IT WASN’T MUCH OF A START. In fact, I missed the start altogether. At least, the trail was clear. Soon, I started passing people.
I could see my buddies way ahead of me.
Then I couldn’t.
I’d taken a wrong turn. Ugh.
The first of 7 laps, and I’d already given up 5 minutes.
But I started to settle in… to find my endurance pace. And that was the point: to see if I had the kind of endurance I once did… the endurance I’d need to qualify for Leadville, and then set a PR there.
As of today, I have 16 weeks to prep for the Tahoe 100... where I plan to qualify for Leadville... and 4 weeks later it'll be on f'reals.
What did I learn from today?
- My MTB handling skills are rusteeeeee. I was on the brakes too much, fighting the bike too much. Good news is my upper body is actually pretty strong from all the push ups and pull ups.
- I have the endurance, but my speed needs some work. I kept my heart-rate at a steady 160ish bpm. Never cramped. More speed will come with dropping a few pounds, and riding off road a lot more. My food strategy of 2 scoops of GQ6 and dried figs to snack on was perfect.
- Black Magic, my hardtail, needs to move out to make room for a full-suspension XC racer. My back was KILLING me when I was done. Could be partly the 175mm cranks vs the 172.5s on my road and gravel bikes, but I think it was mainly due to the pounding.
How’d I wind up today? Pretty dang great... passing almost everybody and winning my age group. That was nice, but I was more impressed with my steady lap times which were all around 28 minutes.
Oh, and remember the 7 laps?… well, I did do 7 but my age group only did 6. So, I guess there’s a 4th thing I learned:
- Be prepared. Ready to start on time. Know the course.
Here we go!
Got a chance to meet the Stonehaus crew in person and deliver the team's RaceDay bags.
Specialized raffled off a sweet hardtail for the Juniors
I don't know the answer... but it would be great to do the podiums right when the race ends for everybody to be there.
This tri-tip was amazing!
... after the grillin' it was great to be chillin'... what a spectacular day!