Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fort Yargo 6 Hour Race Report

I was a foam rolling fool leading up to this race.  On Monday, I happened to ask Carly what she was doing in gym, to which she responded, "Races -- shuttle run and the 50 yard dash."  I should have stopped right there, but had to ask her to show me the shuttle run.  Needless to say, she kicked my tail ... twice.  We then raced each other 50 yards; she had plenty of time to skip across the finish line. The next morning I thought both my hips were dislocated.  That was a "DA" move on my part, thinking I could go from 0 to 60 without warming up!

Fast forward to race day.  The foam rolling definitely helped and my hips were good to go after a warm up.  I took a look at the 1.5 mile paved start and the first bit of single track and then lined up just a couple rows back and waited 20 minutes.  It was essential to have a good start as there were 400 racers.

Ready, set, go!  I managed to avoid the Tour de France style pile up then occurred within the first 10 seconds of the race.  I also managed to hold my own on the pavement with my 32 x 19 gearing.  I was happy that my legs responded happily to the intense pace and I entered the single track about 40 riders back.

Lap 1:  On the opening lap, it is always easy to burn a match or two.  My body says, "Go, go, go!" and my mind says, "Settle, settle, settle."  Having a good start helped me to find my rhythm early.  There was only one train of 12 that I passed smoothly (but not quite effortlessly) on the double track Outer Loop climb.  I managed to snag the fastest lap award for the ladies, which netted me a set of Maxxis Exception Larsen TT tires ... for a 26" bike (argh!)

Lap 2:  That one was over before I realized it!

Lap 3:  My big toes really began to hurt.  On the descents that were "stutter-bumpy," it was like someone was jabbing a knife underneath my toe nail.  I was extremely concerned about a re occurrence of my metatarsalgia. This pain came and went throughout the remainder of the race, making it not as much fun as it should have been.

Lap 4:  The temperature was approaching 90 degrees, but I felt pretty good.  I had just chugged a Red Bull at the pits and was awaiting my "wings."  I must say thank you to the single speeder dude that I passed during a series of climbs and descents around mile 2.  As I passed him, he said, "Don't  LET me catch you on the downhill!"  Dem's fightin' words!!  I happily obliged him and never saw him again.

Lap 5:  I mistakenly did not drink much on the previous lap and that, combined with the heat, caused me to feel a bit clammy when I would notch it up.  So I backed off a bit on this lap, drank my entire bottle, and then some more at the pits, so that the last lap would not be catastrophic.

Lap 6:  Fighting through the painful toes, I managed to latch on to another racer that was setting a fast and consistent pace.  The legs were feeling the earlier efforts and the speed bumps (there is only 1000 feet of climbing per lap) soon became mountains.  I was glad to see the metal bridge around mile 8 because the course after that is fast and flowy.  I came through the finish line in first with a time of 5:33.

I managed to win another set of fine Maxxis 26" tires which I found a home for.  I also mentioned to the new owner, Rachel, that they were UST.  You see, she had an unnecessary pinch flat early on in the race.

But I also came away with this cool sombrero, in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  An exponentially better way to spend this day ... on a bike instead of in a drunken stupor!

Not for hire.

 Right after the race, my big toes were on fire.  So much so that I was seeing stars.  Thanks to Ursula, I found out that it was not metatarsalgia, but how I was trimming my nails.  So hopefully with the proper pedicure, I can avoid this pain at the next 6 hour race.  It seems that I have some mild ingrown nail issues that I can fix fairly easily (I hope!).

Thank you Dirty Spokes, YABA, and the rest of the crew for a wonderfully orchestrated event.  The Dri-Wicking T's in extra small, the cooler of ice water at the top of the long climb, the live band, and the pizza at the end were nice touches.

And a shout out to the Northwest Georgia SORBA gang who let us hang out (or should I say, let our stuff hang out) in their pit.

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