The start of the 12 hour race
An hour after the 12 hour guys took off - the 6 hour race was on! For the first 25 miles we were out front... completing the first 25 miles in a minute over an hour. We were scooting. The Green Train was rolling along. Clint (one of my team mates) had a flat and didn't have a saddle bag, so I pulled off with him to help out. The pack totally disappeared. They were still flying!!
We got the tire back together and were starting to move along and we saw a pack behind us and figured we would be swallowed up soon. We started just working together... and low and behold we lost sight of the group behind us. Alix had also pulled out of the pack and waited for us. Now we were a group of 3 working together. A forth rider (someone unknown) joined us and worked with us to finish the first 50 mile lap.
We got back and were on the way to the truck and I stopped at the port-a-jon and there was a line. I was kind of taken back as the race volunteers were standing in line and made no effort to let a racer, currently in a timed event, go first. They didn't have to, but if the shoe was on the other foot I definitely would have let a racer go first, instead of suggesting a different bathroom for me to use on the other side of the school away from the race course (where these were). So after nearly 10 minutes of waiting I got my turn, and then went to the truck to get new water bottles.
At the we met up with Garry and all headed out together. Now the group was Clint, Garry, Alix and myself. We headed out and got moving again. About mile 70, I started falling apart. I could hang with the group but only to survive, I could no longer work on the front. I think it was a nutrition thing. Garry and Clint worked hard the last 25 miles to drag me back.
My view for the last 25 miles....
I finished the 100 miles I had wanted for the day in 5 hours and 31 minutes... including 18 minutes off the bike. I was pleased. With only a mild bonk and a left foot cramp - I felt pretty good. I think that was my fastest century on a bike in my life.
At times in the ride I questioned myself... then at about mile 85 I ran into this guy.....
it taught me that that the 'discomfort' I was in was nothing compared to the real troubles people face everyday. That no matter what I felt, it was going to be ME to hold me back. This is going to be on my mind at Mount Mitchell. The only thing holding me back there will be me... and I want to do Great!
So Mount Mitchell...... dant dant dahhhhh. 10 days away. TEN. It is almost upon us. I weighed in today at 191lbs. Down 34 pounds from last year, and a ton stronger. I have over 1,100 more miles in this year over last (actually almost three times more miles). Being lighter and riding more I think should translate into something special for me at Mount Mitchell. Now I do realize that it could rain, be cold, etc... but what ever happens I am more prepared than I was last year. I had earlier said that I wanted to hit 7 hours 15 minutes total time for this race. I still think it is possible, but after Calvin's I would like to re-adjust it a bit... definitely under 8 hours regardless of weather, I still think if the weather is the same as last year, I can do the 7:15.
10 days..... 240 hours..... only 14,400 minutes.... it is not far away.