I've taken too long to write this report.
So this may not be chronologically accurate.
After the race, my wife gave me a bag of Haribo Rasperries. Greatest of candies. God bless you, Kath!
And she drove home.
And mixed my recovery drink.
I had to walk the last couple hills. I simply couldn't climb anymore. It was ridiculous. Makes no sense that a 5 mile race wears me out, while I regularly take rides during the rest of the week over 10 miles, and don't need to walk ANY hills. And oddly, that includes when I came to this very park to just ride, not race.
I know from experience that when you go over that edge, that anaerobic burnout, that time when you grunt up a climb instead of spinning up it, and are gasping for air at the top, you can't just quickly recover, as you might when you're simply tired. One reader responded that this was getting old. Not really. I've always found this to be true.
I believe the speed that happens naturally when you're chased comes from adrenaline. It gets you up the initial hills, in fact the big A lets you push further than you should. But when it runs out, it leaves you in that state that you can't quickly recover from. Kind of the same weary feeling you get when you feel that "fight or flight' moment, whether it's anger, fear, or whatever.
I was chasing a woman in a blue shirt for at least the first half of the loop, and caught up to her again and again- but couldn't pass her. Plus, I knew that if I did, she would then be RIGHT behind me. And as always, I was afraid when I slowed down, that I'd be passed by everybody behind me. Especially when I had to walk the first (of many) hills. But then I looked back quickly, and realized that the reason they were behind me was that they needed to walk, too.
I also tried running this time, while pushing up a hill. So many people seem to have no problem doing this! I don't know if it's something to do with riding a singlespeed, or if I just wait too long to jump off, but once my feet leave the pedals, I'm walking. And not very fast, at that. Because, bike race. It's not like my legs haven't been busy. They come by the tired honestly.
Passed quite a few people on the wide, flat start. I mean never sure how to deal with that. If I'm ahead, then slow down, have I already beaten the others mentally? Or am I just piling rocks on a branch above my head that will later drop and hit me when I least expect it?
I also used a Camelbak, hoping the dramatic increase in water consumption would make me feel a lot better. Can't say that I noticed a difference, except that it was heavy and made my back sweaty.
And lastly, when you're exhausted from a 5 mile trail race, a gravel downhill that generates the highest speed of the entire course (21 mph) is not very helpful. Some might even call it dangerous!
This Thursday will be the last event of the series, and I'll try to be a little quicker with the report this time. Is love to get top 10, but I'm truly unsure if that's possible.
They say the reason you beat your head against a wall is because it feels so good when you stop.
Time to face the 4th wall.