Sunday, August 03, 2008

24 hours of 9 mile..a race report

This was my 3rd year in a row racing the 24 hour Solo National Championship Race at 24-9 in Wausau, WI. The first year was no good...I was unprepared and DNF'd after riding 6 laps. Last year was better, but still no good as I had technical difficulties with my lights. 3rd time's a charm, though, right?

I checked into the hotel on Thursday, room 133.

I got my race number on Friday, number 3.

I was still looking for my lucky number...could 3 be it? After all, it was my 3rd time racing here and I was looking for a good race for once.

The gun went off and I took it reason to blow on Lap 1. I felt goal was 16 laps and a podium spot. For the first 6 hours everything was pretty perfect, other than losing some tubes and CO2s on the trail and some exchanges with the USAC officials about my number plate being illegally trimmed. However, I was running the Stan's No Tubes setup leaving me 1000% more confident in my setup than I was last year with tubes. There are tons of rocks on this trail. My race rig was the Optimus Ti singlespeed with FOX fork..I relegated the rigid Jabberwocky to spare parts bike as I wasn't about to run the course rigid.

I'm embarrassed to say this, but in hours 6-12 my nutritional "strategy" went horribly wrong. It was a combination of poor communication between me and my pit crew (my fault) and poor planning (my fault). It is so hard to think about these things rationally and do calorie, fluid, and sodium calculations in your head while you are racing but looking back on it after the fact, I was in a huge calorie deficit and a huge salt deficit, and took in way too much fluid. I was still on track for at least 15, if not 16 laps by 12 hours in (I had 8 laps down in 12 hours) but sometime in the night I began vomiting. I tried treating it with more salt and fluid..then just more salt and tons of calories, but nothing helped. I took a 2 hour break in the pit while all my competitors passed by one at a time. I felt helpless and really upset because of all things that should NOT go wrong for me, it's the nutrition. :(

I tried going out again sometime around 4:45 am and put in 2 more laps. I was in 8th place (same as last year) but with 2 fewer laps than last year and feeling a whole lot worse. Overall, the things that felt better than last year was my bike, my fitness, and my legs and technical skills (when I wasn't bonking), so I guess I can find something positive in my situation. I learned another lesson about preparation and communication in advance of the race. I also learned to pay as much attention to my nutritional strategy as I do for others that I help out.

Thanks to my sponsors including Vassago Cycles, Hayes Disc Brake, Stans No Tubes, Paceline Products, Ergon, WTB, and Crank Brothers. Your equipment worked perfectly.

Thanks to my pit crew of Steve and Zach Stillwell, Misty, and additional help from Ben Shockey.

So that's it. 24 hour Solo Nationals is finally moving venues..I love the trails at 9 mile forest, but I hate the race and it hates me back. I'm ready to leave the 9 mile demons behind me and start fresh next year. I am getting a new coach and I think it will be a good thing for me to have an objective opinion on my training and mental game. Eddie is a great coach and he's helped me out so much, but being that I am also married to him, it sort of all gets "too close".

OK, I'm feeling absolutely wrecked from spending so many hours calorie deprived and dehydrated. Eddie and I are going to chow some more.


Blogger Jason said...

Sorry to hear your nutrition went south. I like to think that we learn a little more with every race we do.

I must say though, you obviously don't know that I have the vomiting during endurance races story line copyrighted and trademarked.;)

Recover and say goodbye to 9 Mile!


1:39 PM  
Blogger Carey Lowery said...

Bummer ... but you have had lots on your plate these last few months. Keep your head high ... your time will come.

3:48 PM  
Blogger allan said...

Your still a super badass. I can't believe that was your 3rd 24 solo and that your doing more. See yall in a few weeks.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Karlos said...

Bummer, you guys still rock!

5:35 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Tough luck ... but good work pushing through it. I basically quit my last 24-hour race early because I was too cold ... in the summer :-)

You're a superstar.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Woods said...

We are so proud of you Nam,as always. Sorry you didn't get to where you had hoped but the opportunity was well deserved. You are always on our podium!

8:21 PM  

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