Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tour de Felasco 2011

  January 8th turned out to be a very nice day to be out on the mtb, with temperatures around 55-60 degrees and sunny all day. Probably a little cool and breezy for some of the volunteers that were posted at sag stops throughout the forest I'm sure, but it was just about perfect for riding.

  And in case I didn't tell you while I was out there riding, all of you volunteers deserve a huge thank you!! This event wouldn't be possible with out your help.

  I nearly sabotaged this perfect day right from the start however. In the past two years that I've done this ride I've been much better prepared. Usually in the two to three months leading up to the event nearly every ride has a specific training purpose and I pay much closer attention to my diet. Not this year!

  I made sure I was up at 6am and had my credit card ready at the computer when registration opened back in October, the event sold out within hours so I was glad to get in, I told everyone that I got in and I was doing the metric century this year. Then I put it away, in the back of my mind. Didn't train for it, didn't eat right. Gained my traditional weight over the holidays. Then, with two weeks to go I decided I had better do something and started doing intervals on the trainer, actually got outside for one or two good rides and started eating a little better. On the day of the event I knew that I was going to need a plan if I wanted to finish the full distance.

  I knew that I wouldn't be able to remember where they were, so I found out the distance to each sag stop and wrote them down on a piece of paper along with the cut off time at sag 4 for the century. I also wrote down, a little something to think about when I wanted to give up.
"That pain is weakness leaving your body".
  My plan was to start the morning slowly, skip sag 1, brief stop at 2, then lunch. Hopefully after lunch I'd be able to pick up the pace a little, skip 3, stop at 4, then finish the metric century. Ha!! That plan was history when 7.5 miles into the ride I was redlining my heart rate. I knew that if I was even going to make it past lunch I needed to get myself under control, but I was in the middle of two of the hardest trails out there, Tung Nut and Conquistador. So I slowed down and allowed myself to get passed by a few other riders and tried to not get caught up in their pace. Once I made it to sag 1 I stopped just long enough to remove my jacket and take a few shots of water from a dixie cup. By the time sag 2 came up my heart rate was back to normal but my legs were so tired, from my zone 5 efforts earlier, that I was doubting that I'd make it past lunch.

   Lunch was great! Hot vegetarian chili and great company, I was able to sit back and rest for a little while with my family who were there volunteering. Once I was rested I said my goodbyes and got back on the trail, feeling good. I even did a wheelie while leaving, you know for the kids!

   I was feeling pretty good coming into sag 3 when I spotted some friends headed the opposite direction and suddenly when I tried to get off of the bike my legs cramped so bad I nearly hit the ground! Uh oh I thought, this can't be good. Thankfully they saved me with some electrolyte tabs, so after taking in some more calories in the way of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and a few more shots from a dixie cup I was back on my way. I must not have been paying a lot of attention to the milage because sag 4 seemed to show up pretty quick. I had plenty if time before the cut off so I rested for a few minutes and took in some more PB&J while I was trying to decide if I was going to ride the last 6 miles back and complete the 50 mile tour or was I riding the 18.5 more miles to complete the metric century, which includes doing Tung Nut and Conquistador again. In the opposite direction. I got out my cell phone and called my wife to see if they were still at the lunch stop or back at the trail head waiting for me to come out of the woods. They were still at the lunch stop.....thats it then, I'm doing the century. That last section, which ended up being more like 21 miles, was hard. Those trails are hard enough when you haven't already been pedaling most of the day. But I did it, and I'm so glad that I didn't give into the pain and stop.
At the end of the day I completed over 5800 ft of climbing and 65 miles of single track and jeep roads in 7:40. Slow but completed!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Kris! Good going, especially after cramping.