Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 Lumberjack 100

Lumberjack was the first race that I ever participated in 5 years ago. I signed up day of on my singlespeed, made it through half the race in 6 hours and DNF'ed. Next year was the year of the Epic flood, where I stuggled for a 10:40ish finish. Year 3 DNF due to a mechanical. 2010, horrible bonk for the middle 40 miles, 9:27. This year I had ridden a little more, but with alot more intensity than last year. After a strong ride at the Hanson Hills 100 on Memorial Day weekend, I was pretty confident I would break 9 hours, which was all I really set out to do. Here is my recap of 2011.

5am wake up call, drove the motorhome from the campground to the start. Just enough time to put our gear in the tent, chomp down a Clif bar breakfast, get our instructions at the 630am riders meeting and head 2 miles down the road for the road start.

7am. the gun goes off. I sit in the group toward the front 100 moving about 20-22mph behind the pace car. We hit LJ lodge, go around the circle and funnel into the singletrack where I got pinched a bit, but we filed in for the first climb, a slow easy grinder for about a mile or so. Found a good group to ride with and rode a comfortable pace.

8am. Get loose in some sand carving the singletrack and smack my shoulder on a tree. Hard. I swore something was broken. Lost my group for a bit, shook it off and hammered on. Arrived at the aid station to notice my number plate, which included my timing chip was ripped off. Shit.

9:43 Finished my first lap with a time of 2:43. Glad someone found my number plate and called the timing officials. They knew who I was, got my time in. I felt good, nutrition was dialed. Maybe 2 minutes in the pits to refill the camelback and I was off. for lap 2. Lap 2 was fairly un-eventful. Again I found a good group to work with. There was a new, really long grinding climb this year up to the fire tower than I was feeling a bit, but not too bad, especially since after there was a couple miles of downhill.

12:31 Finish lap 2 with a time of 2:47. In the pits I knew I had sub 9 hours in the bag. Took maybe 4 minutes to refill the camel back and pop a couple motrin for my aching shoulder, and headed out. I knew immediately during the first climb that this lap may be a little different. I was having trouble recovering on the climbs that are in the first 5-6 miles. They are steep, and soft. I hopped off on one to walk for a minute. After I was through those I regained some composure. Got back in a groove until I had to stop to pee and pull a stick out of my deraulleur. As I was doing that Mike Seaman passed me and I just on his wheel for 5 or 6 miles to the aid station, where I grabbed a small cup of coke. I was going to finish it out with Mike but he told me to go. I put my head down and rode hard, through the toughest part of the course knowing I had only 17 miles to go. Everything hurt. My arms, neck, legs. I started picking off a few people where were starting to fade. Seen my buddy Chris who usually kick my ass starting to get closer. He wished me luck, I rode a couple hills most people were walking, put myself totally in the red, heart pounding, seeing starts, only to get over the last hill and come into the last downhill knowing it would soon be over.

3:30 Finished in 8:30:45 I didnt think I had an 830 in me. My 3rd lap was solid at 2:59:10 but with the slow pit and the tough start, I was shocked. I finished 47th in open men (actually 46 but they gave the position to the guy I passed at the finish the spot, me not having a timing chip and all) To shave 57 minutes off my time from last year and gain 40 positions on a slightly different and tougher course, is extremely hard to do.

I am in rare form this year. Eating better, riding harder. Its all paying off. I finished ahead of alot of people at this race that train alot and normally kick my ass. I may do a couple small races before Ore 2 shore, we shall see. Feeling good about crushing the 48 miles there in August. I really want to make it to Shenandoah in Virgina on Labor Day but not sure I have a dog sitter..

Big thanks to my Dad who helped speed up my pit stops. It makes it so nice to have someone there to help you.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hanson Hills 100

I went in thinking this race would be easy, with the 2 track and all. I was wrong in every possible way. The temperature at the start was about 49 degrees with some light rain, and I didnt pack my knee warmers, or really anything warm except my team vest...

We stage at the Kmart on 72 in Grayling for a police escorted "20mph" rollout that quickly turned into 30mph as the police car was flying. A couple miles later we hit Hanson Hills Rec Area where we are greeted with the first climb of the day. A new trail that they were using us to cut in. I was seeing stars after the insane rollout on the road, but settled into a group of 4 where I felt the speed was comfortable. About 7 miles in on a fast downhill, I took the right turn at the bottom and faceplanted. Now covered in sand I hopped back on and bridged back up to my group and sat tight until I got a stick stuck in my deraulleur. Not long after I removed that, another. The group was gone, and I would ride pretty much alone the rest of the day. Rolled in the after the first lap with a time of 2:05. Quick bottle change and a stipping of a layer, finished lap 2 in 2:06. At the start of lap 3 the sand was getting to me a bit and some fatigue was setting in. My quads and knees were aching. The trail was not smooth rolling. The 2 tracks were sandy, mossy, grassy, just soft, power robbing earth. You had to constantly be under power. At the start of lap 3 I stopped and stretched for about 5 minutes at the bottom of the first hill. I was thinking cramps, but I think it was just more fatigue. Finished an uneventful lap 3 in 2:13, and finished lap for in 2:09, good enough for 4th place in my age group out of 10. I was only 14 minutes behind a guy that usually beats me by an hour, so I must have done better than I felt. I felt like I had been put through a meat grinder at the end. Maybe if I didnt stop to stretch and stop to pee 3 times I could have been on the podium. Quickly iced down my quads, showered, ate some post race meal, a few Obes and passed out.

All in all, the race went really well. The bike felt great, I felt as good as I could for 100 miles, and my time was faster than my fastest LJ100 by almost an hour. This really was just a training race to practice my nutrition and gain some fitness for Lumberjack June 18th. I think I nailed my nutrition and had a strong performance in the saddle. Its been 4 days and I think I am finally nearly fully recovered. (seems to take 5-7 after a 100) Hopefully it will just make LJ that much easier.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pontiac Lake Time Trial

Not much to say about this one. Had no expectations, just figured a couple fun laps close to home. Was a little muddy. Rode my rigid singlespeed in expert 30-39, and got my ass kicked! 12th of 16 finishers. My worst 2 laps at Pontiac ever. My bike handling was horrible. I was sliding in the mud, hitting every rock and root on the trail. The Niner carbon fork was making sure I felt every freakin one. The backs of my arms were so sore on the second lap I wanted someone to slash my tires so I could quit, but no luck. Suffered on. Until next time, where I will probably get beat down also!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Barry Roubaix. 35 miles. 18 degrees. 1 kankle.

Barry Roubaix. The new spring classic, although it felt like dead of winter at the start. I was pretty pumped for this race as I have heard nothing but good things about it, until Thursday the 24th when I rolled my ankle at my soccer game, bad. Friday morning I couldnt see the bone on the inside of my ankle due to the swelling. It wasnt too bad as long as I didnt move my toes left or right, or up toward my knee. I was a bit bummed. Friday night I rode around the parking lot of the Holiday inn where we were staying and it hurt. I couldnt pull up and spinning fast was a bit painful. Decided screw it, I am riding. Couple motrin and a compression wrap. Figured I would just take it easy if it hurt. Was only worried about the narrow section on Sager rd. Walking would be way more painful than riding.

Gun goes off, I am having a bit of pain with anything over about 20mph as I was spinning rather fast with my 36x16 on the flat sections. The guys on the cross bikes were passing me and flying down the roads. Made the left onto Sager Rd and I could see some heavy traffic, but it was hard and moving. Found a spot to ride out of danger until my friend Chris rode around me right up the middle of the 2 lines, and I followed. Probably not the best but it worked out good. The rest of the race was pretty un-eventful for me. Just found a nice spot to spin where my ankle didnt hurt too bad. There were only a couple hills that were tough. On the last road climb I started slowing down and getting a bit light headed, most likely from not drinking anything as my bottles were frozen and I could only get about half a bottle of cytomax slushie out all race. Finished in 2:04:10, good for 15th of 46 in singlespeed. I did better than I anticipated with my fat kankle. The beer, tacos and burritos made it all worth while at the finish. Foot was all black and blue later when I took my wrap off, but I dont think I hurt it anymore. I wish I had some more gear on the bike for the flats. Never doing it and not being able to judge my fitness this early in the year I played it a bit safe. Probably good with my bum wheel. Awesome event.

For anyone who hasnt done it, I highly recommend it. Rick always puts on awesome events. The atmosphere, the course, its all great. Definately be back next year, hopefully healthy, with some cross tires and a bigger gear!