Tuesday, September 11

Do as I say...

I made mistakes at the Fool's Gold 50. This is not a new experience for me. I will not learn from these mistakes. Perhaps you can.

Use the information available.

The course map looked like spaghetti to me.

So I didn't bother looking at it closely, but the bigger issue was not clicking on the profile. I knew the race started with a big climb. I remembered that from previous years.

I sorta remembered that the section between Aid Two and Three had a climb. This is where I "attacked."

And then I had no idea. I didn't put out too much effort on the singletrack in case there was another big climb. There wasn't another big climb.

Doh. This is the only thing I ended up saving myself for in the end.

photo cred: Dough

Listen to your body.

I had been getting a decent knot in my trapezius over the course of the 2012 1.25 Months of Madness.

Contrary to popular belief, I actually do have some muscle tissue. The pain started towards the end of the Breck Epic, got worse with the long 55 mile XC effort at the River's Edge Marathon, was extremely exacerbated from the 57/100ths of the Shenandoah Mountain 100, and was pretty much on fire at the Fool's Gold 50. A smarter athlete would have gotten a massage, applied a heating pad, taken some ibuprofen, or in the case of certain NUE athletes we know and love, managed the pain with medicinal marijuana. I did nothing. The throbbing was rather intense, and I did my best to convince myself that the "discomfort" in my back should not affect how I pedaled a bike. My best was not enough. It felt like I had a golf ball on top of my scapula and someone was hitting it with a rubber mallet.

Take care of your equipment.

I showed up with the same brake pads that made it through the Breck Epic, including the 5-6 hour day in the rain. Had it rained (there was lightning before the start), I woulda been screwed. At least I had a fender to keep the horse poop off of my water bottles.

Keep your head in the game

I would have normally counted how many single speeders got ahead of me at the start. There were quite a few, and I got lazy. Had I known I was moving into a podium spot with my efforts, I would have been spurred on by the sense of reward... a Pavlovian drool response kinda thing.

Also, it's an endurance race. Shit happens. People suffer from attrition, getting lost, mechanicals, injuries, standing around at the aid stations, taking a shit... all sorts of things that can help push you up through the ranks. If you're having a good day, chances are someone's having a shit-show of day. Make the most of it.

Stay focused during the lead up

I'm getting tired of all this racing lately. It's the end of the year. It happens. Less fucks are given, ride time tapers, food is consumed in a randomly chaotic manner, and many beers are drank. I like to race in the 130lb zone, never made it lower than 135 all year, and probably showed up to Fool's Gold at 140lbs+. Remember this?

Carrying all that extra weight over a climb that long costs time given the same power output. How much time? A lot more than the nine seconds that stood between me and second place (and a case of Sweetwater 420). Granted, the race still could have unfolded in a similar manner had I closed in on him earlier, but whatever.

Oh well. I'm sure I made some other mistakes, but I can't remember them all. Hopefully you can put this information to good use... but not if you're racing against me. Then I suggest you do as I do. It's a lot of fun and makes for a better story.


Mark said...

Thanks for the info, I always learn a lot reading your blog.

What gearing were you running?

dicky said...

32X19... it works for me.