So at the end of last season, a few factors caused me to change things up and take on my own training. Not an easy thing to do, but better than the "one size fits all" training approach that I had been on previously.
Moving forward and with a bunch of training in the bank for this event a couple of things threatened to derail my plans. One was that I was coming down with a pretty good head cold, great! The second was that Coralee has hit her busy season at work and could not break away for the extra long weekend. Which in other terms would mean I wouldn't have any pit support for this event.
At the end of it all I decided to embrace this challenge... to complete a 24hr completely solo is no small undertaking. No info, no time splits, no average lap times, no smiling faces handing you bottles. No one yelling at you to get after it in the middle of the night when you are wondering what it is you've gotten yourself into. It's not impossible, but it's not ideal.
I drove down early Friday morning arriving in Spokane at around noon, which was perfect. It allowed me to get my pit setup without any pressure. At 3pm I was out on course riding a pre lap and getting settled into what seemed like a fairly easy course, but I wasn't going to take it for granted like last year. I notice that a sandy (2-3k's maybe) has been added to the course and a short section of downhill was removed. The course is longer but I really don't care at this point. It's how choppy and rutted this course is guaranteed to become as the race wears on with 600+ plus riders. The more riders, the more chewed up the course became, the tougher it is on the "touch points" on the bike.
With dinner at Huckleberrys --http://huckleberrysnaturalmarket.com/, and an ice cold beer back at camp, I climbed into my cot I had setup in my trailer for 10 hrs sleep.
I awake in the morning to the sun shining and walk down to grab a coffee on site. It's now that I really feel that I still have this nagging sinus congestion. I'm hoping it gets sorted out so that it doesn't become an issue. I tell myself that if I've done a 24 with a torn rotator cuff, one with a planters wart on my foot, and blisters in places I won't mention, I can handle this one with a sniffle.
11:30: bottles are filled, cooler is setup, kit is on and my bike and spare are ready to go with the number plates. I see by the temp that we are already approaching the 30C mark and I'm betting with the exposure out on course that it will feel much hotter.
4:16 am: I am halfway through the money lap in and I am still ticking along quite nicely. Really no issues, outside of having to add a small amount of air to my rear tire, as I was getting a bit worried about it on the "even more" sharp exposed rocks, and I had bottomed out a couple of times.
In the rearview, I never had one issue with my cold during this event. There was one that cropped up during the event that was starting to irritate me some...my feet were starting to hurt. The day was starting to heat up pretty good this morning and my feet were really starting to cook and the chop of the course, was adding to the discomfort. However, I was able to push through this and cross the line at 24:33hrs after I start.
|1st place cat 40-49|
One of the hardest parts, believe it or not, was packing up all my gear on my own after this event. It was brutal in the heat. But I can truly say this event was completely unsupported.
A big thanks goes out to the race organizers for putting on this event, I love the the vibe here. The people are so cool, the fellow racers were the best I have seen for passing on the course, lots of heads up notice and polite as could be.
|2nd place overall|
NiteRider Lighting for the state of the art lighting, heading out on course with a spare all in one unit that I can change trailside in a few seconds from mount to mount without needing to see what I am doing is awesome! ...and unheard of just a couple of years ago.
A big thanks to Nox Composites, I have 3- 24hr events and a full year of training on these carbon wheels, and I have never had to true these wheels. They are the best wheels I have ever ridden. I don't know how these wheels stood up to that mileage and the amount of baby head rocks on this course and they are still running true.
To Dr. Dave Westmacott at AST Sports Therapy, your unwavering support over these last 4 years, has been a blessing to say the least. I am able to fire on all cylinders because of the your treatments to me. I also go into these events with a bunch of confidence because of this.
To the boys at Pedalhead for helping me out with some last minute oddball parts for my brakes.
Of course to my family for letting me have all this fun of exploring new territory....
Next up the Butte 100 on July 25, and maybe if I have time throw down 4 laps at the 7 Summits for fun.