They say you forget the pain of childbirth. They are wrong! I have not forgotten those, but apparently I have forgotten the pains of a 24 hour race, until this past Friday. My training plan initially called for back to back 5 hour days on the mountain bike. Thursday was a wash out so Coach decided I ought to put 8 hours in on a lap course to prep for The Burn. She was WAY MORE EXCITED than I!
I set up a little make-shift pit area next in the parking lot and started around 11 am. The trails were in perfect shape and the temps were in the 50's-60's. I had just gotten the Specialized Zee Cage, a side-loading bottle cage, and was anxious to how it worked and if I could do bottles instead of my usual hydration packs.
After a brief warm up, I rode the next 5 1/2 hours at the border of L2/L3. I rode the trails CCW, with each lap about 13-16 miles in length, as I changed up the route just a bit by adding some additional trails. My legs felt great all day, and my body soon remembered what it is like to ride laps. Pretty cool to not have to think about shifting before a particular section; your body knows what is coming up before you see it. To know where to conserve and when to get after it became second nature as well.
I believe it was on my 4th lap when I passed a young guy in a Suck Creek cycle jersey. I caught him by surprise, so it was no wonder that he was soon on my wheel. After a few minutes of him riding just behind me, I asked if he needed around. In between breaths, he said no, I was riding a great pace. I did not have the heart to tell him this was my 4th lap. Besides, I did not want to be charged with assisted suicide. On the climb back up to the parking lot, I dropped him.
It was on the 4th lap, that I was slowly reminded of how much a 24 hour is going to hurt. First, it was my lower back. A pain in the left side that came and went. Then, on the same lap, a pinching pain between my shoulder blades. On the final lap, the ball of my left foot really began to hurt. This pain radiated to my big toe. My legs were still turning over the pedals with ease, but all these little piss-ant pains were beginning to add up and make this more mental than physical.
Lynda gave me some great advice on pacing and fueling. Those worked out great! The Zee cage worked awesome. Easy to get the bottle in/out of and the bottle never catapulted out of the cage. I managed to take in enough liquid per lap so I think this will work at The Burn, if the weather is right.
What I need to focus on is those little nuisance pains that can make you or break you. Hence, I will seeing the chiropractor, getting a second pair of mountain bike shoes and perhaps another pair of insoles, and checking my bike fit to try to figure out the shoulder blade pain.
I managed to get in 80 miles in 6 laps. I think Burn will be faster under similar weather conditions. And smoother, so perhaps the little nagging pains will hold off a bit longer.
The fundraiser will definitely be a motivating factor. I am not sure I would be doing this race, if not for it. The Burn is gonna hurt! It should be fun, however, in a sick sort of way!
BTW, I have reached 40% of my goal for the fundraiser. Thanks to all those who have pledged. To those who have not, please consider. I am not asking for much and it is for a good cause. Check out my fundraiser here.