Monday, May 09, 2005

second race, better than the first...

my expectations going into greenbrier were, well i don't really know what they were... i've trained a lot this year and lost weight, so i expected my laptimes to drop from what i managed last year when i was racing beginner. at the same time, after my DNF at spring mountain a couple of weeks ago, i just wanted to make sure i finished.

got there with plenty of time to spare... checked in, watched the start of the beginner races, then started to get ready... bike is good shape, get my camelbak filled and hammer gel flask filled and start warming up... cruise around some of the roads and trails that aren't part of the course and then do the climb up from the boat ramp/start area to the parking lots a couple of times. my parents came up to the race, and i ran into them while i was warming up, so we head back to my car so that i can give my mom her mother's day present and a card, and then i give them directions on some good places to watch the race...

into the startng grid with 15 or so other sport 30-34s... up on the front row. with a couple minutes to go a rider in the 19-29 group ahead of us has his back tire suddenly flat and now he's rushing to change it, right in front of me... he makes it with a couple of seconds to spare, their group starts and we're getting ready to go.

the whistle blows and we're off like a shot... i'm in the first 5 as we hit the woods and 4th at the bottom of the first little climb. as we get to the top, i figure that if knowing course will be an advantage, it will be here on this downhill/rock garden section so i shift up and get past the 3rd & 2nd place riders and charge down the downhill as fast as i can. holy s*&^, i'm in 2nd... i'm still pretty close to Girts - the first place rider - coming down through the rock garden, but up the next small climb he's away from me pretty quickly. another downhill to recover and then up the big climb... rode most of it this lap, passing the slower 19-29 riders...

at some point i looked at the pouch that had my gel flask only to realize that it was empty... no food, but at least i still had diluted gatorade in my camelbak... ride along the ridge, still pushing, heart rate really high, the the nice flowy downhill then into the 2nd rockly climb... still feeling good, passing slower 19-29 rides and it seems like i've got a pretty good gap back to the 3rd place rider... fly down the downhill and the camp loop trail and then head back to start/finish... see Girts already heading back into the woods as i'm still heading towards the start/finish so he's well ahead.

look at my hrm as i'm heading back into the woods at it's just past 31 minutes... coming through the start area i start looking for any teammate or friends who might be able to get me a hand me up a GU on the next lap... ricky & welp are there so i start yelling that i need food on the next lap... just hoping they heard me, i made sense, and that they want to help...

once i hit the first climb of the 2nd lap i could tell my legs were really starting to suffer... don't know if it was just the pace or the lack of food was hurting me, but i knew i was riding the climbs a lot slower on this lap, and walked more of the big climb, but i was still riding the downhills hard. the faster 40-49 riders were starting to pass me, and i wasn't passing any more 19-29 riders...

back around at the start finish, ricky was standing there with a GU, so i ate that as fast as i could and headed back into the woods, just one more lap, still in second, just have hold on... the first climb was really slow this time, and as we came to the bottom of the rock garden the 3rd place ride came past me and i couldn't hang on... up the 2nd & 3rd climbs i'm suffering, but the GU is kicking in a bit. i'm in third and 4th place catches up with me while we were both walking up the big climb... i got back on the bike sooner and put 20-30 feet on him, but i got caught up in slower traffic from some of the 2 lap races. held onto 3rd untill the bottom of the last climb, but he got past me... talking after the race he said he almost threw up at the top of that climb. 4th, still on the podium, but not as nice as 2nd would have been... pushed as hard as i could manage down the last downhill and around the lake to make sure no one else caught me... looking at the results, i still had a couple one minutes on 5th, but i didn't know it then and was looking over my shoulder every 20 seconds...

finished in 1:41:24... 3 laps in about 13 minutes more than i'd done 2 laps last year. first lap was sub 31 minutes and i was flying, 2nd & 3rd dropped to 34:30 and 36 minutes respectively. could have been that i pushed to hard on the first lap or it might have been the lack of food...

in maryland state championship standings (only riders with an annual NORBA license) i placed 2nd, so i got a little silver medal... don't think i've ever won an award for any athletic event, so it's kind of cool to have.

5 comments:

Lee said...

Joe, that's awesome!! You've been working really hard i know, it's great to see it paying off.

Wendell said...

wow joe... very cool.

Rob said...

Kick ass, Joe.

gmr2048 said...

congrats joe! that's an incredible achievement. very cool indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe, I guess all those rides at Fountainhead are paying off now.


Muy bien!

JUAN