Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pre-race Jitters and Titters

I'm tired. Been tired a lot lately. Even short rides leave me a bit dizzy on moderate efforts. Don't know what's going on. Maybe my iron is low - haven't been eating as much animals lately. Haven't been sleeping well either.

I have a hard enough time sleeping, but throw in my biggest event of the season and humid, sticky evenings . . . . well, all I can tell you is a lot of peanut butter sandwiches are being eaten at three in the morning (cause what else are you going to do?). I haven't been nervous or worried about one single event all season. However, this is a big friggin event - big in lots of ways: travel there, logistics, planning of drop bags, nutrition choices, gearing, the distance of the race, what am I going to wear to the awards and draw prize show, keeping up with the fitness at home, finding the best route from Ottawa to PA, and so on and so on. Feels like my brain has been working in overdrive (so that'd be like two hamsters on the wheel at the same time - mind you one is overweight and the other isn't too bright, often running in the other direction).

Here are a few decisions that I have made:
  • Gearing: going to run 32 x 19 - contemplated running a 20t, 18t too big . . . meh - one tooth either way won't kill me . . . . right?!? I still might switch off to a 20t. Maybe not . . . . well?
  • Wheels: running tubeless - rumor and race reports have it that there are some long rocky descents - if I slice a side wall, I'll probably slice the tube too. I'll take the added traction and suspension from tubeless - will be my first race on the tubeless. Guess I got to do it sometime.
  • Drop Bags - # 2 (40 miles) and #4 (80 miles) - aid stations are fully stocked for the most part. I'm putting a can of coke in each of my drop bags - Coke is the cat's arse when the going gets tough.
  • Hydration - this was a tough one for me: Wingnut pack VS. bottles. I decided to go with two bottles. I've used the Wingnut only a few times this year and hate wearing it (not that it's a bad pack - it's actually the best I've ever used), it's just I hate having anything on my back when it's hot. Aid stations are roughly 30km apart - if everything goes alright (knock on wood), I should be good. I also find that using a bottle I am more aware of how much and how often I am drinking, whereas you can't see with a hydration pack. Besides, if I want to look fast, I need to strap on my tube and air to my seatpost.
  • Awards - going with sling backs and a classic black dress - simple and classy, just like me.
  • Saddle bag - since I'm not using a hydration pack and I don't want to carry shit in my jersey I'll be running a seat bag. I fuggging hate seat bags, but I hate wearing a pack on my back for that long and in the heat even more. I've cinched it down tight, so nothing will be bouncing around. Jersey will be used for food.
  • Long lonely drive down - when I registered for this race there were a bunch of my riding buddies who were like, "Oh yeah. I'm in for sure." Fuggers. Where are you now? I still have room - any takers? . . . . .Bueller? . . . . Bueller? . . . . Bueller? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I thought not.
Do you really care what choices I've made? I thought so. You're more interested in the carnage that follows . . . . you'll have to wait until Monday.

But since this is my blog and I'm rambling, let me continue.

To be perfectly honest, I'm a bit scared about this race. First, I'm going to stop calling it a race - cause if you saw the competition you'd know it wasn't any longer a race. So it's going to be a big old big ass big ride. I use my usual race tactics: start off slow and gradually get slower as the race goes on, clawing my way to the finish line.

Cramping is on my brain - but I've been doing everything I can about that - will come down to hydrating, electrolytes and the heat/humidity of the day. Gearing - did I go too steep? Meh. It is what it is - if I have to walk some climbs, I have to walk some climbs.

I have no benchmarks on how to judge what to expect in terms of finishing times. I have no one to pace against, I have never ridden in PA, and I know a little about the course.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with some fellow bloggers/racers: Shockstar and Soiled Chamois and it will be nice to have someone to call home for me when I cross the line to tell my wife to come collect my carcass.

Hoff dollies for everyone while I'm gone.


Golonghardman said...

Thats right kids, racing is fun.

Its even better when you don't give a damn and you get lucky because you rode like mad for shits and giggles.
Someone should be going with Cranky though...for shits and giggles.

Anonymous said...

"what am I going to wear to the awards and draw prize show"

good luck with that... the best of the best is down there...

it is much much more different than up here.

1) they all drink the night before. So, you are kind of a wussy if you don't...
2) they all eat shit while riding. Jujubes and a lot of crap. Unlike up here, we are some grain fed stock feed. We look like nutrient freaks!
3) they all ride hard and fast till they shit blood and stuff. Up here, we do trainers. They all ride down there... all year around.

You'll see the best of the best down there.

Give yourself 12-14 hours of drive time. Its a looooong ride down there.
Use to break it up to 2 days. Camp 1/2 way. Enjoy it all.
Don't eat at the greasy joints or you'll get the shits.
Make sure you have a good map.
Can almost guarantee you'll get lost if you don't plan the route ahead of time!
I've arrived at a couple of these at midnight the night before... not fun... lots of lessons learned.

Take advantage of the free beer at the end...
and friggen rock and roll down the single track, its just a hoot of a good time.
Watch the damn hornets nest. I got stung in the nuts some 3 years back. Its on one of the up hills some place.
Up hills are mostly double track, but not all.
Some hike a bike.
Down hills are mostly single track. Wicked single track that brings great shit faced grins.
Take advantage of the roads... use it wisely. Its where the greatest time can be made up...
(typically where SS feels pain).

7-9 hours on the ride...
expect pain at times.

Anonymous said...

damn, I was hoping not to race this year... but seeing the W101 got me excited...
I love the 100 milers...
Now, I am pondering the


It's a wickedly cool race.
With a great camp setup.
With some great eats.
With a gong that goes off at 5:30 in the morning (you'll get a taste of that at the W101... Pick your camp site wisely!!! Ensure you bring your own shitter!!! the shitters get packed...
You know where I camp out at the W101, there is a wooden flat spot. Get it!!! It's not too far from the shitters... Its flat and if you need to shit... the tent is near the shitters...

I'm going to miss the W101 this year.
But, I may go to the S100. It's blast!
Pizza at the top of the mountain around aid station 4.
Friggen fun.


The Evil MGE! said...

Taking a break in the Pinkness hostilities to give you a few brief words of good ol East Coast advise.

Go with the 20 tooth. You'll hate me for suggesting it in the flats but come on, this Appalachia, how much flat is there? Seems the mountains get wicked steep up that way, maybe more so then Pisgah.

Truly, water bottles alone? Dickyism truly has bit ya hard in the arse mate. Take yer Wingnut Hyper 2.5 and chug a lug..something about the humidity will make ya suck in the moisture.

Have fun bro! Wish I could join ya.

Anonymous said...

bring loud music as well...
music is aloud and recommended!!!

loud shit:

if this was ottawa, we'd have everyone whinning like little pigs...

not there. Music is much enjoyed.
So, bring it. Play it loud!!!
You will need it!

Peter Keiller said...

it isn't much harder then that.

but incase you want to make it harder:

bring the pack. you can't ride AND drink too much not to mention saddle bags are the fanny pack of the cycling world.

run the 18. do it.

if you are losing. MAKE A SCENE, cause a ruckus or otherwise attract attention to your frame...remember we have quota's either produce or you don't.

and finally...when the shite hits the fan...things look bad...really glad you weren't Tanya et al at the Intermontane Challenge...

enjoy it fukface.

Big Bikes said...

Yer gonna be fine!
Take it easy during the lame, boring, road bits, then let 'er rip on the good stuff...and there's lots of good stuff. The rocky ridge ride somewhere in the middle is SWEET! The worst part is riding along the Fisherman's Trail in the last ten miles. It's super-techy in parts and you're right next to a nice, cold river. Just picture yourself lying in that river with a cold beer as you spin like mad down the flat rail trail to the finish.

The Vegan Vagabond said...

yeah what Peter said. If things are bad just say to yourself:
at least I'm not in Kamloops.

Go Big Ring! Show those Yankees we can ride.