The course is the longest of the season at 28 miles, but it's also a very fast course with the average speeds in the 12 mph range. The race started at a good but sustainable pace, and I was sitting in the lead group of 8-9 riders. I have to say that it was pretty cool to look ahead and see our little freight train of color rolling thru the trail.
We stayed as a unit for about the next 45 minutes, only being spaced out a little here and there when we came upon slower traffic from the classes in front of us. But that's about the time were things started to head south. I got "hung up" behind a small group of singlespeeders and fell off our little freight train....and I say hung up because the more I think about it I just didn't want to get by them, I felt myself starting to fade. I think it was more mental then physical, but none the less it was happening.
After 2-3 minutes of rolling with the SS guys I came around on a long downhill fireroad, but I did use my time wisely and sucked down some fluids and a little nutrition. A few minutes later I came across the best water/recovery stop known to man....lots of pictures in the link...
...as always FatMarc and friends know how to have a good time.
After my little lap in the pool I felt things coming back, not sure if it was the nutrition I threw down just before the stop, the splish splash in the pool or seeing Rotten Rob rocking the leopard print loin cloth but I was back....so I thought.
Things felt good for about the next 10-15 minutes but then I felt myself starting to fade again. I caught another group of riders and was content with just sticking on their wheel. After 10-15 minutes of riding with these guys I made my way thru (more so because they were fading more then I was, not that I was faster) but that put me riding alone...which is not what I needed.
With 3-4 miles left in the race (about the 23-24 mile mark) the wheels fell off....I was done, cooked, spent, etc. I was not cramping at all, so I'm guessing it was more nutrition based then hydration...or maybe it was just the distance, either way I was heading south fast.
Thankfully this part of the course was flat and I limped to the finish with a showing of 11th of the 14 finishers in my class. The next hour was a little worrying thou, I've never felt so bad/sick after a race. I was light headed, disoriented and felt like I was gonna puke, but I was sweating like an escaped convict so I'm not sure if it was dehydration.
But things slowly got better and all seams good today. So now it's a chill out couple of days until Nationals on Friday and we'll go from there next week. I've got a couple different thoughts running thru my head...but more on that later.