Monday, August 27, 2007


I can't understand what happened at the race.

Well . . . . that's bullshit really. I quit and gave up when I started to hit a wall. I never really gave it a chance to sort itself out and get back out there to ride.

I was in such good spirits during the race, I felt great, I had energy, I wanted to ride, I was having fun on the course. Feeling good in the first quarter of the race.

During my 5th lap I started to experience some bad cramping. It made me panic a bit, considering during Solstice I cramped hardly at all. But I was only 5 laps in. It scared me that the rest of the race was going to go bad. I focused on drinking as much as I could. I stopped at the water station and even filled my bottle on the 5th and 6th lap.

I barely got out of the timing tent on my 6th when my legs wouldn't respond to the pace I tried to pedal. Twinges of pain were taking over my muscles - quads, hamstrings, calves, toes, fingers, back and neck. What the hell was going wrong? I walked nearly every hill that lap. I had to get off the bike once to go down a hill because I was cramping in my legs trying to keep the bike steady. I even walked a flat section because it hurt too much to pedal.

I got back to our pit area 3/4 of the way through my sixth (around 7:40pm) and called it quits. It hurt and I didn't want any more of it. I hit a wall and couldn't get around it or over it.

Once off the bike I lost all motivation to go back out. Got cold, sat down, got tired, went to bed. I was able to squeeze two and a bit more laps out in the morning before I had to stop because my body was shutting down and cramping again.

Today my body hurts more (and only after nine laps) than it did after June's solo. Every tendon and muscle in my body feels like it was pulled off my skeleton like giant rubber band and snapped back into place. It hurts to stretch today.

Hindsight . . . . doesn't do me any good now. Should went to see Madame Fortune Teller before the race. It wasn't really a competitive solo field like Solstice was - so this was the race that I really could have done well in. If I had put out 16 laps like I had in June, I would have placed in 6th position.

Wasn't a complete loss. Here's what I learned:
  • no matter how many 24 hr solo races I do, I will invariably hit a wall (or two or three) during a race. I need to remember not to give up. Go back out and walk the course until you feel better, if you have to. Just don't give up.
  • Magnesium, calcium and vitamin D tablets need to begin to be loaded into the body more than one week before (remember kids: magnesium helps the muscles absorb and retain water).
  • don't give up
  • mentally I wasn't prepared for this race. My head wasn't into it - Solstice was a huge build up. HAN wasn't. Especially so after the knee issues that I was having in July. I needed to have a steadfast goal in mind, instead of having a "we'll see how it goes" attitude.
  • don't give up
  • you don't need a tonne of calories to ride consistently and you don't need to eat on every lap - I was getting upset stomach from trying to eat a little on each lap
  • don't give up
  • all your laps don't have to be fast
  • don't give up
  • obviously drink more fluids, during the race, if you're starting a race in really humid temperatures (like they were on Saturday)
  • don't give up
  • you never know how things are going to pan out. Other racers may throw in the towel, race course conditions may change in your favour, etc. - keep riding.
  • don't give up

Still . . . . . I feel like a failure and am deflated. I don't say that so that you'll try and make me feel better - just an out pouring of thoughts.


Matt Spak said...

Craig you hit it many times.
Don't give up.
Easier said than done.

Its hard to mentally push through and you know that I've caved to it. Learn a bit from every race.

Ryan D. said...

Shit - Your race results are dream results for me. Wait a minute, that won't make you feel any better!

Hope to see you out in the SMH some time.

The Evil MGE! said...

Hey Bro, if it ain't fun no mo why do it? I gave up my 1st race ever during the Cowbell were physically and mentally I was done with Lap races. Lap races kill me as I get bored lookin at the same piece of trail over and over. Want to do Seven with me one year. Maybe in 3-5. Don't play into the defeated, wo is me game, just get out and enjoy riding again.

the original big ring said...

Thanks Goat!
Actually, I really enjoyed the course . . . guess the body didn't.

I wanted to do Seven this year, but plans didn't work out. They're changing the dates for next year, and will conflict with school. Not sure how to pull that off.

Stage racing is something that I REALLY want to try!

Anonymous said...

Dude. yer being a bit hard on yourself. ..nay, you're being ridiculously hard on yourself.

Giving up is one thing.
Refraining from damaging yourself physically is another.

Give up... pfft. like yer supposed to jump on your bike, paint a clowns smile on and pedal away when your back, quads, neck and fingers are cramped up?

Assuming such a thing were possible, for what would you do it? and at what cost?

Riding AND racing is supposed to be fun. ..if it isn't then why do it? Stop, have a cookie, tell a joke or laugh at one until you're ready for it to be enjoyable again.
..unless of course you've got something to prove to someone. (which you don't) so quit beating on yourself cause that can't be helpfull either.

Yes, I know some worthwhile things are hard, as it should be. but theres a line between hard and retarded.

Remember riding is/should be fun. You were obviously having a lot of fun for more laps than I rode total. I say enjoy the time you spent on the bike. don't worry about the time you didn't. least you don't have a chicks ass ;)