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.

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