brings up a good point about something I might have forgotten in my race prep. First and foremost I need to thank my wonderful wife for allowing me to go out and do the race this weekend. Making coffee and a bagel - fine, half a bagel - doesn't cover the amount of rope she's giving me in the next 5 weeks. For those of you scoring at home, that's enough rope to ride about 190 miles (all off road) in 3 different states over 5 weeks. Goddamn that sounds like a lot. So even though she doesn't read anymore I'd like to thank Nat for being such a great wife and mother.
I must be growing up or something because I ironed out all the details of this race already. I'm pretty much set to go, save for a few precious details like the fact I'm sitting on a train and it's only Wednesday. So here's the play-by-play, skip ahead if you get bored because this ended up being pretty involved:
Work from home is already arranged. At 4:00 I head west, young man. Route 78 gets sketchy as you get to PA so I cut out on exit 7 in NJ and pick up again in PA because there's usually a backup at the toll booths when you cross the river. Aim to hit the girl scout camp at just about 7:00, which is what time it opens for people to show up. Directions already printed. I should send them to the blackberry to be sure. Or I can publish the address here and call someone if need be. Here's the address:88 Hemlock Road
Halifax, PA 17032
Who wants to be my directional backup?
The race is at the girl scout camp, which is also where the camp sites are. Talk about convenient! For better or worse, the girl scouts will have been removed by then. You can get a bunk in a cabin for $5 or a tent site for $10. I'm opting for the tent site which should prove to be slightly more quiet. You can check in for the race Friday night between 7:00-9:00. I'm already registered so that should be straightforward. After check in I do the tent then crash out for the night.
Wake up at 6:00 and eat breakfast, then maybe try to find a cup of coffee. Get ready with the bike and so on then find a small corner where I can sit and take it all in. Pre-race meeting at 8:45. Race starts at 9:00. Smart, steady pacing starts at 9:01. One line in jest, but really all the other plans are secondary compared to that one. I may want to break out the old HRM again at some point to learn to pace better. But not this weekend.
There are 3 checkpoints (CPs) not 4 which means it will be slightly harder to get away with only bottles. I'm going to mount the lower cage and put a small bottle there but not sure if that will be useful or not. I may need to strap it down. Something to consider. I will pre-bag the Perpetuem and refill the bottle at each CP. The big bottle will have 400 calories which is good for about 90 minutes. The small will have 400 as well but will be a backup. I will only refill that if I need to. In all I will take 3 bags in addition to pre-filling the bottles for a total of 2000 calories. I don't think I'll use that much but an extra bag of powder costs me an ounce or 2. Probably have 72 ounces of water in the bladder, figure that gets topped off at CP2.
In theory that's 1600 calories and 214 ounces of water over 6 hours for a total of 265 calories and 36 ounces of water per hour. The calories is about right but I won't need that much water. The bags will be pre-salted and I'm going to pop 3 Endurolytes at each CP and maybe 3 at the start line.
I'm really thinking out loud here. This isn't exactly interesting copy or anything. Breakfast is TBD but figure at least 6-8 cups of water and a moderate-to-solid breakfast 2-3 hours before start.
From start to CP1 is predominantly uphill so figure 1:45 realm for that. From CP1 to CP2 to CP3 is standard rolling so expect 1:30 for each of those legs. CP1 and CP3 are the same spot, so from CP3 to the end is predominantly down, they estimate 30-60 minutes for the last 8-10 miles. I'll play it safe and say 60 minutes. Add 15 minutes in theory spread across all 3 stops and you have a 6 hour target. That's not a goal, per se, because I don't want to push myself to cramping and I really have no idea what the course is like. The goal is to finish. But if I come out of CP2 in 3 hours I'm probably going to keep that 6 hours in mind.
After the race I hit the car, change into something that smells less, do the recovery drink, grab some water, then look for free food and, if I'm lucky, a nice cold beer. Maybe hit the road in the 4:00-5:00 realm and home by 8:00 latest, more than likely smelling awful.
So that's that. Details in the book, camp arrangements done. Registered already. Traffic detour worked out though you can never beat traffic. Now I just need to take care of the normal ride prep, the camp, and the cooler of food. Then I'm good to go. Right now, all those ducks are lining up nicely.
Today's ride was tough. No cannons, no shots, no fire, no snot, and certainly no shaving cats. Felt good from the go but it went downhill from there, my residual fatigue of riding hard 4 or the last 5 days starting to catch up with me. I did the long swamp loop which can be a bit of a black hole because a lot of it is flat so it begs to be ridden faster. Mentally you always think you're going too slow. 45 minutes into it I was good and done, ready for a few days off. So today I'm not quite as excited about this weekend because I'm pretty tired right now. Thankfully I've been at this long enough to know that this will pass and by the end of tomorrow I'll be worked up again.
I think being tired today tells me that 4 days a week on the bike is plenty. As I sit here I can't help but wonder how I was keeping up 5 days a week for so long. My rides now are more "complete" for lack of a better term. I ride hills then keep tempo with whatever the road throws at me. I used to do more intervals which are hard when you do them but then you rest completely in between. The "experts" say intervals are actually fairly easy to recover from in one day. Maybe my "complete" rides are more stress than I think. Who knows. I'm tired right now, I do know that.
Looking ahead to after the 24 I may look into the Ross method of 3/4 brutally hard days in a row followed by 3/4 days off to get ready for the 50k. That could be interesting for a few reasons, one of which is that by then the sun won't be rising until 5:50 and as I approach the race that will move towards 6:30.ChrisG"Definitely my pleasure to ride with you, Norm. Thanks as well for offering up the comparison of the three parks. I find it hard to believe myself that I've never ridden CR and LM, but I'm sure that will be changing before the season comes to an end."
By all means let me know and we'll make it happen. Of course with our schedules that might take the rest of the year to work out. Plus I need to get down to Allaire one of these days. I've been there before but it was also many years ago and all I remember was sand. And we need to do that 50k primer as well.Steve"Blinker in the rear? I think sean once mentioned that becomes a zone-in for drunk & tired drivers. Shave in the shower. Smoke 'em if you got 'em."
Never heard that before. I was riding at dusk last year and someone pulled up to me and told me I was going to get killed, that they could hardly see me. In fact the driver didn't see me, his wife did. So I went out and got a blinker. Haven't had any close calls since then. I can't imagine that not having a rear light makes more sense in any situation unless you're stealing corn from the local farmer's market. But again, what do I know?
I used to shave in the shower but I usually wait too long so I would make a big mess. On top of that I don't have a mirror and it ends up taking me longer and I waste more water to boot. I really should just shave at night but I get lazy.George"Norm...you never cease to provide the humor my friend! Too funny. I have now had my daily chuckle thanks to your insightful, yet hilarious discourse! On another note... Do you bring clean clothes to change back into for the ride home? Maybe have showers there? If not, bring a gallon/jug of water, some soap, and a towel or tow, or lots of baby wipes! So you can clean up a bit, and not feels so grimy on the ride home. It always feels longer going home, doesn't it? I can't think of anything else, you pretty much have it covered. Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Airplane...they were just awesome movies for sure. Oh yea, I do love Office Space...lol. If you could just pack the car the night before, that would be great...mmmmkay?"
I had planned on bringing a change of clothes but some wipes isn't a bad idea at all, especially for the nether regions which get lathered with Udderly Smooth before the race. Some throwaway water is also a good idea to wash off the legs at the very least. Might as well throw in a towel too. Good call, thanks.
Is the drive home longer? You know, I don't think so for me. I'm spent by then and it gives me time to just sit and be, to think, and most of all relax. At least for the first hour. By the end of a ride that long I'm usually stir crazy. But for some of it I get complete and utter down time which is a rare commodity for a bike-riding father of a 15 month old.
Fire away. Corrections and suggestions welcomed, as always.
Labels: mountain bike, race, rattling creek