Sunday, March 21, 2010

VQ (not so) Quick and Dirty

Here are the notes I wrote in my personal training log for the 2010 Vision Quest MTB Race.

Woke up this a.m. went into the garage and rear tire was flat. Took it off, wiped out the Stans and put in a tube.
Converting back to tubeless 2 days before a race is a bad idea. Especially with "loose" Michelin tires. Can't wait for
my new Schwalbes to show up.

When I got to the race, it was flat again. No visible thorns or anything in the tire. Put in Another tube (rear wheel)...
it held and was fine the whole race.

Taper for this race: 20 bike hours and 300+ road/mtb miles in the preceding 7 days.

Made it to the start line and had a good position as we headed up the climb. Kept an eye on the HR and kept it at or preferably under 160bpm. It felt pretty easy, but I knew that my threshold was mid 160s... Stayed in the second pack, as the first contained Jeremiah Bishop, Tinker Juarez, Manny Prado...

Climbed Blackstar Gate to Gate in 48:29, and golfball in 53', holding HR in 150s, well below threshold. It was at 160-162 for maybe half of the climb, but that felt like a threshold effort that I knew I could maintain for over an hour with no problem and still recover well on the way to Motorway. My best time to the golfball ever is just over 50 flat, but that was a few years ago when I had much less training in the legs so that was a good sign...surprised I had the discipline to keep it under control. Just focused on my M.O. for the day: staying under threshold and letting the competition blow up all around me...just be efficient.

Blackstar Gate to Golfball: 4:44 at 162 bpm Elapsed: 53:13

Golfball to Motorway: 50:38 at 154 Elapsed: 1:43:51

Arrived top of Motorway in 15th (including several racers from the shorter distance Counting Coup race), feeling good and warming up. Plan was to "not crash" on Motorway descent and pass more people on Maple-Santiago.

Descended Motorway in 14:52 at 127 super cautious..overly cautious. Elapsed: 1:58:43
3 guys passed me on Motoway, and I hit Aid 1 in 18th place.

Starting up Maple Springs, Front wheel started spraying stans everywhere. Begin/Continue Nightmare scenario!

A thorn made a tiny hole but apparently big enough to start a geyser of Stan's. I stopped about 1 mile up the climb and went through the process again. Wiped it out, put in a tube, inflated. BUT the tube or valve was faulty and the air did not hold. Tear in tube next to valve. WTF. So now I am on my last tube and have no more C02s. Some Team SHO-AIR teammates and a guy from Troupe Racing stopped to help me and shared C02 and nozzle. Thought maybe my nozzle was bad? I have only done this 5 thousand times. After filling with a co2 and pumping with a borrowed mini-pump forever, i was able to get enough air in... Eventually after 14 minutes and 13 seconds I'm off, albeit with 25psi or so in the front tire. It actually held the rest of the way. Crazy. I put more air in at Aid Station 2 a couple hrs later and the pressure gauge said 25psi. At 178lbs plus gear, that was pure luck I didn't pinch flat on Holy Jim.

Split for Maple Springs including the 2 flats was 1:11:15 at 145. Elapsed at 4 Corners: 3:10

Maple Springs climb (aid-4 corners) Excluding the flat was 57:02.
Felt like I was going way too easy up Maple, lost All mojo for a while.

4 corners to Santiago Peak was 36:02 at 153 Elapsed: 3:47
(including a minute at the aid station for water. Didn't get water at Aid 1 like an idiot. That would have saved my race...change tire and get water at Aid 1)

Surprisingly caught James who had also had a flat tire catastrophe-sidewall tear-just after Santiago Peak. We wound up riding together to Upper Holy Jim and all the way to the bottom basically until WHT.

Peak-Holy Jim top was 4:08 at 132? Elapsed 3:51

HJ descent was 36:59 at 131 6.46 miles. Elapsed at Aid 2: 4:28

Aid 2/HJ station to top of WHT Hike a bike Hell (dehydrated since I screwed up and took 2 bottles of just Vitargo instead of two bottles of water/nuun and two flasks at Aid 2) 1:11 at 149 Dehydration=Mojo-Zapper. At the bbq aid station Stopped and drank several cups of water and even cytomax. dehydrated but felt ok. Elapsed at Top of Hike a Bike: 5:39

Top of WHT/Aid station to Trabuco: 20:16 at 139..dogging it? . Elapsed 5:59

HRM strap came loose somewhere around this time.

Trabuco hellacious descent to the finish 40:58. Finish: 6:40

Hands were hurting on way down Trabuco, could barely hold bars.

Fell/crashed 2x earlier and landed on left hand both times. Just a bruise but annoying. Pressure in tires after getting pumped up at Aid 2 was 38-40psi....wayyyyy to high. Even on a Turner Flux it was bone-rattling. Felt like I was moving in slow-mo from Aid 2 until final trabuco road sprint to finish.

Finish Time: 6hrs40min13sec
Ride Time w/o flat but including all aid stops: 6:25:xx.

Even if I had not flatted, I'd still be 30' off my goal. On pace until the flats then lost mojo and just rode. Didn't "race" up Maple to and after Aid 2 realized sub6 was out of reach and lost mojo. Mental weakness/dehydration.

Need to ride the MTB more often and have it in working order if I am going do this race again. Certainly a wake-up-call for Park City Point to Point.

Pre-riding the back half technical sections would have helped enormously.

For a C race, though I am not disappointed. Great to see everyone out there and had a great day. Energy all day was awesome with Vitargo and Fein, but blew it on the hydration by skipping Aid Station 1 bottom of Maple and not taking water at Aid Station 2. Over 6 hours and 40 minutes probably drank 3-4 plain water bottles in addition to my fueling bottles, 3 of those...poor execution. Last few hours were warm.

Jeremiah Bishop destroyed the course, new CR Tinker Juarez 15' behind, then Brenneman and other VQ pros. Manny DNF'd due to mechanical.

knee was good the whole race. both were aching by the end, but of course that is normal!!
was super careful on hike a bike and technical sections with left foot/ankle but it was fine during and after. Icing anyway.

Banking constant 20+ hour/3-4-500 mile bike weeks means my engine is strong, but for my next MTB ultra races this year I need to actually get on the MTB!!! Without a car since December I have only done a few MTB rides here and there with friends when they can pick me up or easy rides with LIsa.... No excuses! Lost massive amounts of time on the downhills and technical sections compared to the pros...Free time that I will get next time by pre-riding.


Awesome to see James, Ryan, Keevin, Heidi, Kim and many other friends out on the course!

Fun day!!!


jameson said...

thanks for getting me going! i was mentally "weak" too. i wasn't in race mode after flat catostrophe, but so stoked with effort and the day.

lets ride soon!

sean.clancy said...

I caught you at the right time! I had lost ALL mojo at the bottom of Maple where I flatted 2x. Was not expecting to see you so that was fun riding those sections. I definitely need to learn Holy Jim/WHT/Trabuco before I go back to VQ. 3rd times the charm! Glad it's a year away.

Definitely let's get on some Palomar/Henshaw Loop soon, or at least Swamis/Soledad. What say you?