Next Big Race in 2 weeks

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Next Big Race in 2 weeks

Postby Fenlason » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:30 am

My next big race is in a little over 2 weeks. [The 24 hours of Great Glen] While my fitness is down compared to last year.. I thought I was doing pretty good, and I feel like I am recovery well from that last 100k race. A friend and fellow racer found some online stats on one of my competitors. He is in my age class.. doing the race solo also. A week and a half ago.. this "bugger" did a little road ride. In a little over 23.5 hours... he rode.. 304 miles. His actual on the bike time.. 17.5 hours. Reading his info was like getting sucker punched.. Holy Crap!! :shock: :shock: I can't even begin to compete with that. It kind of [temporarily zapped] my will to continue with my prep and training.

I had planned to start getting up at 0 dark 30 to get some night riding in, before the race. In the fall and winter we do, do night riding.. but it is different, and each time it can take some getting used to. I thought it might be best, if my first night ride of the season, wasn't during the race. At first getting this guys stats.. I thought why even bother.

I did come around and got a good road ride in last night. We headed to Palermo and did some hill work. [road ride] and I did get up at 4:00 am to try the lights on the trails. As hard as that was to start with, I think this practice will be of some benefit. Of course I used the smallest helmet light we had. I will have more light during the race and that will help. Much of what I rode was tighter and twister, than the race course will be also.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
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Re: Next Big Race in 2 weeks

Postby Fenlason » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:10 am

I have continued to prepare for this race, and I have been able to mostly "forget" about "this other guy". I need to race my own race.. and I think I am back to that. I think my biggest problem recently has been other people expecting me to do good.. wanting me to do good. 2 of my co-racers were expecting me to win this. Because of a variety of health problems.. my fitness is down. I got in another tough hilly training ride on the road last weekend. This week has been a rest week. I have done a bit less riding, as well as less intensity. Next week I will up it a little again before the race. Where as my last hard week of training was mostly on the road.. I am now back to mostly off-road.. to keep my skills sharp. I find it amazing the differences. Just a few days off and my handling isn't as good. Right after that last race, I was feeling really really good. Last nights ride it felt pretty good again.

I have continued to work on my race trailer. [I have been building up a cargo trailer to use as our pit trailer and to camp in.] I have been setting up a tool box, and spare parts. Tires.. tubes... cables.. brake shoes etc.

I have my new better fitting helmet. [This should help my helmet light be more stable.] I did also get my new bike light. I have more color coding to do today, using colored duct tape to mark the pieces of each light system. Light, battery, charger, mount and cords. With my wife racing also we have a total of 5 different lighting systems.

I did get another night ride in. The first one was with a smaller helmet light, 350 lumens. This time I used the one I will be racing with. It goes to 750 lumens, but for descent ride time, I will plan to use it at the 500 lumen setting. This is what I used on this last ride. Between the "practice" of the earlier ride, and the more light, this ride went better. Again I just woke up.. vs specifically getting up for a ride. I went out [at about 3:00 am] no food.. no coffee.. I really wasn't awake. So that will help replicate the fog I might feel at about that time during the race. :lol: It went pretty good. On race "day" I will also have a light mounted on the bike. It goes to 1800 lumen, but again for battery life, I will use it at the next lowest setting [700 lumens].
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
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Re: Next Big Race in 2 weeks

Postby Fenlason » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:37 pm

I really don't like rest weeks... in the middle of them I feel so unsure... my fitness will feel down, and it leaves me full of doubts. It takes a couple of rides for it all to come back.. yet most of the time... ultimately I come out stronger. I have not been able to get out and do another night ride. I do need to at least get a little spin on the bike with the new light on.. to check out adjustments and such. I can either do that Thursday or Friday night at the race venue.

Last night we had a group mountain bike ride here and I got to crank a little bit. It was a comparatively short ride.. but the intensity was up.. not a full hammer.. but a fun crank... just what I needed. I did feel pretty good, fitness wise and skill wise. Most of what we rode last night, will be technically more difficult than this next race course.

Tonight we have a group road ride.. and if I feel ok once out there on the bike.. again I will try to "hammer" a little... my last "hard" ride before the race.

As I have said last year I felt stronger... yet I did go through some over training episodes.. so my fitness was up and down. These year has seen a more consistent progressive increase. It does leave me unsure fitness wise where I am compared to last year at this time. I am going to "experiment" with doing a really slow start. To warm up slowly.. and to stay at a comfortable pace. I am hoping to have a much better night of riding. When many riders would typically be fading.. I am hoping to put on some nice steady miles. Of course the guy that just did the 300 mile ride.. might be able to ride hard from start to finish.. but there is nothing I can do about that. :shrug:

There are things that are better this year. I have the experience of last years race. and 2 CBCC races. My handling is better... and even though this course isn't nearly as technical as the CBCC races... I should be able to ride the single track faster with more ease.. and less energy expired. I have a better choice of tires. One big one is I have lower gearing. Last year my gearing was way to high [it was what the bike came with] Into the race, I had to walk some hills. While it still might be good to stretch and save some energy to walk at times.. I will be able to ride up some of these beasts with more ease. I have my seat bag fastened better. [I had a problem lap.. and pit stop] dealing with that last year... and I have a new fuel bag on the top tube of the bike. hmm and I will have more light and better light.

One of last years problems was all the rain.. and the horribly muddy course, which resulted in a lot of walking also. IF it gets real bad again. I have my Pugsley with me. With the new Nate tires, and lower gearing on that.

While I can't do anything about my competition.. and what they may be. I am hoping to have a better ride than last year. :D
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
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Re: Next Big Race in 2 weeks

Postby Fenlason » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:11 pm

Considering the race was a couple of months ago.. I guess I could update this. ;)

I think it was a week prior to the race. A friend and fellow racer sent me some stats on one of my competitors. The weekend I was doing the CBCC race.. he was doing a "little" road ride. He did a little over 300 miles in 23.5 hours. :o :o Wow!!

Even in my dreams.. preparing for this race.. I never even contemplated doing a 300 mile road ride. I was hoping [but did not get to] to do a 200 mile ride, but 300 no way!!! In looking at his stats.. his average [or so it seemed] was just under 13.. which is pretty slow.. but still 300 miles!!! Then I notice that was not his actual riding speed. [he did take some short breaks] it was his overall average. His riding average speed was just under 18mph... and it was hilly.. easily comparable to our 24 hour race, as far as hills go. It was a group ride.. and even if he drafted the whole way.. It is still an impressive feat.

I was hoping to do well at this race.. and this news at first devastated me. There was no way I could compete with that. Within a few hours I pulled myself together and was ok.. all I could do is race my own race... and continue with my plans as they were.

While the race itself brought no rain. It did rain a lot before hand again.. so the course was semi messy again.

This race starts with a Le-mans start... and this year I vowed to start slow. I forced myself to walk the start [which was actually quite hard to do] I started slowly on the bike.. yet my first lap was still not as slow as I had hoped for.

Last year I had a hard time 11 or so hours into it, and this year I was trying to conserve energy to ride stronger at night. I can't say I ever felt real strong. I don't know if that was because any "extra" energy I might have had.. I saved... or? The course was different this year.. and looking at everybodies total laps.. they were down from what they should have been.

The first few laps I sort of felt like "crap"... but it can take me 30-50 miles to start feeling good. [which sounds pretty insane] I trusted and hoped.. and kept riding.. and low and behold at around 50 miles.. I felt ok. I did make it comfortably past the 11 hour mark.. riding ok into the night. They say 2-4:00 am can be hell, yet I rode through that ok.

From the start I had kind of dismissed a first place finish.. and at the best I was racing for second. Through the night I had built a 2 lap advantage or the 3rd place competitor. Without me ever really grasping the idea of it, it was actually a tight race for 1st. I had been in the lead twice.

20 or so hours into it I crashed.. it was sort of a simple fall [mud] but it knocked my hips out of whack. It hurt to put any pressure on the pedals.. and even hurt a lot to walk. I completed my lap.. and headed out for another but it really hurt. I still hd quite a few miles in that lap to go, and 2 of the 3 worst hills were yet to come. I ended up bailing. I should have just sat somewhere.. to see if resting and or stretching would have helped me. to see if I could have continued in some way.

Oh.. on one of my early fully dark laps.. I tried my Pugs.. and about 10 minutes into the lap.. I knew I had made a big mistake. As like last year there were sections I was walking [mud] The Pugs let me ride some of what I could not on the Cannondale, but not enough extra to make up for how much slower it was on other parts of the course. So it cost me time.. and energy.

I ended up with a 3rd place finish.. having to sit those last few hours and watch my second place position disappear. :cry:

Some things were definitely improved over the previous year... I was gaining some useful experience. Yet others???? I was less fit than last year.. especially my upper body and core.. that was very obvious. I am not sure about my slower start.. did it help? Was it still not slow enough? The hard thing with some of the aspects of this type of racing.. there are so many variables some things are hard to know for sure.. and one does not do this on a weekly basis.. so it is hard to experiment.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
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Re: Next Big Race in 2 weeks

Postby campmaster-k » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Fascinating :thumbsup: stuff Glenn thanks for sharing it with us.
-Kirk

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