Being dehydrated isn’t a whole lotta fun. Funny thing is, the few times that it’s ever happened to me, I never seemed to realize what was going on until it’s too late. I usually come to the realization when I pee after the race and it looks like some kind of radioactive fluid.
Ponca is one of my favorite courses… I guess I tend to say that about a lot of the courses, so I guess that means that I love ‘em all! Anyway, I arrived at the course early enough that I was able to do a recon lap. I tell ya what, the folks at Sioux City Velo did a great job in putting together a challenging, fun course. It had a couple of steep climbs that reduced me to my granny gear during the last couple of laps. The great thing is that what goes up, must come down. Once I got the course dialed in, I was able to do most of the descents at full throttle.
My plan for the race was to go out pretty hard and try to solo off the front during the first lap. So the race started and about midway through the first lap there was about 5 or 6 man train ridin’ my wheel. As soon as we hit the next climb I turned the screws a little tighter and was able to loose everybody but Aaron Grady. I kept the pressure on for the first two hours and I couldn’t shake him. It was at about the two hour mark that I began to realize that I was probably going to be in trouble near the end of this one.
Tryin' to shake Grady off my wheel
I made Aaron take the lead after about two hours and we stayed together throughout the 3rd hour. At about hour three the lights began to dim and I began to yo-yo off of Aarons wheel for the next half hour or so. At about 3 ½ hours the lights were just about out and I was 100% in survival mode. I made it to the finish line at the end of lap 10 in about 3:40 and I had no ambitions of going out for #11. Lebedebadoo handed me a bottle of cold water, I stopped, dismounted my rig and tanked the entire bottle in about 2 seconds. I told him I was having some stomach issues. I tried to eat some food earlier but the appetite wasn’t there. He told me that I better get a move on because 3rd place wasn’t too far behind. I probably owe my salvaging 2nd place to Leb for the water hand-offs and the encouragement, thanks buddy.
So I got back on my rig and continued on. About five minutes later I felt great! It was at the point that I figured I hadn’t taken in enough water throughout the race. I had gone through five or six water bottles and I guess it was hot enough that it wasn’t enough for me. Lesson learned. It was a good thing that I left for lap 11 when I did because Leb told me that Gersib had rolled through less than a minute after I took off.
I never saw Grady again until the end of the race, a much deserved win for him. Despite my problems, he was the better man that day. Dehydration, mechanicals, whatever. It’s all a part of mountain bike racing and it’s all fair game. So a big congrats goes out to him. Gersib came in about a minute after I did for a hard earned third.
MG bringin' home third
JP rippin' the legs off the competition
Sydney Brown bringin' home the W in the Women's solo race
Now that I’ve had a little time to reflect on the race, there are two things that pretty much lead to my meltdown. One, not enough fluid intake. Two, I probably went out a little too hard. During the 1st hour, my average HR was 169, the 2nd hour it was 166, the 3rd hour it was 160 and the 4th hour it was 147. All of this added up to an average HR of 160 for the race. I maybe could have not pushed so hard at the beginning, try to even the pace out a little, but I think my bigger problem was definitely my lack of fluid intake. That’s always been somewhat a problem for me. I get away with it most of the time, but I’ve had a couple of occasions where it’s bit me on the arse. Someday I’m hoping that I’ll learn.
Getting back to Grady, he’s probably something like 18 years old? My plan, if he continues to put me in the hurt locker, is to introduce him to CVO.
Jedi Master CVO
Master CVO can take him on as his next Padawan. I’m thinkin’ that CVO can introduce him to things like cigarettes, beer and women. Yeah… that’ll slow him down. All kidding aside, Aaron’s only 18 and if he continues to improve he’s going to be scary fast someday. He’s riding like a madman this season, I’m looking forward to more racing against him. So again, a big congratulations goes out to Aaron for bringing home the win.
Next up is IMBCS #5 this Sunday at Seven Oaks Ski Area, yep, you guessed it, another one of my favs!
Thanks for reading,