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.