My body currently hates me. I did things to it this weekend that it gently rebelled to. Maybe gently is not the right words, how about violently rioted against. After spending the Saturday in Toronto car searching and finding what I want, the evening was spent celebrating. This is where I started to do things to my body that it didn't' like with the consumption of way to much non race type fluids. Surprisingly I felt not to bad in the morning, felt didn't last.
Rolled into the race an hour before start time, started to see who was there, knew it was going to be a tough field. A weak attempt of a warm up and it was off to the start line. So far I was feeling not to bad. Notice that I felt good BEFORE the race. Gun went off and like usual we blasted off the line probably way faster than we should have, we never learn. Filed in the pack and I think it took about 3 minutes into the race when I realized what my day was going to be like. 3 minutes was the first hill. It felt a little more painful than normal. Of course I just put my head down.
It didn't take long for there to be a split. Tim Carlton, Ryan Atkins, Pat Dennis and a couple others were off the front, then there was me, then another pack. That was what and how I assumed the race would be, me riding alone, like usual. Kept things steady knowing that I didn't have any top end for hills. I had some random tastes of wine at the top of a climb. Let's just say it tasted better the night before. Just after the first feed zone I caught up with a rider from Brant Cycle, as I passed him I heard in a quiet voice, I'm going to hold your wheel for as long as I can. I was sorta ok with that, for the first few minutes.
I do need to back track a little. There was a section on the trail just before I caught this guy that was just like Joyride 150's pump track. All that winter training there paid off again. I was giggling there. I really didn't expect this guy to hang on for to long, I kept the pace as high as I could, I'd hope that others would fade a little faster than I would. The problem was he didn't fall off. After about 5 minutes of him letting me do all the work I continued to put out weak attacks. Seemed that I was faster on the downhills and single track but every time we would split there would be a climb or he managed to hammer enough to catch me on the flats. I knew even for me I had to be careful not to burn off to much to early.
Next feed we both stopped, bottle refilled but he got out a minute before me. Of course there was a long climb to start again on and having that 3 minute break my legs said screw you, were breaking for longer. Of course the lungs and heart argued with them and my brain got somewhere stuck in the middle of the fight. I was back to riding alone. I was starting to feel a little weak, this was just the start. It didn't take long for me to see my granny gear on a couple climbs. This is when the next body part started to get made at me.
My abdominal area decided that it wanted to see how tight it could get. I know it was caused more by my wonderfully tight hip flexors but this started to kill my climbing even more but more my concern was the technical sections. i found my body very twisted up and balance out of whack. I started to bounce around on the trail a little to much. I was started to develop pain. For some reason I always seem to have body problems when I race at Ganaraska, last year I cramped from the heat, the year before I was raped by my bike. There was a point during the race that I was actually tempted to quit, I haven't had this feeling in a long time. My abs were screaming.
Of course I had absolutely know idea where the hell I was on the trail. The quiting thought lasted for about 2 minutes before I got one of those reminder thoughts in my head. Based on an article I read about Ray Zahab, an ultra runner, his answer is just put one foot in front of the other, in my case just turn the crank one more time, then one more, etc. Worked well. There were some big open sections at this point and I kept watching over my shoulder. There are a few wild animals out there that make the sounds of clicking derailleurs, and free hubs. I had a pretty big gap over the next rider, at least 5 minutes.
I did get a little temptation to go faster when I saw Pat at one point on one of the hey he's only right there which happened to be only about 3 minutes ahead. Not sure if he rode faster after that or not but I didn't have much more to go any faster than I was already going. I nailed my nutrition perfect during the race, or I thought I had. past the 3 feed zone and was good, 45-50 minutes later there was another feed zone. Last year Dan did this because of the heat and the slow last section, I asked the volunteers how much farther. I'm not sure if I heard them right but what my ear's thought they heard was 10km to go. As I climbed the hill about a minute later I looked at my bottles, I was just under 4 hours at this point and there is 10 km to go. I don't have enough fluids, I don't have enough power left, I won't have the will to live soon, I'm going to die out here. This was followed by a few of my favourite words.
I debated about turning around and topping up a bottle but that meant climbing a hill again and probably losing that buffer I had. Screw it, just suffer through. Then like a (use what you would like) I saw a building, then some cars, could we be done? Why are we riding away from the building, I want to go there not the way you are sending me. It was the long way around but every time I turned I started to think that there would be some random turn going away from where the finish area was. Rolled through a minute of two later crossing the line 8th overall and 5th in the under 40 division.
The reward was a great burger, some social time and the wonderful sun. I chilled for a bit before opting to head out early. It was a long drive home and lets just say that my body was not in a happy place and I was squirming around lots. Luckily I see Dr. Bill tonight. Considering the way I feel I was pretty happy with the results and also the beating the battle against the brain, legs, and abs. That wasn't even adding in the fast crew that always show up at these races. Another great event from Dan and Substance Project.
There may be an attempt to join the Monday Night crew. I'll see how the day goes.