Alright, so I had support at the race thanks to a coworker. He shall go nameless until I have a pic to post as well.
Dan Dittmer would prove that he deserved the title this weekend. Like we have before, we shared a pit. This makes it a little bit more entertaining for those crewing for us and it just seems to work. Here is how it shook out.
The start was a Le man's start up a hill, around a barrel, and back to our bikes. I completely underestimated how hard the course would be. Before the race I swapped my 26 tooth small ring for a 24. I should have bolted on a 22. Up or down, you choose. There is at best 1/2 mile of flat on this course. Most of the climbs are STEEP.
The first lap I just rode. I was not setting out to blow doors off, but I found humor in what appeared one solo's rider determination to stay with me. His face spoke of pain. I could see Dan a ways back there, but not falling back for sure.
Dan and I would stay within sight of each other pretty much for the first 6 hours while we lead the race. I was feeling strong and consistent. I was very pleased that despite the steep hills I was riding everything and staying strong. Over the next couple of laps I got a gap of about 15 minutes. Now granted, this is getting to be about midnight now. The temp has dropped considerably. You can see your breath and the dew appears frozen on the tall grass. I would spend my time on these laps hot and sweating going up the long steep climbs and freezing coming down. The constant temp change had my stomach uneasy so I got behind on calories. Lap 11 I stopped to try to get some food, but I was slowing hard. Lap 12 I would realize that if I did not eat I would bonk.
So at about 2:30ish in the morning I stopped to eat. Dan would stop as well as he had caught back up. This is where I made a mistake. I huddled under a sleeping bag and ate, Dan would head back out. This became nice and cozy enough, so I headed next to the fire. Well, the sleep deprivation, freezing cold, hunger, and drowsiness got the best of me and I took a break. Then a longer break. Then I was taking a nap.
That was all good I figured. My thought process was Dan would take a break like he did the year before. We had a 2 lap lead on third. Well, I woke up to a 4 lap deficit to Dan and tied for 2nd. Out I headed out to finish up the race and try to reel some of Dan's lead back.
I was riding strong and the body felt good; except for one thing. I was getting bad stomach cramps and the need to use the bathroom NOW despite going before I left. I would roll into the start/finish and head straight to the Porto potty. I came out, grabbed some food, and went out again. By the bridge loop I was getting the same pains and need for a bathroom. The bike got turned back and I spent the rest of the day with bad stomach cramps and frequent bathroom trips. In fact, as I type this, I still have those cramps. Besides just a tad of leg soreness, this is the only way I can tell I raced this weekend.
I would end the day in 8th out of 54. Not the result I was hoping for. I made the mistake of stopping and that cost me dearly. Also, I did not learn from past experiences. You see, I have had these cramps and bathroom trips before; the day after my endurance races. Considering the only constant with all of these was my EFS shot and sportlegs it had to be one of these. In training I do long rides on EFS without problem, but only used sportlegs in races. Some internet searching found that I am not the only one that has had this reaction to sportlegs. It only seems to happen though from several doses, like in my endurance races.
So my fitness was good, I rode strong, but made mistakes that cost dearly. I'll live to fight another day. My disappointment has turned to motivation for Moab. I'll get some good training in and try to make up for it there.
NOW HERE IS MY ONLY WORRY. I HAVE NO ONE TO TRAVEL WITH TO MOAB AND HELP. MY ORIGINAL PLAN HAS BEEN THWARTED BY A FRIEND'S BOSS NOT GIVING HIM THE TIME OFF. A SECOND AND THIRD POSSIBILITY FELL THROUGH. NOW I SIT HERE, MOTIVATED, TRAINED, AND PRIMED, BUT NOT ABLE TO DO IT ON MY OWN. SO, IS ANYONE OUT THERE INTERESTED? MY THOUGHT IS TO LEAVE AROUND THE 6TH OF OCTOBER. WE WOULD ARRIVE IN CO AND UTAH TO DO A COUPLE OF DAYS OF RIDING. THE 24 HOURS OF MOAB WOULD BE ON OCT. 10 AND 11TH. WE WOULD THEN MAKE A MAD DASH BACK TO MN (A 24 HOUR DRIVE) TO WORK ON TUESDAY. I AM REGISTERED. I GOT GAS COVERED. WE CAN TAKE MY CAR (WE CAN FIT YOUR BIKE AND GEAR). I WAS THINKING ABOUT CAMPING, BUT AM FLEXIBLE. ANYONE? IT WOULD BE FUN.....
Thanks for looking. BTW.