Monday, July 30, 2007

Shit Happens, get over it.

Sometimes things don't work out as planned.

I entered 9 mile this year with high hopes. I was stronger than last year (thanks Mark C.), had better equipment (thanks Gary Fisher, and Maury), and more support (thanks Mark C., Richard B, and of course my Baby's Momma).

Becky and I got to the race venue Friday morning to set up. We got the spot we wanted and enjoyed the pre-night race feast at Fazzoli's. Mark and Richard met up with us that night.

The morning of was spent going over the logistics of food, water, electrolytes, lights, pits, and other misc crap with my new testosterone filled pit crew members.

10am we set off on our 1/4 mile Leman's start. I surprised myself with a great run. I came to retrieve my bike right behind Nat Ross and Chris Eatough. That was the high point. I grabbed my bike and headed out for the first lap.

At the very first small rise I could feel that I had no overt strength in me legs. My body was not hitting on all cylinders. Riders passed me in droves. I spent that first lap fighting my body to ride strong. In these races you have highs and lows. I figured I may be having a low right off the bat.

My bottle hand up went swift and fast as I headed out for lap 2. Still my body did not want to work at full capacity. I spent this time trying to settle into a groove and take in my bottles. The technical sections were the only place I found I was making ground (singletrack ninja?), but unfortunately I kept getting stuck behind riders that were letting huge gaps form in the tight stuff.

The start of the third lap, and I was not feeling any better. In fact I was feeling worse. Halfway through I pulled to the side of the trail and not my stomach release some of it's contents. Finally I felt good, but that only lasted through that lap. My body still did not cooperate. I stopped at the pit to take in some more water and to get wiped down as I did not want to over do it early in the race.

The 4th lap came and went. Still was not feeling that great, but I kept trying to get in a groove. That never really materialized.

At 1/3 through the 5th lap I met up with my buddy Cory G. (aka. Corky), riding a 4 man team. He helped to pace me through that lap which was great. I would have to say that was my best lap as I think his conversation took the focus off of my stomach and leg woes.

My crew recognized that I was not taking in enough electrolyte and calories before the 6th and what turned into the final lap. I had been drinking as much as possible, but my stomach just was not doing a good job of processing what I was putting in. Off I went with strict instructions to take in more (although I was all ready trying hard).

With Cory not there I started feeling like crap again. I could see his teammate, and my co-worker, Chuck S. in front of me. I finally caught him in the singletrack and left him to ride out his lap. All this while my stomach was getting more angry. Finally, I came to the bottom of a hill and realized that I needed to get off the bike then and there. (Warning: gross stuff to come). I proceeded to dry heave. That turned into all out uncontrollable vomiting on all fours. I released everything that had been put into my stomach in the last hour and a half. That was my low point. After catching my breath I sat and tried to figure out if I could even get back up. Chuck stopped to witness the aftermath.

Finally I got going again. I didn't want to be hauled out on a stretcher, I wanted to finish the damn race. My stomach was on empty, and it desperately wanted water. The gel and drink I had left were not going to help. Mark met me and gave me water to put down out on the course 2 miles later, and I left him to complete the last 4 miles of the that lap.

That was bad news. As soon as he left I felt dizzy, and could feel the bonk coming on all of a sudden. The best part was when I felt my eyes trying to roll back into my head. Try riding singletrack that way! Later, Chuck would say my eyes were doing the same when he saw me.

I turned into my pit early, laid down, and asked for the one thing that sounded remotely good; a cheeseburger (ie, loads of calories). Mark set off for that, Richard cleaned me off (what am I a child?), and Becky came back after having sent the medics to go look for me.

After consuming 2 cheeseburgers, 2 cokes, and chips I took a shower. My core temp was way up and needed some cooling. In the shower my legs were trying to cramp up. With out going into detail, Richard said my body was also releasing muscle that had been broken down (I assume that is not good).

I came back to the pit knowing my day was done, Mark and Richard had decided that on their own as well. My body was too far gone to continue. We packed up and left. I never technically finished my 6th lap. That was the end of my race.

A picture of Cory, myself, and Mark before that start.

On your marks, get set, go!

I am on the left. Eventual 2nd place finisher Nat Ross is on the right. We are both in the blue Fisher colors.

T-bone and my Baby's Momma enjoy the fact that they are not riding in the heat.

Richard playing bike mechanic. This is the only picture of him that turned out on our camera.

Mmmm, cheeseburgers. No, I am not wearing a t-shirt.
A special thanks to everyone that helped. Mark and Richard for volunteering to help and doing awesome work! Matt H., Jay-No, and Teresa for the use of the of the batteries. Cory for helping a homie out when in need. Maury at Gary Fisher for the all of the bike help and support. And of course, Becky, my Baby's Momma. She is almost always at these events, unselfishly devoting her time and love to my to my dumb ass ideas.
So what now? My biggest race of the year went down in flames. Hmmm, maybe I should just grow a spine and work out my frustrations somewhere else? Just gotta figure out how to do it with Becky out of town that Sat....and yes, I am serious.
Monday is workday, so do that.


Jeff Kerkove said...

Afton is the best 24 hour course! This is where Nationals should be. Enjoy!

Brendan said...

We all know you have it in you... nerves, heat, and too much liquid can wreak havok. I am with Jeff, Afton is a much better course. You did the smart thing by quiting when things were going bad. You now have the opportunity to grow a spine.
Bike racers need short memories,

Anonymous said...

I`m so lame I checked your blog from Switzerland. I think you did a great job, and would wrench again for you in a second.