The Road to Somewhere

xc62701

Well-Known Member
Wow that was painful. The Stoopid 50 was extra stoopid this year. Not because they changed the course or anything, but because I was really unprepared for it. I haven't really been "training". I've been riding a bunch but it's definitely not enough. Also the biggest detractor was that I think this was the heaviest I've ever raced a long event and damn did I feel it. 50 miles and 10k of climbing is never easy but I thought I might have some juice for this and I was mistaken. I did a nice ride on Wednesday but finished exhausted. So I wasn't hopeful at that point. But then I did my warmup ride on Saturday and got a few PR's on segments I shouldn't have so then I was feeling more confident. Once the race went off I was not as hopeful. It starts immediately up a 7 mile climb that takes over an hour and I was hurting. I had to get off and push my bike in many sections that I rode last year. I was not happy. I started contemplating cutting the race short but then I would miss all the amazing trails ahead. The downhills here are worth the torture so I pressed on. On the descent off of that climb I did PR it so that was cool. I was ripping that but knew I'd be dead on the next climb and as predicted I fell apart. Even worse was when I crested that second climb that I crawled up, I was getting excited for the descent and I felt sick on the descent. Like actually sick. My head started spinning and I felt like I might throw up. Feeling like this on a climb was one thing but on the descent was funny. I had to take it back quite a bit to stop myself from making mistakes and launching into the abyss. If you've ever ridden any of these trails the consequences are not good if you go off trail so that was the smart choice. From there I basically tried to just keep the wheels rolling. I had to stop a few times to collect myself and get my head in the right place and push on the steeps but I eeked my way to the end. I just took time to look around and just enjoy the overlooks and amazing trails even though I wasn't feeling it. I just kept thinking I could be home food shopping or cleaning the house so I was much happier suffering on the bike than doing any of that crap. I finished in 6:30 and was actually pretty happy with that time considering that I felt as bad as I did and walked as much as I did. Last year's time was 5:58 for reference and I rode most of the course.

All in all it was a good time to get away and go ride some actual dirt and rocks in the sunshine. I wanted a good early season kick in the nuts and I got exactly what I bargained for. It was a reminder that if I want to be competitive that I have a lot to work on. It also reminds me that I probably need to be smart and take it easier since I am still recovering from shingles and a respiratory infection. I have a lot of excuses as to why I didn't feel well but there's a bunch I can work on going forward. Each race is always a lesson in what could be better and I have a lot of notes to take away from this one.
 
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RNG1

Well-Known Member
Great job doing what you needed to do to stay safe and finish But Damn, reading this really has me now worried as I was thinking this would be the year I finally ride (not race) the 101. The thought of experiencing exactly this for twice as long seems like a nightmare.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
Great job doing what you needed to do to stay safe and finish But Damn, reading this really has me now worried as I was thinking this would be the year I finally ride (not race) the 101. The thought of experiencing exactly this for twice as long seems like a nightmare.
I thought about that too. When I was finished I thought about trying to sell my entries to the Mohican 100 and Wilderness 101. But thinking it through I hopefully will be in better shape for those and in general those would be easier than the stoopid 50 to finish if I felt like crap. I know that doesn't seem to make sense but here's my rationale: If you suffer at the 101 the climbs are mostly on gravel and really not that steep for very long. In a race like the S50 you are climbing steep singletrack a lot and if you don't feel it you push. It would be much easier to dial it back and ride gravel than bumpy singletrack. It still won't be any fun for sure if you are truly suffering.

If anything I'm getting more honest with myself and my abilities. I won't do either of the 100's if I'm not in much better shape. Actually for riding/family sake this will probably be the last year of doing the 100's as it's just very time consuming to prep for and it takes a lot away from the family. Going forward I'll probably do more local H2H XC/XXC events and maybe the scattered 50. That's much easier to wrap my head around at least.
 

RNG1

Well-Known Member
I thought about that too. When I was finished I thought about trying to sell my entries to the Mohican 100 and Wilderness 101. But thinking it through I hopefully will be in better shape for those and in general those would be easier than the stoopid 50 to finish if I felt like crap. I know that doesn't seem to make sense but here's my rationale: If you suffer at the 101 the climbs are mostly on gravel and really not that steep for very long. In a race like the S50 you are climbing steep singletrack a lot and if you don't feel it you push. It would be much easier to dial it back and ride gravel than bumpy singletrack. It still won't be any fun for sure if you are truly suffering.

If anything I'm getting more honest with myself and my abilities. I won't do either of the 100's if I'm not in much better shape. Actually for riding/family sake this will probably be the last year of doing the 100's as it's just very time consuming to prep for and it takes a lot away from the family. Going forward I'll probably do more local H2H XC/XXC events and maybe the scattered 50. That's much easier to wrap my head around at least.
I think I’m getting less honest on my abilities...Funny you mentioned the Mohican. I’ve been wanting to do this for 10 years now because my brother lives 20 minutes away from there. This was the year I was going to do it except a buddy of mine that I’ve been doing a lot of these long distances with is doing the dirty Kanza. If you think you might still ride (not race) the Mohican and stick together for support etc I’d consider sharing the expenses of the trip with you. Just thought I throw that idea out there.
 

JimN

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I drove past you guys getting ready for your ride last night on my way to Wildcat. Did you guys move the start location of your ride so that @Santa doesn't end up in jail for exposing himself to children?
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
I drove past you guys getting ready for your ride last night on my way to Wildcat. Did you guys move the start location of your ride so that @Santa doesn't end up in jail for exposing himself to children?
Lol. Yes we figured that was a better spot so we don't get hassled. At least there only dead people or landscapers will complain.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
I think I’m getting less honest on my abilities...Funny you mentioned the Mohican. I’ve been wanting to do this for 10 years now because my brother lives 20 minutes away from there. This was the year I was going to do it except a buddy of mine that I’ve been doing a lot of these long distances with is doing the dirty Kanza. If you think you might still ride (not race) the Mohican and stick together for support etc I’d consider sharing the expenses of the trip with you. Just thought I throw that idea out there.
If you can get out there and race/ride then you should. I love that place. The singletrack is awesome and probably my favorite course anywhere. It's still painful but I find it much more enjoyable than the Wilderness or Shenandoah.

Right now my mind is still set on racing the M100. I think if I'm in the mindset of just riding the 100 I won't even go out there. What I usually do is line up do the best to race, and then when the shit hits the fan I'll say F it and just ride. I'm hopeful that with the next couple of months of better weather and no winter depression that I can actually put together some fitness. I've got a few buddies that I'm going out with and sharing expenses. Without that it would be a lot rougher of a commitment for sure. If you can get out there let me know and we can add you to our group of hooligans.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
I'm not dead! I went out to ride yesterday and I expected a whole lot of nothing. I headed over to the Tourne for some super easy spinning as I figured my legs would still be cooked from this weekend's race and I was pleasantly surprised. They felt ok. Actually I had more juice than I did for the majority of the last race. Probably because of the 50 miles there were 35 miles of climbing. So having juice is a good sign. I'm still going to take it easy this week and then try and get some more training and intervals going next week. I'll ramp it up pretty good since that following weekend I'll be in Mexico for a few days for the start of spring break. Since the wife booked a work meeting for the middle of spring break(WTF?!?!?!) we can only sneak away from Sat-Tues. After that I'll be checking out the Ringwood course and getting the fatty fired up for the next race.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
I read an article tonight that said shingles can cause fatigue and physiological issues long after symptoms are present. Some athletes needed to stop training for 1-3 months due to it. Dang. No wonder I’ve been feeling poopy.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
I have been taking it easy on the bike with recovery. I've had some dumb thoughts but I'm giving rest and trying not to push myself too much as I'm recovering. The good news is I did have some lingering pain and headaches even though the area with shingles has healed. That reminded me more to chill out and it's been good as the symptoms are calming down. I've been enjoying riding when I can and getting back into the swing of things. I will be taking a few days off coming up as I'm going to Playa Del Carmen Mexico for a few days. Time to get away! I can't wait. I'll probably hit the gym a little or run in the morning but outside that it's time for my wife and I. We will be dropping the kids off at grandmas for the extended weekend and will be enjoying some margaritas on the beach for a bit. That sounds like better training.
 

moose35

Well-Known Member
I also thought I was looking at a pack of brontosauri at first.
Then I thought to myself why the hell would someone have like 30 little dinosaur statues on their lawn.
Then I realized they were some mammal type thing with a dinosaur neck tail.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
Ringwood H2H XC Race

My recap is pretty straightforward. I agree I’m glad they stuck with the original course. The 6 of us fatties took off and I didn’t want to lead out the group so I hung back. That was good cause it took a while for me to warm up. I was hanging in second or third on the fire road struggling to see through the mud spray. I waited til the top of the first rise before the long downhill and punched it over the top to get the lead. I knew if I could rip that first descent and climb well on the next big climb the race was over. I went flat out down that first descent and let the fatty go. I was hoping to ride it well and keep my tires intact. It worked and gave me confidence that the rocks were trippy and not super slick.

Next was going through the sand and into the big climb. I didn’t go super hard but I gave it a steady effort and kept on the gas. I know Ara in second is strong and rises rocks well, but I needed to outclimb him and get to that rocky descent first. I guess I climbed well since I never saw him again. I kept looking back for a sign of any of my group behind but nothing. So I starting singing to myself and enjoying the ride. The rest of the lap was uneventful but fun. Rip the rocks and drift the corners.

I finished in first in 1:18, 10 mins ahead of second - which I found out later had no or very limited rear brake usage. I was wondering how I would feel getting off a plane from Mexico on Tuesday and a few short rides before the race but I felt good and definitely had more in the tank. I’m looking forward to Mooch next week. I still need to drop 20 pounds but I’m not rushing it. I’ll keep chipping away and hopefully later in the season I’ll be lighter and more fit.
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