Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 Curse at the Crab 6hr Race – Blessed!

I was really looking forward to this event, 6 hrs at Crabtree Park trails, with a 2-8 pm run time, meaning a few laps in the dark…but then I started throwing up Tuesday night into Wednesday morning and suddenly I was dreading it.  Still, I figured it was better to race than to regret.  After all, the race is only 6 hrs, but regret lasts much longer (hey, someone should coin that).  The stomach was still bothering me race day and I felt a bit weak, but whatever.  I think it was Nate who told me, "...just another opportunity to HTFU!"
I stuck to yogurt drink, crackers, a hard boiled egg and banana for breakfast (kinda spread out over the morning), then another banana, chocolate milk and ginger ale a couple hours before the race.  Then right before the race, some more ginger ale and some salt n’ vinegar chips.
I tried to be careful with what I ate the day of the race as my stomach was still feeling crappy (the chips did not help).  Luckily three trips to the port-a-jon helped clean me out and off I went

Just before I crashed...don't I look happy?

Heading out for lap 4, you can see I am feeling good now.
I knew there would be the long trail of riders going into the single track, so better too be to far up, than too far back.  Then whoosh!  Going around a turn, ~1.5 miles in to the race, my tires wash out and I hit the dirt.  Luckily my buddy Jeremy was right behind me and just missed leaving a tire tread tattoo on my torso.  So I stood up, dusted off my pride, and watched and waited for all the bikers to go by until I finally had time to jump in line and get back into the race.  If I already felt crappy, crashing in the 1st lap did not help.  Funny, I had the same kind of crash in lap three, but nobody saw it, so it did not bother me as much.   Anyway, I continued to feel crappy the first three+ laps.  It did not help that I knew I was likely in last place in SS and could not catch anybody, not even guys I have lapped on past races.  I mean seriously, was I just having a bad day?  Was I suddenly this bad & was everyone else that good?  Orrr, did some guys just go out too fast?  I hoped for the latter.  I also wanted to stick to the #1 rule in endurance racing, which is: Just keep pedaling and good things may happen.  Funny how ‘Niner’ summed it up on my frame with “Pedal Damn It!”, so I did.  I even started to feel better around lap 4 and felt like I could keep my pace without irritating my stomach.  Then it happened.  I passed another SS’er, then another, then another.  This went on for the next few laps until I got to what I knew would be my last lap.  I knew Jeremy, Mark and Ahmet were ahead of me, and maybe someone I did not know??? Regardless, if I went hard, I might catch a couple of them, and finish in the top 5.  I pushed it.  Every rider I came up to, I was just hoping they were on a SS.  The lap was now half way past, no SS’ers.  Then ~3/4 through, I came upon Mark who decided not to attempt to stay with me.  I thought for sure Jeremy would be nearby so I laid down the hammer and went as fast as I could knowing that there was maybe 1 to 1.5 miles left.  By the time I neared the bridge before the last climb I could see no one and accepted that Ahmet and Jeremy were going to finish ahead of me.  I was not surprised with Ahemt as he has really stepped up his riding and has been winning races.  Jeremy on the other hand, while a solid racer and strong competitor, has not finished ahead of me in any event (usually due to crashing or mechanical) and we have been racing these local events together since 2009.  Imagine my shock when I get to the finish line (9 laps, 60.3 miles in 5:42), to find out Jeremy and Ahmet are out for lap 10, then Jeremy comes in first!.  What a race for him!  Clearly all that working out and eating good is helping.  Maybe I should try it, but unfortunately I like to eat too much.  Anyway, I ended the event not feeling "Cursed at the Crab", but blessed to find out I snuck into 3rd place.  I was also glad that the two guys above me did 10 laps.  No way was I hittin’ that even if I was healthy, so I don’t need to feel bad about how much better I could have done.  Sure, I could have ‘possibly’ raced a bit faster, but not that much.  Now plenty of time to heal up for the final TORC Endurance Series event at Harris Lake in 2 weeks…or plenty of time to get sick again, but then I would be truly cursed.  Always nice to have an excuse though. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ORC HTFU 100...


Alright you crazies out there. It is time to get off the couch, lube the chain, and start pedaling.  Sunday, April 22nd brings the ORC HTFU 100.
The proposed route (subject to minor alteration) is:
286: ~12 miles of sweet single-track to start us off. [12]
Umstead: ~14 mile loop that will including an out and back at Cedar Ridge and Old Reedy Creek Lake.  After the out and back by the lake we will return to the Turkey Creek/Reedy Creek intersection and Exit onto Trenton Rd. and head down to the Hubcap trail. [26]
Hubcap: Jump into Hubcap and ride this down to Harrison Ave.. Cross the overpass (Hwy 40), turn right at Harris Oaks and then right into the Sludge trail. [29]
Sludge: Ride straight through Sludge (in order to keep directions simple).  This means staying right at the first two intersections.  The trail ends at Old Reedy Creek Rd. (ORC) and ride into Crabtree. [33]
Crabtree: Thinking all rights for a 5 mile loop. [38]
Black Creek Greenway to Jimmy Johns! [43]
Note:  I am hoping that while there will be many different abilities on this ride, we will regroup at least up to and through Sludge and then again for Jimmy Johns...then after that, people should be familiar with the route etc. and groups may form organically.  I personally will plan on riding a bit slower if it means company than riding alone, but that is just me.
Black Creek Greenway back [48]
286 again.  Choose the same direction or ccw if you are feeling adventurous.  As groups form they can decide. [60]
*Umstead: Straight through Reedy Creek (no turns) to the greenway [65]
Reedy Creek Greenway: to Ben & Jerry's. [70]
Reedy Creek Greenway: back to Crabtree [80]
Crabtree: all lefts for a 5 mile loop. [85]
Finish with an easy loop of Umstead (Reedy Creek Trail, Left at Graylyn, Right at Turkey Creek, Right on Reedy Creek Trail and follow this back to the finish.  ~13.5 miles for ~99 total miles.
Post event gathering at Rally Point where stories will be told and prizes/awards dished out.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Note: I will update this post with more information and details as they become available.  

More Details/Updates:
  • The course has been altered to remove Delta Ridge and add Hubcap and Sludge.  The new changes  might make the mileage just shy of 100, but if you wish, you are welcome to ride an extra mile at the end. :)
  • Bring a camera (on your phone is fine) to take photo evidence of your arrival at the two mandatory pit-stops, and for other treasured memories.
  • Have an odometer on your bike for mileage verification.
  • Be prepared to have fun, ride, have less fun, ride, have little-to-no-fun, ride ends, have fun again.

For an idea of the Umstead routes and more information, click here for a link to "Map My Ride".  Zoom in on the map to see the mileage though Umstead and the Greenways.

The link above may be more useful than the pic below, but just in case it helps someone here it is:
right-click & open in new tab, then click again to enlarge
LATEST UPDATE (April 18th): Yes, it might be wet.  Yes, it might be raining.  Yes, we will still be riding.  If you are wondering why, then I suggest you look up what HTFU means. ;)  Obviously the course will change to included more Umstead, greenway etc. and less single-track, but that is to be expected.  Still looking forward to Jimmy Johns for lunch and a beer or two afterward. :)

Final Update: Tough Ride...Read about it here!

Violently Ill? Let's Race!

So, last weekend my oldest daughter comes down with the sick bug. Then Monday night, my wife starts blowing chunks.  So naturally, I begin projectile vomiting Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.  Guessing there is no chapter in Friel's Mountain BikersTraining Bible about the benefits of racing when sick.  Still, there are benefits.  I lost ~6 lbs in ~12 hours, try doing that with Atkins!  And being dehydrated, one is likely to cramp earlier, providing valuable practice in working through cramps.  Also, there is the benefit of not being able to ride for a week leading up to the race. Clearly, over training will not be an issue.  So, there is my cup-half-full take on why my bedside bucket-half-full of vomit will turn out to be a good thing.

Oh, and just an FYI, New England clam chowder looks a lot like Manhattan clam chowder upon exit.

Your welcome.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Open Letter To Wives-- Spot On!

Click on this title and open up the article (and enjoy) "An Open Letter To Wives". 
This pretty much sums it up!

Thanks for understanding honey...and, your welcome.