The Hours … Part Two

… Lap three was a complete contrast to lap two for me. My back had begun to feel a little tight (as I’d expected), things were starting to warm up outside, and I rode almost the entire lap by myself. As I hit the rough section again and began to listen to my derailleur bouncing on my chain, my whiny, complainy inner voice started jabbering, "When are these rocks going to end? These things are a pain in the rear!" Probably not the best thing to tell yourself halfway through a race.

But something even more odd happened. I started passing riders who were riding the opposite direction–regular rec riders out on their Saturday rides. At one point, I was even barreling down a descent when I spotted two riders coming the opposite direction. To say the least, I was a little confused by it. I made a mental note to watch the trail and not follow anybody off the course.

As I rounded the final climb and descended back into the start area, though, that’s precisely what happened–I found myself off the course on some other trail with a couple of riders ahead of me. Obviously I’d followed their lead on one of the switchbacks instead of following the flags. I regained my orientation and raced to the finish to find Botched, where I told him about my misguided mayhem.

He zipped off on another lap and I went to relax under the tent. It was then that I started noticing just how tense my back was getting. I grabbed a bag of ice and shoved it behind my back, not necessarily hoping it would heal anything, but hoping it would numb my back and allow me to keep riding.

Between every lap, I found myself downing about a water bottle’s worth of Hammer Heed. I reluctantly forced down the PB&J’s before treating myself to my last ham & cheese. I’d already dipped into my emergency food supply before lap three, downing a Red Bull and a packet of lime Sport Beans to get some variety in my liquid diet. Before lap four, I sucked down my now-cold tomato soup, which was probably my favorite meal during the race. For whatever reason, solid food just was not appealing to me, and in retrospect, I should’ve brought more soup.

I don’t think Botched ate too many of his sandwiches either, since there were still a couple in the cooler when we got done. He had his own maltodextrin mix drink, and it seemed to be working pretty well for him. I thought he was crazy for suggesting a liquid diet during our prerace discussions, but by my third rest hour that was sounding pretty good.

I could barely move off my ice pack to meet Botched at the start zone for lap four, but it didn’t take long for my back to get warmed up again. Again, I spent the lap almost completely alone, though I did get into chase mode a little when I passed the guy in yellow (ahead of me in yesterday’s photo) and when he later passed me during the rocky part. I tried to stay in contact with him, but I ended up losing him on the final descent. Go figure. But by the time I reached the start zone again, I was pumped and happy. Heck, I might’ve volunteered to do another lap if I didn’t have an unbearable urge to visit the outhouse.

By the time Botched came back from his fourth lap, though, I was toast. My back hurt much worse than it had before, so Botched, very mercifully, volunteered to take another lap while I continued to ice up. I sucked down a gel and another Red Bull while he was gone, hoping my hyperness could carry me through. And, sure enough, when he got back, I was up and ready to ride.

I took lap five pretty easy, thinking, "Just finish, no big deal." This time there were more people out on the course, so I got to chat it up a little more. I met a former Olympic cross-country skier named Wendy Wagner who was on her tenth solo lap and suffering from some serious side stitches. I gave her some side-stitch advice (you know me, full of advice), and she said she felt better. Despite knowing I could pass her, I rode the final climb up behind her, chatting the whole way. When I told her I’d done more road biking, she asked if I’d been a pro ride biker … did you just spit out your food laughing too? I told her ‘no,’ but that I appreciated that she’d even wonder that.

When I got back to the finish, Botched informed me that he had to pull off a 55-minute lap to make the cut for the final lap, and if he made it in time, he’d just keep riding. I was fine with that as our wives had arrived. When I got to the tent, my wife approved of my request to get a professional massage from the tent next door. So while Botched was out toiling his best up and down those razor-sharp rocks, I was under the shade getting my back loosened by the same woman who usually works with Sue Haywood (of Trek/VW fame). Heckya.

In the end, Botched missed the time cut by only a few minutes (it would’ve had to have been his fastest lap if he’d made it), and we started kicking ourselves for anything we’d done that had even lost 30 seconds along the way. If we’d made the cut, we’ve have been in 11th place at least, but since we missed, we ended up 12th out of 20–mostly thanks to Botched’s super speedy efforts.

Then we crawled into the passenger seats of our respective vehicles and headed back for a relaxing evening of pizza and light-hearted conversation. Oh, and Lil’ Botched let me braid her hair.


8 thoughts on “The Hours … Part Two

  1. Jill

    Congrats on a great race. I\’m not fast like that, so I admire the all-out effort. And I must be an endurance junkie, because I was almost drooling when I read about your Red Bull and lime sport beans. When\’s the next one?

  2. Unknown

    I only ate 1 PB&J and that was after the 1st lap. Other than 4 bananas, and the sandwich, I didn\’t eat any solid food. If I ride hard, I don\’t get hungry, and if I eat much (any) power bars or regular food, I get sick.
    The winner of the woman\’s solo competition did 13 laps!!!
    I figure we wasted about 5 minutes per lap because of our decision to not wait for each other at the start/finish and chatting between laps. That\’s cool. We knew going into it that we weren\’t any threat to the fast folks.
    Caloi rode the whole race without bike gloves. I think he\’s sick in the head.
    P.S. Mrs Botched will be e-mailing me her pics, which I will forward to Caloi, who can post them.

  3. Jay

    Ok, so it has been a month or more since I posted anything online, congrats guys!
    I wish I could have been there.
    My life has been upside down with our schedule and new personal commitments.  Sorry Caloi, I had a half written response to your email in my draft box the last time I checked.
    What is new with me?
    Well, I popped my hamstring last Wednesday in a spur of the moment contest with a kid that is a stud and half my age…I would have beat him too!  (do I just get dumber?) 2 month rehab.  I can ride the recumbant slowly indoors.  Maybe I will become a swimmer?
    I rode a in triathlon relay with my wife on the 13th.  I was accepeting of my result at 21 mph over 13 mi.
    Before my injury I had been climbing 5 or six times and I was really getting strong on my regular courses.
    I was really excited because I had climbed the nasty grade (12% +) near my house for the first time in the saddle all the way, after one of my rides, and had felt really quite strong doing it.  I was becomming a climber.
    I was anxious to ride the Suncrest ride and the Gauntlet with you Caloi (and Botched) and see what you thought of those.
    I hit 48.9 mph comming down the mountain at Suncrest (that is the fastest I have ever been on a bike)  Anyone else wanna chime in on their top speed?  I don\’t imagine anyone has been to the 70 mph that Paolo Salvodelli has, right?
    Fun to hear about it all!

  4. Unknown

    Wow, that SUCKS, Coug. You popped your hammie on a bicycle???
    I\’ve hit 58 mph coming down off the north side of traverse mountain (suncrest). That was with a 53/12 and spinning like a madman.  I think that was pretty much as fast as I\’ll be able to go with that gearing.  

  5. Jay

    No Botched, I was in a distance competition on a slip n slide with a 16 year old.  I was sprinting when it happened.  It was youth conference.
    I could see the faster speed on that side of the mountain.  I was on a 53/11 with mine on the south side.  I hear ya on the spinning part.

  6. BIg Mike In Oz

    Caloi/Botched – nice work on the marathon.  12 hours sux.  MTBing doesn\’t catch my fancy either, probably because of the mountain part.
    Alpinecoug – I got booked on my bike by the police for exceeding the speed limit by 17kph (10.5mph).  No big deal except that the limit I broke was 100kph (62mph).  It was in the Noosa triathlon in 1986.  The ride is a simple out and back except you climb an old windy logging road that takes 2.5km (1.5mi) to climb.  The corresponding descent on the return journey is where I got booked… It is 1.1km (0.7mi).  It\’s dead straight, smoother than a babies bum and over 20% gradient.
    I rode around the police at the bottom, but they got me after the race because of the race number on my arms and legs.  I foolishly ripped up the ticket after I paid it.  I should have had it framed.  It was a doozy…
    Registration of Vehicle: N/A
    Make of Vehicle: bicycle
    Engine Capacity: legs
    I should have taken it to court.

  7. Unknown

    Caloi, Botched, great race guys.  Nothing like the sting of battle, is there?  
    ACoug – there are a number of hills I ride pretty regularly where I hit around 45, the only one that is impressive is a short hill with maybe a 12% gradient for 50 yards, decreasing to about 2-3%, that our LBS ride always takes at a standing sprint.  By the bottom of the 3% portion, I\’m generally hitting 45.  This is an eyes-popping-out-throwing-the-bike sprint.  For more traditional descents, I do this one hill ride every couple months that has a couple half mile long 18-20% grades in the worst parts.  It\’s a point of pride to break 55 on those two hills, geared 50-11 (compact crank).  I think the fastest I\’ve ever gone is 58 on a hill out in the Blue Ridge Mountains a month or two ago.  That was interesting.  I was really worried about tacoing a wheel on an un-seen bump on the pavement, since it was an unfamiliar road. 

  8. Zed

    Holy cow, Big Mike! I agree, you should\’ve framed that puppy. I don\’t think we\’re going to find anyone who can top 72.5 mph. My max so far is 52, but I wasn\’t pedaling at all and I only had my 12-25 on (I sometimes utilize an 11-21). BTW, you don\’t know what you\’re missing with mtb. It\’s a good time.
    Jill- No shame. I\’ve decided I really like Red Bull. I already knew that, but it just got re-emphasized in my brain this past weekend. No plans for another one just yet. I might have to put racing on the backburner until next season (the baby countdown\’s begun), but I might give the E50 section of the PCE100 a shot next year. I may also save up for a full-suspension rig too (I drool over Cannondale Rushes and Trek Fuels)
    Botched- dude, I could\’ve given you five fewer minutes on one lap if I\’d just passed some more people on the ascents when they offered. Don\’t ask me what I was thinking.
    Coug- how in the heck did you pop a hammy. Nothing personal, but I\’m kind of glad you won\’t be able to work on your climbing for a bit. That gives me a chance to catch up before we actually do the Alpine Gauntlet, eh?
    Al- battle certainly does sting, lemme tellya.

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