..11 hours to do 50 something miles? When I went in with dreams of doing my first hundie? Not exactly how I pictured the weekend going. I thought I'd prepared pretty well. I was going on longer rides to get ready. I hounded a few different people for tips. (Thanks Dicky, Danielle, and Namrita) I got more sleep. All that sorta stuff.
I got to Dahlonega late friday afternoon. Got signed in and went out to the truck to get stuff together. I had planned on sending out pre-mixed Gator-ade/Carbo plus jugs to the sag stops for refills during the race. Only problem was..I forgot my gator-ade and carbo plus....oops. I quickly scoured my truck for every energy bar and gel that I could find. I came up with 17 gels and 8 bars. It'd have to do. The sag stops were going to have gator ade and power bar products out there so I figured I'd be ok. I finished getting my bike ready,dropped off my drop bags, ate, and then started tryin to kill time before bed. I ended up down by the kegs with Tomato, Dicky, and Chris J. After awhile everybody shuffled off to bed.
Race day started dark and early. Got up, ate breakfast, drank some cold coffee, got suited up, went to the pre-race meeting, discovered one of the lenses had fallen out of my glasses, and 30 seconds later..we were off. The first 1,000 miles were steep forest road climbing. It usually takes me around an hour to warm up so I wasn't to worried about my super slow pace at first. I got worried when the 50 mile racers who started 25 minutes after us started passing me 40 minutes into my race. That's right..they covered the same amount of ground in 15 minutes that it took me 40 to cover. Houston we have a problem. I saw Jonathan go bye and since he seemed to have a good pace going I decided to grit my teeth nd hop on his wheel. I managed to stick with him for maybe 1/4-1/2 a mile before I started getting dizzy. This would be a re-occuring problem all day. Whenever I got my HR up I'd get dizzy and have to either slow way down or pull over til it passed. Not good times. Kept hoping I'd start going better but it wasn't to be. I finally accepted my fate when it took me over 4 hrs to hit the second checkpoint..which was only 20 freakin miles. I decided I was going to at least do 1 lap and set about making my slow progress around it. The course rocked. Not super technical but really hard all the same. Overall I had a blast. Met a lot of really cool people, rode(verrrrrryyyyyy slowly) some very nice trail and in general had a good time. It was the last race of the year for me and was easily the best time I had at a race all year. I don't know how much racing I'll do next year but I'll definitely be back for at least the festival portion of Fool's Gold next year. At least my light's helped Rebecca finish. She came into the last aid station after the cut off time for lights. She was super upset and Jonathan quickly threw my light's on her helmet, got her spirits up and sent her on her way. She ended finishing 3rd in the open womens group. That's the biggest thing I love about mountainbiking. Everybody is willing to help everybody else. It's always awesome to watch and hear about.
As far as the rest of the summer and fall(and let's face it..winter..we really can ride all year around here..aint it great) I'm gonna get one of those nifty map holders for my handlebars and start doing some all day rides in the woods around here. Those are my favorite kind of rides and I'm gonna take advantage of the weather and get a bunch in. Plus lots of long walks with the dog.
Hope everybody has an awesome day. Later.