Sunday, July 30, 2006

24 hours of nine mile

We woke up to heavy storms Saturday morning but luckily the rain slowed when we got to the venue. I wasn't feeling too super, kind of tired...but I figured it would pass when the race started. Both my pre-rides were pretty sluggish, but again, I assumed everything would kick in once it was race-time.

If you haven't guessed by never happened. As soon as the start gun went off for the run, both my quads screamed--I heard them, and they said "NO!". I took the run easy and thought I would warm up on the bike. The beginning of the course was fast and flat...all the singlespeeders were quickly left behind but most of them make up lost places on the first climb. (Notice that when I pre-rode the course, there were NO climbs. Funny how things change when you're tired. Everything seemed like a climb to me on race day). I had an easy gear on my bike. I should have been more than comfortable seated on all the "climbs" at the beginning of the race. Instead, I was out of the saddle, crankin what seemed like 45 rpm. Yikes...I hoped I would warm up FAST. I was hungry as I hadn't eaten anything since 6:30am. I know better than that, not sure what happened to me. I downed a bottle of Sustained Energy on that lap but nothing else. My lap time was bad..I was feeling worse during my first lap than I did at the end of my 6 hour race last could that be?! Not to mention, my rear wheel came off twice on my first lap.

During my first pit stop Richard handed me a BURN and a gel--both helped temporarily and I was off. I felt a little better on that lap but still my lap time was slower than it should have been. From then on out, I was not taking in more than 200 calories for every lap which I didn't realize at the time but calculated afterwards. Nothing tasted good except for plain water and I would eat a gel at each pit. Well, the laps were longer--13.6 miles and my lap times were well over an hour. I should have been taking in 350 calories (at least) per lap. I took several long breaks and even had a massage from Jason from Danielle's pit crew. Every lap I did I lost more time, which is really unlike me. The strongest part of my endurance racing is my consistency, and I didn't have any yesterday. I was really enjoying the singletrack (except a couple nasty crashes--I'm too stubborn to walk anything and on another one I was caught by a tree as I was descending way over my comfort zone with a couple fast guys on my tail). However, the double-track was killing me. Every climb was getting longer, steeper, hotter, and slower. Finally, after 5 laps I gave in. My hole was only getting deeper, I was not coming out of the bonk. For the next 12 hours after I quit I could barely talk or even stand up. I went to sleep for 6 hours or so and ate a burger...finally around 7am I started to feel slightly human again. It will take me some time to figure out why I started out so flat and tired...My bike was great though, I have no regrets picking the SS to ride. I can't blame anything that happened on my equipment--this time it was just me.

I don't regret quitting - I felt like I could quit on lap 1 with the way I felt- but I gave it the best I had for 4 more laps. By 65 miles into it, I realized it was just not in the cards for me. Do I wish I had come to my senses about the calories then? Or wish I had someone to tell me that then? Sure, but that is all in hindsight, I obviously wasn't thinking clearly at the time. Richard came up to support Eddie and when he got to Atlanta he found out I was racing too (surprise!) so he kind of had his hands full, being by himself. My first lap time was even slower than my pre-ride (which was taking it easy!) and they just got slower each lap despite me feeling like I was working hard. It is a major bummer because it was such a big race, and it would have been awesome to do well. It was also a lot of money and time to make the trip--hmm, there seems to be some sort of correlation between the distance I travel to race and my performance. Maybe I should just race in the Southeast :)

Luckily the trip was not a waste! Eddie had a phenomenal race and finished 4th!! It was the best finish for him to date, I think he's pretty happy about it. He finally got to stand on the podium with Eatough, Ross, Hendershot and Ernie. I am SO proud of him. Maybe Kona will send him to the "Worlds" in Conyers this October and he can take them on again on his home out!

Here's Danielle and me (finally out of my bonk) before she got her much deserved 2nd place medal & swag (photo borrowed from DM)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ready, set...

We will go at 10am tomorrow. I got to ride one lap yesterday (which sucked), and one today (which was better). The course is 13.6 miles long with lots of doubletrack in the beginning and then short sections of singletrack separated by more doubletrack. The singletrack is hard--tight, twisty, technical, I usually love rocks but there are a couple sections that are tricky--there is no descending so momentum is key--and throw big rocks in with tight turns, trees, and no gears--we have an interesting race ahead! Anyway, I decided to race the NORBA Nat's Solo Female category with all the big I'm wishing I had my King Kikapu. Well, not really. I was able to pick up a flat bar today and a new stem and it feels much better than the H-bar setup.

More after the race.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In other news..

Well, no "BIG" news yet. I'm still waiting to hear from Grad School...I really hope I hear this week, it would be a big weight lifted off my back. I don't know why I get so nervous during the waiting game, it's not like I can do anything about it now. I did everything I could to get in, I can't think of anything I could have done better or differently. Sigh, and wait more.

We're supposed to leave tomorrow for WI!! My fingers are still numb, though, after only a 6 hour race?! Sure this might be normal after a 24 hour but I am going to replace my Jones bars with Aerus carbon risers tonight and hope it solves my issues. On that note, I no longer have an Ti on my bike..and I really liked how it smoothed out my ride. I'm looking for a good (and affordable) straight Ti seatpost. The American Classic Ti post Eddie bought me is nice but it's setback, and my Wobble-Naught blueprint requires a straight post.

See many of you at 9 mile this weekend!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


From the dictionary: so-lo adv. Unaccompanied; alone

I suppose everyone has their own reason for doing a race solo. I can't think of any way I'd rather race. In fact, all of my training is solo too, when I go out and ride with Eddie, we rarely ride "together". Sure it's nice once in awhile, as the solo training days do get old. I love the feeling of being alone during a race though. It's my race, I have to entertain myself, motivate myself, talk to myself, push myself. I'm only accountable to me. It's all about me.

I registered for 12 hours of Dauset in the 12/Solo Singlespeed Class but since I'm still trying to get to 24/9 mile next weekend I knew I was only going to ride 6 hours, which could likely get me last place in the 12/SS division, which I didn't want. Luckily Terri Berger allowed me to switch to 6 hour Solo Female minutes before the start of the race. It looked like several chicks (strong chicks at that) were signed up for 6 hour solo, and I assumed I didn't have a chance as they were all on gears and I wasn't. But, at least I had a better chance here at not being DFL in the 6 hour group.

I won't bore anyone with all with the details of the race but basically, I felt great despite my horrible nutrional strategy..I definitely didn't eat or drink enough at all but luckily it was only 6 hours and I was able to get away with it. I couldn't get the cap off my bladder to refill it, so I ditched it after 2 hours. I don't have the skill to drink from a bottle at speed on a trail, so pretty much the only time I drank was everytime I swung by my pit after a lap. I would swig gatorade and dump water on my head like Floyd. Had I been in for 12 or 24 I would have bonked hard at some point from dehydration and lack of calories. My fingers were completely numb 3 hours into the race, which tells me the Jones H-bars have got to go. Hopefully I can replace them with something that works in the next couple days because I'm not going to make it through 24 hours like that. My only real regret about this race is that I didn't give myself enough credit from the start and I didn't race hard to the end- I'm not used to racing for 1st- at best I'm racing for 2nd or 3rd place. Well, had I pushed myself just a bit harder on my last lap yesterday (and kept up with Bruce Dickman!) I may have actually won. Darn! I had no idea I was even close to catching 1st place, I had only been thinking about who was behind me. I felt way too good after the race was over, I should have felt much worse and more tired than I did. Oh well, it's definitely a good lesson learned and maybe one that everyone learns at some point before they become a winner, who knows. At least I know I can be competitive with the geared riders and I'm not relegated to only racing in a SS class if I want to do well. Maybe I can be like Team Dicky one day- the guy kicks ass on his SS everywhere! Right now, I have no desire to ride any other bike anytime soon- my Kona Unit 2-9 is the best.

I will say that I had a really really good time racing which was nice for a change, I was riding my own race doing everything my coach had prepared me to do. I also got a good feel of my new Wobble-naught fit in action. The combination of these two things was really what made me have a good race.

Congrats to Eddie on a great race - he was racing at a crazy pace with Harvey and Greg Turner. He was sooooo close to getting 3rd, but ended up in 4th. Their lap times were smokin fast, I can't imagine riding like that!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Well, if I go to 24 hours of 9 mile, it will be stressful. Why? We'd have to leave Wednesday (after my A&P Lab Final Exam), board 2 dogs for one week, drive 15 hours to Wausau, WI, race on Sat-Sun, turn around and get back for my A&P Lecture Final Exam on Wed. at 10:15am. It will be expensive because of boarding the dogs. Gas and lodging would be the same if I went because Eddie is going regardless. I really don't know what to do. I really want to race, I've been training for it and looking forward to it. Yes there is a 12 hour here I could do this weekend, but I've got the itch to do a 24. If I don't do this one, the next one is 24 hours of Pisgah in September. I have to decide today because I need to pack for the race tomorrow (6 hours or 12 hours????).

On another note, after 2 days of rest and 2 days of easyish riding this week, my back feels horrible. It feels like it needs to be taken apart and put back together again. This happened to me right before Cohutta 100 and I decided to get a massage the Thursday before the race. Well, I am not doing that again because it caused me to do something funky to my back and took me out of the 100 miler back in April. It must have something to do with the rest that causes the muscles to knot up and spasm. I have been stretching, but it doesn't seem to help! My hamstrings are so tight, I can't even touch my toes :( I don't think my entire body was ready for all the SS'ing I started throwing at it. I need to develop a total body (especially core) training program soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ebay Fraud

Sometimes I hate ebay. While it's a great way to buy and sell stuff, there is no accountability for buyers that have no intention of actually buying your item. We sold Eddie's brand new Litespeed Ghisallo on ebay to a guy from NY for a steal! The bike is worth well over $5000 and he won the auction for $4000. He insisted that I send it asap, rush shipping and that he would pay for it asap. I waited and waited for payment, he said he sent it but no, he didn't. I googled his name "Peter Agola" to see if he was for real, and yes, he is a roadie up in NY. So, I gave him the benefit of the doubt...he was probably really busy or out of town. Usually cyclists are pretty cool so I remained optimistic. Well, turns out the guy is a complete fraud, wasted our time, etc. etc. If you know this guy, please tell him he is a jerk for me. And, yes, it really would make me feel better :)

So, now back to selling this beautiful bike. Unfortunately, we have no room for it, we have enough pretty Ti bikes already.

Ok then. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Attack of the killer bees

How is it that I managed to get stung by a bee twice this weekend? Once during yesterday's ride and once today. Both arms are swollen and irritated...grr. On the bright side, I did have a lot of good riding time this weekend on the SS. I am ready for the 6 hour, the 24 is another story. I just got my SS Wobble-naughted and while I like it much better, we found out that my frame is too big for me. We set it up the best we could under the constraints since that was the only choice unless I get a smaller frame. I think it's the angle of the Jones H-bars that is hurting my hands - the outside of my palm and ring and pinky fingers hurt after a few hours on the trail--I must get this figured out before the 24 hours of 9 mile in two weeks! I think I am going play around with the angle of the H-bars this week and hopefully it solves the issue.

The 12 hours of Dauset race is next weekend and I feel ready. I will only be racing 6 hours, though, as a trial run for the 24 hour the weekend after. I'll experiment with my new nutritional strategy as well as getting at least one race on the SS before 9 mile.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

VOTE for Team Dicky!

Fellow endurance nut and singlespeeder Team Dicky (a.k.a) Rich Dillen and his teammate Josh the Wonderboy have been selected as finalists for the Race Face Ultimate Challenge which is an all paid spot in this year's TransRockies Challenge stage race. Too cool! If you haven't met Team Dicky, trust me, they are highly deserving and would provide us enormous amounts of entertainment while being the first SS team to ever complete the race. For more details, see Team Dicky's blog. Now go vote! :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

26 to go

Rides that is. When I got my Wobble-Naught fit, Tom told me that it would take 30 days of riding for the body to get used to the new setup on the bike. So far, I've had four days of riding on the King Kikapu, still the only bike that's been Wobble-Naughted for me. I can definitely tell that I'm using and developing different muscles, primarily my Rectus Femorus and my Tibialis Anterior. They weren't being worked enough before.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend was excellent. Eddie and I took Jackson and Porter up to Dahlonega where we met Harvey, Lauren, and Fontana at Eddie's coach Josh's house for the weekend. We had two great days of riding. The first was in the Bull Mountain area, nice long one. To my surprise I actually rode most of the steepest section of trail that is always a hike-a-bike for me on Bare Hare. I can definitely see a major improvement in my steep ascending skills, just on my 2nd Wobble-Naught ride- yay me! The next day was spent riding the Helen race course which was soooper hot I wanted to crawl into a pool of ice and fall asleep in it. But, instead I opted to severly torture myself more by joining Eddie and Harvey on the 9 mile gravel road climb..that in the middle of the day in July seems like 25 miles. The gravel is dense, the road is steep, and there wasn't much shade. I had done the climb once before, but it was in January and it was it was actually much more pleasant and fast then. I actually had to walk a bit and took a long break where I laid down on the side of the road in what seemed like the only patch of shade I encountered all day. I laid there for what seemed like 20 minutes, but it was probably less. No sign of Eddie, so I figured no one was coming to look for me and my only choice was to go on..I mean up. The only motivation I had was the descent down Hickory Nut which is 7 FUN miles full of rocks and other obstacles that are just waiting to grab your wheel and take you down. It was also the entire reason for doing this ride, so I spun onwards. I finally made it to the top and just as we started the descent Harvey and Eddie saw a BIG bear. Luckily I missed it. But unluckily, I was following Eddie's lines down some rocky stuff and flatted...yikes. All I could think about was the fact that there were bears nearby and I really really really didn't want to see another one. Soon enough, we were headed back down. Funny, as soon as the hill turned downwards, I felt so much better. The entire day's ride took much longer than expected, but at least I did it. It was one of those "character-building" rides.

On Tuesday, we went up to Ellijay for the Cartecay Bikes annual 4th of July ride. There was a big crowd that was splitting up into A, B, and C groups. Unfortunately, the A group was the only one doing the long mileage, but it was about 10 guys that are super fast. No girls...Eddie sort of made me feel like a wuss for wanting to back out of the A ride, but I decided to just do the A ride anyway, even if I ended up riding most of it alone. As soon as we took off, I was dropped on the first gravel road climb. Great. It was going to be a long day, and my legs were pretty cooked from the long week of riding, but I went on alone. I ended up flatting on the descent from the upper Bear Creek trailhead, and had completely forgotten to replace my spare tube from Sunday's flat...major d'oh. And there was no one around. I descended the rest of Bear Creek and started up Pinhoti...up up up, still no one to be found. I stopped a couple times to refill the air in my tube but it really wasn't helping, so I basically rode up and over Pinhoti on my rim..luckily it's a bomb proof rim and I didn't do any damage..even though I ripped up the tire. When I finally reached the gravel road again I happened to run into Bruce Dickman and he so kindly let me have one of his tubes and CO2. Soon I was on my way again. I decided to ride a bit more to get in some more miles and ended up finishing just as the other groups were, so all in all the day was not a total waste. I wished I had gotten to ride with a group, but solo riding is always nice too.

The rest of this week is focused on getting into Grad school..then more bike time this weekend!