Monday, March 3, 2008

Vision Quest Weekend

Post race, with my finisher's feather.

2008 Vision Quest: 7 hrs 8 minutes

"This is what you wanted?
...This is what you had in mind?
...Cause this is what you're getting."
Maynard James Keenan
"It's mind over matter: If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
Navy SEAL Charle Aeschlimann

What a glorious and thouroughly enjoyable beat-down. I took a beating but went down swinging!

Knowing that I had not pre-ridden the course, I had no lofty goals for Vision Quest. However I was anxious to know how my fitness and skills compared to the masters of this race. The same names who come back every year going under 6 hours. A look at past results indicated that a realistic goal would be the mid to high 6hr range. Team SHO-AIR's Super Mario Correa went 6:05 last year, knows the course, and I know he is faster than me right now (he raced in his 24hr co-ed national champion Stars & Stripes), so I figured 6:45 was my aggressive target time as a VQ rookie. I finished in 7:08, humbled by the single-sport mountain bikers like Mario who took me to school on the descents. Took me to the woodshed is more like it! It was an alarming reality check of my (lack of) technical riding skills. As a training ride for Baja Travesia, this was a perfect litmus test for my preparedness.

Solace: I was passed maybe twice the entire race on the climbs... but floundered badly compared to the top mountain bikers on the descents. It was clear that they knew the right lines, and were flying around the corners and over rock gardens where I was braking. I flatted with 12 miles to go, and had some issues getting my new tires off the rim. That cost me 12 minutes, believe it or not. I also finished with a flat, having ridden it in on the last mile. Murphy's Law is always in effect!
Interestingly I felt stronger at the end than the beginning (again), which indicates that my fitness is spot-on for Baja Travesia. I just need to work on my technical and descending skills, and will certainly convert to a Stan's N0 Tubes system this week. I was running nearly 50psi in my tires, where the pros and top finishers were all running around 25psi in tubeless or Stans setups. Lower pressure makes a material difference in cornering, traction, technical sections ie rock gardens, etc. I will not make that mistake again.

Overall, I was happy with my race. If you take the flat(s) away, that puts me around 6:55, which would have been close to my goal time. I am absolutely positive I can knock an hour off my time and look forward to coming back to this race next year.

Photos and Results are on the Warrior's Society page!


After Vision Quest I drove home, slept 3hrs(!), packed and headed up to Santa Monica to meet up with Cyril and Sylvie.

We woke up early-ish on Sunday and caravaned to Topanga Canyon to begin a long brick workout. We dropped my car (the Mystery Machine), then drove to Malibu Canyon to start our bike/run. We started and finished the bike at Cyril's car, then ran point-to-point to my car, joined by Andy Tubbs.

Mountain bike - 4hrs on the Backbone (6,000' of climbing)
Run - 2.5 hours up and over Saddle Peak - (3,000' of climbing).

We were actually pre-riding time trials for this summer's double top secret Scramble race. If you are doing the Scramble, be prepared for some very steep, nasty climbs.

During the run down from Saddle Peak I realized that I had climbed over 26,000 feet this week, running and riding combined. This week was a good deposit.

After the brick workout we joined Kathryn Tubbs at D'Amore's in Malibu for some fantastic pizza. No wine or beer at D'Amores, but it was a great way to cap off the weekend.
3 more weeks to BAJA! That means I have one more week to get fitter, then a 2 week taper to freshen and get sharp for the hellacious, hideous, & heartbreaking BAJA TRAVESIA.

1 comment:

DARTvg said...

Sounds like a fun race! Nice work on staying healthy da man.