Friday, August 21, 2009

24-14=10 Hours of Great Glen

My season started out with 2 major things on my calendar. One was the 24 Hours of Great Glen in early August. The other was a 2 week vacation at a villa on the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. I was feeling pretty solid up through June and July. I was even beating DEA on occasion which is not the norm. I like to tell myself it was due to my superior fitness as opposed to his recovering from injury that was the reason.

Needless to say when July 17 came, we loaded up the car for phase on of our summer vacation which was with the whole family. We hit the Baseball Hall of Fame and then went to Niagara Falls and visited family. I saw almost no time on the bike that week. Then on July 24 we flew to St. Maarten where we spent the next 11 days eating very well (the same as too much) and staying well hydrated (lots of adult beverages) and very little physical activity. I was thinking of the three weeks from my last real ride to the 24 Hr race as a nice taper. Fool.

When the race began DEA, A1 and myself hung at the back of the pack to let the crazy fast people and just plane crazy or ignorant people lead off the front. We made our brisk walk for the Le Mans start and got to our bikes. I was running my Some Juice 29er as a 32x22 singlespeed. Basically the same gearing as was DEA but a bit tougher than the dinner-plate 24 I ran last year, but it was in the tool box in case I needed it. A1 was running his 32x20 since he's a tough guy.

The first lap was pretty smooth and I was trying to be smart about what to ride and what to walk of the course. The three of us stayed together for another lap until A1 decided to not pit at all between laps and just go. DEA and I pitted after each lap to reload our water, get a gel and take care of anything that needed attention.

We rode lap 3 together and as we headed out for the fourth lap I started cramping a bit. I felt like I was getting enough water and was taking the Endurolytes each pit but was not feeling good. It was warm but not hot by any means. About half way through lap 4 My back began to stiffen. It made pushing my bike difficult let alone riding. As we hit the pits after Lap 4 I decided that I needed to take a break. DEA figured that if he stopped as well he wouldn't go back out so he got some water and headed back out. I found a chair and his leg massager stick thingie and worked on my calves.

DEA's wife was in camp with mine and they got the grill fired up and put some burger and dogs on. A few minutes later the beers were out and I decided I enjoyed this more than riding at that moment. My day of riding was over. AS a result I ended up with a snail like 14 hour lap number 5 which I completed Sunday morning.

When I did go back out Sunday morning I had checked the standings. Regardless of how hard I pushed I was pretty much locked into the finish position I was in as long as I rode 3 laps in the final 4 hours. That was not a problem as unfortunately for me I felt much better Sunday morning than I did the day before.

I ended up with 7 laps and 6th place. DEA was 5th with 10 laps.

I had a good time with the whole weekend, but I definitely was very disappointed with how I rode Saturday. I will blame the excessive taper this time. Next year I will have a different excuse.



Sven said...

but you had a killer tan!


bluecolnago said...

that extra long taper will getcha every time! :) sounds like a good time!