Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Looking for excuses

On my birthday, you might recall (my birthday in fact was not on the 27th, that's when I posted - my birthday is in fact on the 30th. Those of you deadbeat friends and onlookers who have not yet submitted a present may, no - MUST, do so now. Money or bike related presents muchly appreciated), that I treated myself by registering for a few races early in the year. One, I was giving myself a present, two, I was forcing myself to suit up and show up to race. Three months later and I am having second thoughts on one of the races - the Wilderness 101.

The reasons for the second thoughts are not the obvious ones being overweight, under trained and not all that smart. It's funny with the timing really. I was over on The Soiled Chamois blog reading his Lumberjack race report and the same feelings that he was having before that race are similar to the ones I am having.

My reasons:
  • One - it's a long ass drive all by my lonesome - 8 hours each way from Ottawa! I don't mind being by myself, anyone who does endurance events better get used to their own company. Maybe some of the slower riders really like themselves and the faster ones can't stand themselves - more or less time alone - you choose. Me on the other hand, being slow, am forced to spend that time all by myself.

  • Two - the race takes place August 1st in Pennsylvania. It's bound to be stinking hot. If it's hot, anything around 100km (that's 62.137 miles folks!) and my legs start to get all stabby and crampy. 8 hours is a long way to go to DNF. I'm sussing out the finer details of my cramping issues, but there are no guarantees. And in all likelihood, I will be cramping and badly.

  • Three - there's a shit load of climbing involved. Apparently a shit load. Now that doesn't normally bother me, I kind of like settling into the groove and grinding away . . . but 160kms worth . . . . fugg me. What gearing do I run?? WTF!

  • Four - if it isn't already apparent, I am lacking some confidence going into this sufferfest. Up in these here Canerda parts, we don't have races that long. That being said, I've ridden about 300 km or so in a couple solo 24 hour races, and around 130-140km in some 8 hrs - but this one big ass loop down in PA seems a little different to me. Can't get my head around it and the suffering it will take to complete it. This will be my longest one day race on the s.s. Guess it's got to happen sometime.

I'm looking for excuses to bail, but can't seem to find any . . . . other than . . . . it's going to hurt . . . alot. Anyone want to drive down with and suffer alongside (or uphead of me)?

* my apologies for yesterday's lameness . . . though I see Dicky enjoyed it.


Tomi said...

hey man,
got your note....gearing for the 101. I'd run 32/20 or 19 on a 29.
Couple of pitchy climbs in the 20-30minute size that can bite you. A 20 helps with that, but then you lose flatland speed, which means you'll be giving up time over the opening 30-40 miles of mostly fireroad. So, you can give up time on the flats, or run a slightly bigger gear and maybe be hiking up stuff you could be of those six of one, half dozen of the other scenarios.

the original big ring said...

Thanks Tomi - much appreciated.

The Evil MGE! said...

That's a race I'd been meaning to do for years and never got around to it. I imagine I'll go back east some time to tackle some of those east coast classic races.

For cramping and getting some fuel in me since I have such a hard time eating solids on the bike I've got a local mad scientist who has turned me on to his drink mix that taste damn good and is relatively cheap to make. Its just Gatorade mixed with Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein at a 9 to 1 Carb to protein mixture. He says any whey protein will work but he likes this one the best due to all the added branched amino acids.

I also used to rely heavily on Carbs. For the past 6 months or so I've started taking in much more protein ie: fish, eggs, chicken, occasional red meat(Sorry Vegan Vagabond) along with more fruits and veggies.

I found that even though I'm not riding as much that I'm maintaining consistent strength throughout my rides and I haven't suffered from cramping in ages.

Back when I was throwing down mostly carbs I always having inconsistent riding patterns and cramps would take their toll.

rick is! said...

tomi, those climbs are only 20-30 minutes? In my mind they were much longer. Although, I was spinning a 28/32 so that could explain the difference.

obr, you can do it, you just have to be prep'ed mentally.

The Vegan Vagabond said...

OBR I think we all know you can do this just have to know it yourself.

Yes, it sucks to drive that far by yourself. Wish I could join ya! Next year...

Anyway bottom line, I don't think you should bail. Go have an adventure and tell us all about it.

Jason said...

You'll do it and like it! Hell if I can do it, YOU can do it. Barring major mechanicals or health issues, a long drive and money spent is DAMN motivating to not DNF.

The weather COULD be dog ball hot. OR it could be 60 degrees. This is PA NOT the deep south. But then again for a 'Nadian I suppose PA is the deep south.

the original big ring said...

Cramping and being fat are health issues, right?

See you there Soiled Chamois.

shockstar said...

damn...for a minute i thought you were serious about backing out. i've been questioning the normal gearing/tire/food issues as well but i always come back to the same realization...finish or not, 20 minutes after i'm done pedaling i'll swear it was the most fun i've ever had. looking forward to seeing you there.