Sunday, 1 June 2008

Giver8er 8 hour enduro

I can't express how happy I am that the course was so sweet, the attendance was so good, the weather held out, and that our club and volunteers put it on so well. That's the positive side.

The side I'm less excited about is how I feel right now, I've never felt worse after a bike ride. I think I had a moment on the hot climb at La Ruta 2006 that was similar, but that at least dissipated after a while. I'm still feeling terrible 3.5 hours later.

My chosen career isn't very conducive to proper training and rest. I felt good for 3 hours, which is about the number of hours I've ridden each of the last two weeks. Working 80 hours a week, coming home past midnight from the office, is a downright shitty way to prepare for endurance events. No time for riding, and just as importantly, not proper time for rest.I knew today would hurt, I just didn't know how bad.

On the slightly lighter side, on my second last lap, I thoroghly bonked and lied down next to Josh who was course marshalling. I have to say I actually don't remember much of it, suffice to say Josh probably thinks I'm spacey (I was). Jack also appeared out of nowhere to brighten my spirits, and Cindy. The positive output of that stop was that I noticed the grass and mud caked into my rear derailleur lower pulley wheel. The grass probably got in there on lap 2 when I really tried to let it fly and went a few feet off trail on the long fast grassy downhill. I started picking at it with a stick, then broke the stick. Josh lent me a tool. I got some chain slack so I could try spinning the pulley. It took a three finger grip to turn it. I think I sunk a lot of energy into battling friction today. I spent 10 minutes digging all the grass and mud out, then took off.

It was like riding a rocket. I could pull 5 more gears on the hills, not granny. Yes, part of it was a little rest. But I could feel my energy going to motion. Also explains why my chain was "piling up" before, it wasn't spinning freely at all. Geez.

Either way, the sum of the above two points was a race I'd call embarassing. At least it was a good workout. My body was ready for a 4 or 5 out of 10, and this got me up pretty near a 10 - empty beyond wisdom. In fact if it wasn't a 10, I'm not to keen to figure out what a 10 feels like. Only thing I'm happy about is that no matter how many times I told myself to pack it in, my stubborn side reminded me that quitting isn't an option. For 90% of my last lap of pain I actually was gunning for, and thought I might make the cutoff time for another lap.

Everyone will have their stories, but mine for the day was lying in the dirt after the race for 35 minutes with a rain slicker on as a blanket, my body not willing to move or be vertical. My guts hurt, my legs were full on cramping (my fingers are still cramping now, and were also cramping when I was using utensils to devour some dinner).

Tori went by on the last stretch, wind at her back and on the slight downslope, just blazing. She was probably in the last dozen or so to finish, having passed through the start/finish some time before 2:59 so she could start another lap. That's an 8+ hour plus race. Made me want to cry with pride, but there were no fluids to spare. That's the most hardcore girl in the province who's sporting a novice ABA license, a total misnomer.

Reflecting now, I'm so impressed at how strong the field was, and the overall showing by the deadgoats. 6:30pm equals bed time.


  1. Ah yes, sweet memories of TR 2006.

    shit happens. glad you kept on truckin!. sounds like you could have your hands full with Stappy as a TR partner?.

    2 months to train up.

  2. Great to be part of the event. Your club put on an event like it was in its 10th year. Totally slick and awesome.

    It is good to hear you finished it! Pansies like Trev pull out when their hands hurt. You kept going despite a non-ideal build up. Good work!

    I thought with these awesome bikes we have we weren't supposed to have mechanicals !!


  3. In retrospect, I don't know why a person doesn't stop in the transition area for an extra 30 seconds to eat/drink and inspect properly. When I came in and discovered my derailer cage was busted, instead of trying to do some "band-aid" fix or a bike switch then, I just ripped off the carbon fiber cage that was hanging by a thread and tried to go out for another lap. Hence, the need to walk 3/4 of a lap. I am glad that I decided to finish that lap and not cut the course back to the finish and call it a day.

    By the last couple of laps the pain in my hands and neck/shoulders were more of a hinderance than the lack of strength in my legs.

    I am very impressed and inspired by anyone who completes the 8 hours regardless of how many laps they do.

  4. Remember - one "bad" race does not define a season. There is plenty more riding and racing left to get rid of the forgettable memories from yesterday.

    I think if you can prep properly for the TR, you won't have a problem keeping up with Craig. Your strengths will come into play on those long stages with lots of gravel flats and mild grades.

    I know you have the strength and fitness from the display on the Tuesday hammers.

  5. Ahh yes, the insightful TR view from someone who knows.

    The neverending fun of signing up for TR with partners who can amp it up 4 more notches than I could ever reliably fit in.

    I'm going to have to quit doing that someday.

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  7. Erik - sorry about the previous post under my name. It was from my co-worker who obviously posted using my account. I'll kick him in the nuts later on.

    I was behind you for a bit at about the 5 hour mark, and it was clear that you were having a tough go at that point (as was I). I was debating about whether or not I was going to pull the pin myself and eventually made the call that I was done.

    Good for you for toughing it out, man!

  8. Just an FYI for ya..... A man named Vern Escoe who used to be one of the best heavyweights in the 1940's and 50's, used to be a trainer/coach at my old boxing gym in Edmonton. When things weren't going right, and people were getting frustrated. (getting their asses handed to them in the boxing ring, sparring sessions)... If it wasn't your day, he would remind you in his somber voice "you can't win'em all". "this will make you stronger for next time"....

    I thought that you might like to know this about an old school fighter who had seen a lot in his life, and it will help you reflect on your race yesterday..

    Best regards

  9. I remember you feeling the same way last summer. It sucks when you can't do as much as you feel you could. The thing is Erik, that you are solid. I don't mean physically, I mean as a person. The amount of doubt I have in you is 0. Who carried two bikes on the hike-a-bike near the end of the week last year?

    By the time we're at TR and you haven't worked 160 hours in the past 14 days you'll feel good. I promise that I'm going to be the best partner you've had and WE are going to ride the fastest TR that either of us have done so far.

  10. Craig is totally right. It is a team thing... period.

    Look at me and Charlie right now. He was Chatty-Mc-Chatterson and full of energy after finishing 12 laps and could have kept going no problem. I could either look at it like...'Holy crap, he is going to be mad at TR', or 'Well, I have my work cut out for me, but I will get there and we will still be an awesome team'.

    Craig and Erik, I have had two great workouts since the 'Giver 8er' on that aweomse Oiz. Let's get out and RIDE !! Do you want to come to the C4 race Wed. night? I am going to do it on the Oiz and slicks.



  11. Trev: what is this C4 race you are talking about?

  12. Wow, sounds like a hell of a race - congrats for digging deep to tough it out.
    You get something from every race - my call is that this experience will serve you well in the future...