Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Panama MTB Enduro Race Report +

I'm a little behind on things. It's been busy the past few days.

To start the race. On Sunday I had the Panama MTB Enduro race. For the most part it's a 30 mile gravel race. I wasn't sure if I was even going to do this race originally cause of the Bone Bender 3/6 the day before but with it being postponed I had to get it in.

Ryan and I headed out to the race early to get signed in and get our bikes together. We got there a little over an hour before the race started which I like cause it gives me plenty of time to get my things together and not feel rushed. After signing in and getting ready the rest of our teammates showed up and we chatted with them while waiting to start.

When the race got underway we had about a 1 mile rollout before the race was really on. I found myself in the middle of the 93 person field which isn't exactly where I wanted to be. Of course I wanted to be up front. I eventually worked my way up and got in with the lead group and held it with them for a while before I noticed my lack of training set in. I fell back from the leaders a bit but not far. After the first checkpoint I noticed I was falling back a bit more and realized that I wasn't going to be able to hold it at the front so I kind of settled into a good pace that I thought would get me through the race. I ended up spending most of my time in no man's land inbetween the lead group and a second chase group. This being a gravel race it definetly helped to have guys to be working with taking pulls up front. It was pretty windy and was really taking a lot out of me. All race photos courtesy of Adrian O.

Hike a bike

During one large section of the race I did get some help from a couple of guys that were riding along but not racing. I worked with them for a few miles but then noticed a chase group coming on and decided I needed to get going. So I thanked them and picked up the pace and got going. Shortly after the third checkpoint I was caught by one of my teammates Sean and we stuck together for pretty much the rest of the race.
Sean and I on the hike a bike section

As the race went on we started to go through a bunch of different surfaces. A little taste of singletrack here and there. A couple of minimum maintenance roads and some just through the tall grass. There were a couple spots that were unridable and we had to walk and cross some streams.

Shawn D. and me hitting some offroad section

About 3 miles from the finish is when I started to really have some problems. Actually what I mean to say is that I completely bonked and had nothing left. I have never been in as bad of shape on a bike as I was at that time. I could barely turn the cranks and during that time people started to catch and pass me. I ended up pulling through to the end and Sean and I rolled through the finish at the same time.

I did learn a lot from this race and that is I really hurt myself by not eating and hydrating properly. I didn't carry enough hydration and ran out towards the end and I didn't take in enough calories and I think that really is what let on the bonk. I think that if I had taken in a gel every 30 minutes instead of 1 per hour like I did I would have ended up in better shape. Lessons learned. The key is not to let it happen again.

As for the first time out for Flatwater Cycling Team we had a good showing. The whole team all 5 of us were out there and all came in in the top 20. Shawn D. had a good showing finishing 6th. I finished 12th, Sean C. finished 13th (we came in together they just wrote me down first) Rick W. finished 16th and Ryan finished 19th. Not bad overall. I think we had a good showing.

Yesterday I headed out for a recovery spin. I decided to take out the BMC and meet up for a casual group ride with some people. I ended up having to hammer it to get to the ride on time after I got held up at home but after that it wasn't to bad but I'm still not used to riding in large groups of 20+ people and I always seemed to be wanting to go faster than the group but it was a recovery day so I guess it helped to slow me down some. When I split from the group I had the wind at my back and flew home without to much effort. After I got home it was nice to get to take the kids on our first ride of the year. Still one of my favorite rides.

Today I was getting ready to head out and Ryan called and said he was going to so we met up and decided to see if the park was dry enough to get some dirt. The park was a mix of a lot of good with some bad. We took our time going through it so that we didn't hit the soft parts and tear it up. It felt good to be back in the park but I can't wait for it to be totally dry so that we can let it fly.

A shot of the new helmet decal.

After we got out of the park we took the rail trail back home. We both had to get back to our families so we got the legs moving on it. Overall it was a pretty good ride and it was nice to get out in the 76 degree weather.

Ryan and I on the rail trail home

That's finally all I got. Tomorrow is an off day due to a dinner at the school that I have to help with. The legs could probably use the break anyways. This morning's core workout hurt a bit. Know I need to go get a shower which takes longer cause warm weather means I got to keep the legs looking good (Ryan trust me you'll like it) of course all the cyclists that read this know's what I'm talking about. Here's a very short video of Ryan and I on the way home. I need a camera with a better video button. This one's hard to hold and ride at the same time.



millhouse said...

Don't do it Ryan!

Judi said...

great race report harp. you guys did well for top 20 out of 93 people! that's great!