Wednesday, February 15

Winter Shart Tarck '23: Race Four

I think it was around 2:30AM.  My memory is fuzzy on this.  I woke up when I heard my tiny fan shut off.  I run it at night to drown out my tinnitus, so mebbe it was the now noticeable ringing in my ear that interrupted my sleep.  Either way, the power had gone out.  I woke up, took a leak, came back to bed, and The Pie asked me, "what's up?

"Power's out."

"Did you call Duke Energy?"


It honestly didn't even come to mind.  I didn't think about the loss of heat or mebbe grabbing another blanket from the closet.  Sorry, I've got Winter Shart Tarck on the brain.

The power (and also my fan) came back on at five something o'clock.  Fine.  I woke up a half hour before my alarm set for 8:30... because... something.

Sit down on the couch with my coffee and such... hear a strange hum.  It goes away.  It comes back.  It's under the house... me thinks.  Since I'm deaf in one ear, I lack binaural listening which gives one a sense of location and the ability to locate sound 360 degrees in all directions.  Since I can't see something making a noise in the house, gotta be under the house.  The sump pump?  Don't think I've ever heard it before, so mebbe this is it.

Look out the window at the dismal weather, peer down at the drain that I know connects to the pump... hear the noise... see the water flowing out into the yard.  Meh.

Run outside and go under the house into the sealed crawlspace/murder room.  At least there's no standing water there, but the pump kicks back on anyways.  

So all the time that I shoulda been getting ready for the race that morning, I spent it taking a stopwatch to the pumping of sumping durations and intervals, multiple trips under the house with various tools, googling "sump pumps" and power outage related problems and Charlotte water tables, digging a ditch in my front yard... all before coming to the conclusion that it was just "doing its thing."

Dr Mike picks me up and it's time to race in the mud, but this time with better tires, fresh brake pads, and the knowledge that I either beat Jamie for a second time in the slop to have a chance at a top five for the series or don't.

Spoiler alert.  I don't.

photo cred: Lee Flythe
As a matter of fact, I once again found myself in no man's land after about two laps.  Too much of a gap in front and behind to feel "things."  The bike was fine... enough.  My tire selection was spot on.  My legs felt the effects of the 25 mile ride I did the day before.  I know I pushed too hard on the climbs, drove fifty minutes home after the ride without eating, and one gel was not enough for two hours on the bike.  I'd decided to ride regardless of how I might feel the next day, mostly because I hadn't been on a proper mountain bike ride in way too long. 

I wore two pairs of knee warmers at the race (because both pairs had holes in them), and I could feel the restriction above my calves.  I overdressed a bit, because I thought it might start to actively rain while we were out there.  I was also dealing with this:

How did that happen?  Dunno.  I don't even know how I woulda been able to line up the skewer when I put the wheel back on after doing the tire swap with the chain that tight.  I thought the drag I was feeling on the climbs was all because I left the taller gear on that I used at the two dry races.  Mebbe.  Mebbe it was both.  Mebbe it was my ded legs as well.  I went into this race stoked on the nasty conditions that I thought a "prepared me" would thrive in, and I totally didn't.  Dammit. 

Would it had mattered if I did any or all of those things differently?  Who knows?  Who cares?

Banging my head up against a brick wall over here.  I'll play the game one more week, but not much can happen.  The top five are locked in, and unless there's some sort of calamity, I'm not gonna be in it.  By one place.  Dammit.

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