be midnight getting home. Turns out Jens and I finished 8th out of 30 some teams. A little disappointing. Would have liked to at least be top 5, but I was turning in some slower laps than I would have liked and the guys on top were turning in sub-hour laps. We ended up less than two minutes off of 7th, so that sucks that I screwed up that double - probably cost us the place.

All in all, I’m pleased. I felt like crap in the morning, but my slowest lap was still within a minute and a half of my fastest lap last year. I also learned something pretty important. I can rock the big ring a lot more than I give myself credit for. I have no doubt my laps would have been slower if my middle ring would have been working ‘cause I would have been spinning a lower gear all day and only getting into the big ring on the flats and the few downhills. The way it was, I had to roll the big ring in order to move. That was cool to find out… Something I’ll definitely have to remember when I’m on the trails from here on out.

Next up - I’m not sure. There’s another 12 hour in the four corners in May. I might hit that one up, just not sure yet. We’ll see. Big shout out to Matt who rocked the SS class. He went out on his 11th lap just to screw with the other guys. I came on my last lap to see him talking to some of the course marshals. And he did all of that on a rigid too. Man’s an animal. Dave Harris pulled a 2nd on a “training” race even after spending 30 minutes or more fiddling with a broken chain in the AM.

One final note, Jens and I pulled 8th in the male duo, but we would have pulled a 2nd in the male four man team category and beat all of the other co-ed and team categories. That just shows how stiff that competition was. Hey, if you’re gonna get beat, get beat by the best.

Here’s the MotionBased data from the race. My average HR is skewed ‘cause of the down time. Those maxes though are dead on. My HR was hitting nearly 200 BPM on those climbs with the stomach bug.

Err - MB is giving me errors when I attempt to access it. I’ll post it up later in the week. If you really want to see it now, try tswicegood.motionbased.com.