Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Worst Race

In 1995 I raced the Leadville 100 for the second time.  The first year, I was pulled by the medical team at the last checkpoint due to hypothermia.  So, for my second attempt, I tried to learn from the previous year's mistakes.

I made sure that Valerie was able to come to the race with me.  Having support, with dry clothes, was a huge advantage over the previous year, when I was in wet clothes all day.  I also actually trained, and trained hard, for about 4 months before the race.  I did 50 to 80 mile mountain bike rides at elevation, twice a week, and rode my ass off around Parker, 4 days a week.  I basically lived on the bike, and got in the best shape of my life.

On the day of the race, I was feeling good.  I went off the line strong, and was feeling really confident by the time I got to the second checkpoint, and refueled with supplied from Val.  I changed into a dry shirt and started the climb to the 50 mile turnaround at the Columbine Mine.

Halfway up the 8 mile climb, I started to feel a bit woozy.  Within 15 minutes, I was bonking hard.  I had food in my jersey pockets, but I had bonked so hard and so fast that I didn't even realize that I had food, at all, much less within reach.

By the time I made the turnaround, and made it back to the Fish Hatchery checkpoint (the last before the finish line), I was so far behind my schedule that I realized I was not going to finish.  If you are still on the trail, after the cut-off time, the sweep crew picks you up in the Broom Wagon and drives you into town.

I couldn't face the Ride of Shame, so I dropped out again, at the same place the med crew had pulled me the year before.

I didn't ride my bike again for 3 months, and I stopped racing, altogether.

I could take being pulled for a medical problem, the first year.  But, after all of the preparation I had gone through, to just not be able to finish was heartbreaking.


1 comment:

  1. Ouch. That is truly painful. I'm glad to hear that you've found the joy of riding again.


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.