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- October 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm #5152uncreativeMember
This July i started the 6 hour personal record plan with the intent to compete in an 8 hour solo race this fall. I had just returned to cycling after about a 10 year layoff, but was definitely overweight and out of shape. My previous 'endurance' experience included a couple of 4 man and one 2 man 24 hour race back in 98 or 99.
I enjoyed following the plan, although those high intensity and high volume weeks at the end of the build periods definitely test one's resolve. I work 45+ hours a week, have a wife and 1 year old son, plus all the normal life stuff, which made getting in some of those longer rides a challenge, but summer was kind to us this year and we had very few +100 degree days which allowed me to be flexible in my training. I did miss 3 important workouts due to family obligations. i lost about 30 pounds during training.
come race day, i was very confident that i was well prepared for the 8 hour solo attempt. i used a camelback for water and had a concentrated bottle of infinit in my cage. i intended to stop every 2.5 hours or and replace my bottle and switch out camelback bladders. it was overcast and cool for race day, so hydration wasn't a major concern.
after the neutral roll out, a handful of guys rocketed off the start. i settled into a comfortable rhythm and put them out of my head. they may have been on a 4 man team, maybe they're just super fast, who knows. towards the end of lap one, i took a bad line through some loose rocks which threw my derailleur into my spokes, and took 2 spokes out. luckily i run 32 spoke wheels so it wasn't devastating. i twisted the loose spokes around their neighbors and carried on.
i was able to crank out laps at an even pace, and it started to mist pretty heavily. it rained just long enough to firm everything up, and it never got messy. around 4 hours or so, i started to wonder about the lead group and asked my wife about them on the next trip through the start/finish. i didn't want to obsess about my place mid race because i was concerned it would make me ride over my head, but i really wanted to know! she told me- no where to be seen. last lap you were 3 mins behind them and they haven't been through yet. whoa! they were pitting out of the 'alternate pit' available on the course, and I had passed them while they were pitting. they all knew each other and were riding together. there weren't any extended road or flat sections, so i wasn't concerned about them gaining any advantage by working together.
around 5:30 hours in, i noticed my bike was feeling a little strange and i was starting to strike my pedals with alarming frequency. my shock was leaking air. at my next and final pit, i pumped the shock up a little, but didn't want to overdo it since it was still holding *some* air. i felt if i tried to top it off all the way i might blow it out.
my pace kept steady and so did my bike. i attempted to drill it on the last lap, but my lap time was only 1 min faster than my previous 'maintenance' lap! even though i was clearly tired, i felt really, really good considering it was the end of the race.
i finished first overall for the men's 8 hour solo, beating the next fastest guy by about 15 minutes. Thanks to LW coaching for an awesome plan that was easy to understand, easy to follow, but hard enough to set me up for a win!
- October 10, 2011 at 10:39 pm #6597bobbleMember
Out-freakin-standing! Another win for LW! And you of course!
- October 25, 2011 at 9:41 am #6595LyndaKeymaster
Awesome race report and story. Congrats on losing 30 lbs (that HAS to feel GREAT!) and huge congrats on your win!! I KNOW that feels great.
Thanks for posting! That brought a big smile to my face when I read it.
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