Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chequamegon - From a Beginner's View

The overall was, "Wow!" I had a great time.

Yesterday morning was race day. I woke up a bit before 8 a.m. Wasn't much feeling like breakfast. Also, I felt like my week of "not enough sleep" was catching up with me. I'm sure I was getting a cold. I had half a free organic bar and some Advil / Sudafed (this would be incredibly abnormal for me). I drank a bunch of water and just sat there for a while. Not long after I grabbed my bike and headed down to the start line. I tossed my "post race" bag in the pile and lined up in the back. I was next to Rick, Bubba and a couple of other dudes that wanted to stay out of the press for security reasons. Also, there was some guy that clearly had escaped from somewhere. He was riding what appeared to be the next wave in mountain biking, a 36er. That thing looked like it would kill on the downhills!

Before I knew it, the canon went of and we were rollin'. I got a few unsolicited pushes from the geared dudes. I was cold at the start line so I spun out something serious gettin' warmed up. Turns out that we hit the grass with 38 miles to go and I was gonna need some of that energy if I was to make the rest of the way. Blown up, I wavered back and forth between "uphill mode" and "recovery mode". It all evened sometime later.

Here are the (low)/highlights (in no particular order):

  • Yeah there were some bad mamajama downhills. One of which I gave in and just rolled at max velocity. The bad news is I notice that crater at the bottom kinda late-ish. I did my best beginner's butt-scrapes back tire impersonation. Miraculously, I lived.
  • Another proud moment was when I cleared a downhill that many were walking down. I followed some obviously capable women down a rocky, eroded decent. Picture said same newbie butt scrapes tire move. If you really want to be in the moment, my back brakes were squealing like no tomorrow. I made it all the way to the sand at the bottom. (the lost the battle to the sand).
  • I cleared some uphills that I didn't think I would on my single speed.
  • I walked some I thought I would make. Note, I was gaining on / keeping up with the bikes on these uphills.
  • I made it through all but one mud puddle.
  • My downhill mud slide really had a chance to improve significantly.
  • All the "really scary" stuff is well marked. And "really scary" isn't that bad. But the first time you go through, you don't really know what you're in for.
  • My back ached, but I had my 50 oz of water and a bunch of clothing in case my drugs didn't work and I ended up on the side of the trail shivering in the fetal position.
  • With 5 miles to go, it DUMPED rain. The road opened up and the rain didn't effect me too much at this point.
  • With 2 miles to go, it was back on the grass. This was ugly in the rain. Even on the non-existent flats, I couldn't move well. Lots of hopping off and running/walking.
  • At some point, I could smell the brats and I knew I was there.
  • Woohoo!
  • My unoffiical donut hole number is 10.. +/- 2%. For those not there, I'd hate to see the donuts these came from.. They were rather large.
Post race it was still dumping rain. I had a hard time finding my family and my core temp was going south quick. I ran into the monTs and stayed warm in the lodge for a bit. Then I knew I had to make an effort to look for the car/kids/wife. I found 'em. They got me a piece of pie from the Norske Nook. MMMMMMMM!! Good!

Later it was pizza at Coop's. Though I didn't see Coop. We hit the pool back at the hotel. I think hot tub/cold pool variations on the legs did some good. But I'm still sore today.

See y'all out there!


bbieberitz said...

It has always sounded like a fun race, but the rain. Oh my! I had reports of it downpouring. Great job out there in those conditions. What's next an Xterra?

Team Brazo said...

Congrats - sounds very fun. It is on my radar!!

Rest up -- cyclocross will be starting soon...

Anonymous said...

Sweet report. Congratulations on a great race!
Missed you at Transition Friday night:)