Monday, August 25, 2008

Absolute Bike Flagstaff Race Report 2008

I was able to watch the Olympic MTB races online, so all was good. The US women represented well with a 7th and 8th place finish. Coincidentally, I finished 7th in my own race (sport division) on the very same day around the very same time that the race was taking place. My effort was not quite as impressive unfortunately, as I more resembled a martian who landed on the Earth by accident and who is trying to breath air for the first time.

The 2008 Absolute Bikes Old Fashioned MTB race was this weekend in Flagstaff. Wah wah, 8000 feet is high. Guess who got gassed?

Sarah and I at the start. Do yo like my cruiser helmet?
Someday, I may consider getting a real one... but not yet.

Raced okay on the first lap... definitely rode the trail better with no wrecking into trees and other such nonsense that occurred last year. But I still felt like I had no fitness business being in that race with all the feelings of lungs threatening to explode and brain dizziness. Sarah was gone from the beginning of the singletrack and I knew that only a flat tire would help me now. Unfortunately, she was installed some 5 pound flat-free tubes that came in a box bigger than my last pair of Solomons so I was pretty sure that I wouldn't see her again until the finish. I didn't.

A fist pump after one lap, just to prove how tough I am.

Second lap, started strong up the fire road and even at the beginning of the singletrack climbing, but then I just completely died, no energy, riding into things...very bad. I stopped when my good quad starting cramping and watched my bad leg do the uncontrollable shaking thing that I have come to equate with "pushing past my limit". I tried to eat some weird gu called Almond Butter that I have received free at a recent race to get some calories in, but it tasted like sand and I am pretty sure that company is out of business. After having a solo pity party, I finally got to the downhill part and then just let off the brakes and flew mostly because braking was more work than not.

Someone is happy to be done.

All told, I rode 20 miles in around 3 hours at 8K feet with 2K of climbing. I definitely was a better rider than one year ago and I laughed at the hill that I will admit to walking down last year because I was afraid. Unfortunately, I seem to have a 2 hour limit on my energy reserves lately and seem to bonk hard after that time period. Sarah ended up beating me by 18 minutes for 2nd in our age group (good job my friend) and then we both watched a girl (who killed us) with actual jiggle in her calves accept her award. This was a common theme as plenty of girls who look slow and out of shape destroyed us. Is it the years of experience they probably have or are they just stronger than us, underneath their exterior?

Regardless, I got to accept my default prize for third in my age group (out of three) and wipe a tear away for my proud moment in history. This now means that I have placed in all three of my bike races I have attempted. What that obviously means is that more women need to start riding and entering these things. Next race, the Gilmore Adventure Race is about a month out so more running and biking training needs to occur.

I see myself as a paint by number. Each month I will get a little stronger and hopefully a little tougher. Picasso didn't happen overnight people.


Keith said...

2 hour energy limit? Are congratulations in order? Everyone else is doing--2007 was a record setting year and it doesn't seem like it's slowing down in 2008. :)

la chaser said...

umm if u are asking what I think you are asking, not so much.

garobbins said...

Congrats on another solid race!
Gu ain't outta bidnit, good schtuff when you get the right flavors!
2hr energy limit is quite common if you are not taking in enough calories, fluid and electrolytes. I used to bonk right on 2hr as well till I figured out what worked for me with nutrition.