I came, I rode, I will get to that soon enough. Race started pretty much the way I had hoped. Luckily Mother Nature changed her plans for the day opening up the sun and shutting off the taps. The line up, in all division and the by means of who what sitting at the start line it was going to be tough to not get caught up in the mass attack off the line. Self control did take over on the word go.
First lap had me up front and a train of solo's behind me. Kept things smooth, the course was slick, pace was not killer. Came through the first lap leading. Lap two saw a split in the train. It went down to Jacob, John and myself with a few very fast guys in the just a minute back. We kept the pace around the same, everything this is good. Went on to the third lap, same thing. Kept things smooth, the course started to become slicker in the rooty sections. I watched Jacob almost slide off a bridge, not good.
At this point I still felt really good, on to the 4th I was still in the mix and feeling great, pace was steady but we started running into lots of traffic dropping the pace a little. Came through the feed and still had a smile on my face. The 5th is when things went wrong. About mid way through the lap we got caught up with a few lapped riders and I took the grunt end of it when one of them had a problem on a wet root. I found myself hugging a tree, Unfortunately for me that rider righted himself and jumped in front of me and pushed me in the woods again. I spent then next few minutes riding in fear and had to pin it on the double track to get ahead of this rider. He seemed to have some legs on the double track. which made me work even more than I wanted to. I found out only a few minutes later.
I don't like feeling dizzy, it's not fun. I found myself pulling over on the side of the trail. I normally recover pretty quickly and even the effort I put out should not have caused the results that happened. Sitting on the top tube of my bike trying to regain my focus, I glanced at my HR 189. that's not good. I waited until it dropped back to the 130s before moving again. From that point on my body just didn't like me anymore. My head started to pound and squeeze tighter. The legs felt ok but every effort my focus disappeared. Rolled into the feed zone, grabbed a bottle and went out for lap 6.
Things didn't feel right, I also wasn't ready to pull the plug. The arguments amongst myself began. I was still sitting comfortably in 3rd with a few minutes over 4th. Spin easy, this will go away, you will feel fine is what I kept telling myself. My head started to hurt even more. I felt the evil thought start to enter my mind. I rolled through the timing tent up to my feed zone and stopped. I sat there on the bike for a few minutes trying to regain some focus, yelling at my body to stop what it's doing. I didn't want to stop. I argued but the overwhelming skull crushing pain was starting to win. I don't get headaches unless I'm hungover, I don't do well with them. I managed to put on a good front. I felt a lot worst than I said. I got off my bike.
I've raced sick before and done ok, this time it was the timing of getting sick. I was at the mid cycle of it and drugs didn't seem to overcome it,. I'm still battling a headache this morning and it seems that it intensifies with exertion. Not impressed. The highlight, if I couldn't win the 8 hour for the 3rd time in a row it was at least handed over to a teammate. Congrats to Jacob for a strong ride. I will stake some claim to his success for helping pace the first couple laps. Some Shake'n'Bake style where I took myself out. See Team Player.
This now officially ends my endurance racing career for one full season. I'll return to the long stuff after a full year of rest and recovery with short races. I've also decided that I'm not enjoying being the very very old guy in the young category. So what will 2012 have for me, the plan at this point is to play on the Ontario and a select few of the Canada Cup series. Means less long days on the bike and more time to let the body feel good. I'll admit that I'm part of the reason my body feels off this year, time was not spent doing things like stretching like in previous years and it finally caught up with me. I've been doing this long stuff for a long time now, I've had some amazing results but I feel I need a new challenge, my heart just isn't into the same way anymore. Let's see what I can do in the hammerfest races.
So what is on the agenda for the fall, cross is crossing my mind. At least for a few races. The options are endless but I'll admit I'm looking forward to just having some fun. Let the fun begin!!!