I know I should go out and ride. Its been two weeks since the 24 hour race and I've only been on my bike a half dozen times. I ran some errands yesterday on my bike and it was cold out. Again today, it is sunny and cold. As I write this the current temperature is 39 degrees outside. The windchill is 35 degrees. On a bike, the windchill would be below freezing. Its times like these that I envy my friend and fellow transplant athlete, Bill Wohl
. Bill lives in Arizona where it seems the weather is always right for cycling.
I should just stop whining and go for a ride...
wanton insolence or arrogance resulting from excessive pride or from passion - hubristic adj.
- From Webster's New World Dictionary
I left Thursday at 3pm and including stopping for gas and a two hour nap in Florida I got to Sebring way early Friday morning and had breakfast at a Bob Evans. The Highlands Hammock State Park is very similar to state parks all across the country; lukewarm showers, one payphone on the other side of the park from where you are, and the smell of bacon and eggs in the morning. I took a nap, then went for a short ride back out to the main road. Then I left to find the Sebring International Raceway and the Chateau Elan(host hotel for the race). The Rider Check In wasn't until 6:30 pm so I went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. I then picked up supplies(ice, coke, etc) and went back to the campground and got everything ready. I mixed my drinks (Sustained Energy & Gatorade had red tops and Perpetuem & water had blue tops), pumped up my tires, mounted lights, etc.
I went to the rider check in and then back to the campsite for about 6.5 hours of sleep. I slept in my Ford Escape and there was a light layer of condensation on all the windows and it was so cold I didn't want to get out of my sleeping bag but I was at the course by 5am for the 6:30 start.
Mark Andrews and his volunteers put on an amazing race. After every lap, we were routed through our "pit lane", and later when we moved to the track, we could park right next to THE pit lane. The long course was on lightly traveled roads and was well marked. The short course had a bit more traffic, but was well marked. The volunteers were very helpful and made the day enjoyable. This is definitely my favorite event. Try it you'll like it.
The weather was colder than I would have liked. www.weather.com lists the weather as 45 degrees at the start with winds at 14 mph and a windchill of 38 degrees. The winds got as high as 16 mph and as low as 9 mph, but generally were between 14 and 12 mph all day. I finished the first century in 5 hours and 35 minutes(computer time), which was at the right pace. My heart rate was just where I wanted it. I did two laps of the short course and something wasn't right, my average speed was dropping. It was sunny and in the high 60s and I was freezing - big dehydration warning sign. I stopped for awhile at my car and had some water and some bars. By this time, I was feeling full on Gastro-Intestinal Distress. I took another lap around the short course. Had a long break and rehydrated. By 6:00pm I had done 6 laps of the short course and had 165 miles total, my legs were feeling strong and I had no clue what was going on with my hydration and nutrition situation.
I did a couple of laps around the race track and had to stop every other lap to urinate. My legs were still feeling strong, but I was uncomfortably full of fluids. I forced myself to make it to 200 miles. The last two laps, I stripped off my camelback and the bottles with liquid food and just put a plain water bottle in the cage. As I did the two laps, I was really thirsty, but I didn't drink because my belly was so full. At 9:30 pm I stopped and called it quits. I told myself I'd get back on the bike in an hour, but I didn't. If I hadn't give up I could have easily ridden another 100 miles(I had 9 hours left). If I didn't have the GI problem I feel I could have hit 400 miles, but I think RAAM qualifying is 1mph out of my league and as a friend recently reminded me "a miss is as good as a mile." There was one guy who I'm sure qualified for RAAM at Sebring, I just know him as Number 10, but everytime he saw me he told me to "keep going" or "keep it up". If there were a good sportsman award, I would give it to #10.
I'd like to do the UMCA 24 Hour TT Championships in Iowa later this year. Obviously, I'll have to work on my food and drink intake and get the kinks worked out of the system, before I do.