Monday, July 06, 2009

Well That Certainly Hurt

Coming in to Sunday's race at Omro I was feeling a little under the weather on Thursday and Friday, but progressively got better on Friday and felt fine on Saturday when I went to bed. Sickness was not going to be an issue in hindering my performance on Sunday, so I thought I'd do well enough, I was hoping to stay with the lead group but realistically I was thinking second pack would be where I would end up. The realist in me ended up being correct but I should've been a little ahead of the second pack and finished solo between them and the lead group, unfortunately I had the most severe cramping I've ever had on the bike. My calves were knotting up constantly from mile 11/12 to the finish, which was at 38 miles I believe. I know it wasn't hydration or electrolyte related as I drank a lot of water Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning and ate very well in the two days prior to the race. I eat a lot of bananas and drink milk so my calcium and potassium were there, which are big preventers of cramps. The cramps were basically caused by muscular tension that they haven't seen before, basically I tried to push myself above what my training has prepared me for, but I knew that coming in to the race. As I've said, I haven't prepared for racing so my body was completely shocked by the effort I think as I was pushing way bigger gears than normal and sprinting around corners, etc., and it was just too much. Part of the problem I think is that in racing mode there's a tendency to move forward on the saddle and that recruits muscles that you normally don't exert too much on training rides, and I was sitting a lot further forward than normal during the race. I could spin fine up hills with no issues when I was in an easy gear and on both hills I rode away from the pack I was with, but as soon as we got over the top I couldn't sit and exert pressure, my calves would knot up instantly. I had to drift off the back of my group a few times to rub them out but caught back on each time. I finished by rolling in off the back of the group when they sprinted in as I couldn't stand to sprint at all, I tried but instantly locked up. Oh well, I was happy with getting the race in as it was my first race since the first week of May in 2008, obviously it's been a while. It was nice to be part of a competitive event and feel that adrenaline of being in the pack and riding hard, I just wish I could've ridden harder. My training has been geared towards longer rides though in order to be prepared for the Insane Terrain Challenge this weekend, so once that is done then I'll concentrate more on intervals and getting back in racing shape.
Speaking of Insane Terrain Challenge, that is finally this Saturday, it's been circled on my calendar since January and it seems like time has flown by. It's been on my mind for a while, but unfortunately training didn't start until quite a bit after I registered for the ride, so it's going to be a tough one. I'm ready for it though I think, I've done 5 centuries so far this year so endurance shouldn't be a problem, it's going to be getting my butt up hills and staying hydrated and well fed. If I do all those things well, then I should be able to finish with no problem. I took off work on Friday so my dad and I are heading up and camping at Blue Mounds State Park and then the ride starts at 6:30 Saturday morning. I have no clue how long it will take, my dad doesn't think he's prepared for it, and is looking at short cuts already, but I told him that if he can at least stay with me for 75 miles or so before he cuts it short, then I'd be happy with that. I can finish the remaining 46 miles by myself, but it'll be nice to have him with me as long as he can make it. After the ride is done, we'll chow down I'm sure on whatever we can find to eat, and then we are staying over one more night at the state park to relax and hang out by the fire. Sunday I'll head home and probably sleep all day.
Well, that's it for now, more to follow this week on my prep for the ITC.

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