Sunday, August 31, 2008

WEMS Stump Farm

I missed out on a good number of decent posts here recently.. The secret mountain bike trail I found on vacation.. My train ride home where I had to climb over an engine to make the train (this was authorized in case you're with the rail system). All the newbie rail riders whining about a late train.. Anyway, the stump farm deserves a few minutes to hammer out.

After an abnormally rough night's sleep, I woke up late (about 8:00 am). I brewed an espresso drink, and made some oatmeal. Around 9, I headed north to Suamico. I'm used to 7am starts and getting up at some ungodly hour.. This is nice. Oh wait, the morning temps were good, but by 1pm (race start time) it was sunny and somewhat warmish. Thanks to the trees, it wasn't too bad out there.

For those not in the know, WEMS is a race series where you are given an allotted time and you complete as many laps as you can. I chose the six hour race. I just wanted an excuse to ride as long as I could (which would certainly not be more than 6 hours on a mountain bike). I wanted to try out my nutrition plan for Chequamegon. I wanted to see how I felt.

There were some great riders out there. I'm such a newbie. I think I did a good job of staying out of the fast guys/gals way and they were all appreciative and nice about it.

Here are some of the questions I wanted to answered before that fabulous September day:

I have some new Camelback Elixer, which seems a grand idea. Scant on calories and it's got the electrolytes. Camelback may not be able to say it, but seems similar to Nuun. I'm in the very beginning phase of trying these two products out. I tossed 100 oz of water in my c-back M.U.L.E. and 3 (24oz water per tab) tablets of Elixer and left it in the fridge. OK, in hindsight this may have been a heavy decision, but I was trying it out. The Camelback itself was a trial run for Chequamegon.

How far can JWM go on a mountain bike without extreme soreness of back, shoulders, or whatnot parts? While Stump Farm ain't Chequamegon, it's a question I have.

And I wanted to say, "Hey" to my peeps. This is not a question. But I thought I'd toss it here.

Lap by lap analysis:

Lap 1: Just getting a feel for "will I die on this course". The answer was a definitive "you could, but it's not the course's fault".. I felt I was always on manageable ground, minus the steep sand downhill. Aside from this, I had all kinds of new problems like my back hurt VERY early on. I was even getting leg cramps. I won't say I never get them, but I'd imagine they are so infrequent I could say never and it would be close enough to the truth.

Lap 2: I tied the gut strap on my c-back to help alleviate my back pain and carried on. Wow, "I can do this". I wasn't fast, but I was the slow version of "Woohoo I'm the king of the world! I'm gonna make it!" from Simpsons just before Homer doesn't make it. I didn't crash my skateboard though.

Lap 3: A slightly slower version of lap two. Things hurt but I was still there.

T1.. I decided to eat my post race sandwich.

Lap 4: I'm not going to use the sandwich as an excuse, but I'm certain my metabolic efficiencies all went to my gut. I dragged through and this was it for me.. I was happy to have cleared 32+ miles for the day. And I was at least 2-3 out of lantern rouge.


Were the cramps due to the Elixer? Maybe I need to back off the mix, or go with the Gatorade that I know works. I had Gu too. So there were calories (maybe not enough).

Back pain definitely could have been all the extra weight of the c-back + 100 oz water. I will be thinking hard on this one before the big day.

Last word:

Training for Chequamegon or not, WEMS is a great, super relaxed, low volume, event series. Everyone there is super cool. Not to mention there are some monster bikers out there. Thanks to Bill for putting on a fun event.

I will aspire to one day do this race and keep up with the slow guys.

Special thanks to Toolshed for the T-shirt and coke, Rick for granting me the power to stop, TmonT for telling me not to (and the cookies), and a few other monTs for general support, and Liz for just being nice to me in spite of losing sleep so I could watch my first Madison race. Also, the seemingly 1000's of racers that asked "Are you OK?" on my 4th lap. I'm happy to report, I'm OK (until someone proves otherwise).

Extra special thanks to my family for finding all their last minute school supplies on their own. They took one for the team and saw Kung Fu Panda (again) at the budget cinema.

1 comment:

Team Brazo said...

I'm certainly no expert in stomach cramps (or maybe I should say that I am an expert), but I'm finding that a bit of Coke helps settle the stomach. Next time around I'm going to try just some carbonated water and see if that helps at all. Stomach has always been an issue for me in endurance activies.