For being completely uninspired about racing yesterday it didn’t turn out too bad. We have been so busy at home with projects and life that training seems to have taken a second row, if not back, seat. Good for some things, bad for trying to be competitive.
I showed up at Swanson completely in the dark about my fitness. Crunching the numbers in my several year’s worth of cycling logs gave me a vague notion that I was somewhere near where I was last year but I hadn’t ridden with anyone to see how I really stacked up. Showing up at a race in 90 degree weather with a couple hundred other cyclists is a good way to find out, or as good as any.
Off the line I was where I wanted to be. No sense fighting for a front spot because I knew I didn’t deserve it. I was mid-pack in both my category and wave of racers. I found out soon that I hadn’t prepared my nutrition as much as a I should. My energy started fading fast and by the end of the second lap I was in the bag. I was tired and cramping badly.
I had stashed a spare bottle of Heed at the entrance to the singletrack and on the start of my third lap I stopped and sucked down what I was carrying and half of my stash. I managed to get a gel in as well. About halfway into the lap the cramps subsided and I actually started to feel pretty good. I picked up my pace and managed to pick up a place in the process.
I was hoping for fifth, and ended up fourth.
My lap times were ok; still fast enough to warrant being a cat 2 anyway. Had it not been for an abysmal second lap they’d actually look pretty good overall.
It looks like the Heed drink works, but I need to pre-load a lot more. A LOT more. It is just too hard to make up any deficit that comes on after the always fast first lap of a Cat 2 XC race so I need to take on enough before the start to keep me going past the initial rush and into the meat of the race.
I am hoping to get to the L&C/Tranquility double header, but I will probably miss Platte River, again. Then its our race and Ponca.