Monday, May 9, 2011

2011 Front Range 60

2011 Front Range 60 1/2 Marathon 30-39 Start. I'm in there by that dude without a shirt on.

This was the race that almost didn't happen for me.  Up until a few weeks ago I was planning on doing the full 60-mile (6 laps), then I was completely out with my bike collecting dust in the garage, then the day before things lined up and I was back in.  I haven't been riding much aside from a few hour-long high intensity sessions so I decided to ease back into racing and just do the 30-mile (1/2 marathon) race.  I hadn't even gone 30 miles since April 9th the last long ride being my favorite Mt Falcon to LOTB and back.  Needless to say my fitness was a big unknown so I lined up conservatively towards the back of the pack.  Once the race started a testosterone-induced fit kicked in and I couldn't help myself.  After a long 10 seconds of rolling out slow I hammered it and bridged back up to the tail end of the lead group just prior to hitting the singletrack.

"Go big or go home!"... right?

I knew this was kind of a bone-head move.  I was going to clog up the fast guys in 2-3 min when we started hitting the hills and there was no way I was going to hang but it was warm out and the sun was shining and I did it anyway.  A month prior for the True Grit I had set up a few HR alarms on my Garmin 705 to remind me when I slid below zone 3 or above zone 5.  These reminders were indended to help me push the pace if I started loosing focus and to hold back if I was in over my head.  Sliding down the HR scale, has been a problem for me in past races most often when I get out in no man's land riding solo without a wheel to stick to or a rabbit to chase down.  I had sense turned off the zone 3 alarm because it was just annoying for everyday riding or interval work.  I had completely forgotten about the zone 5 alarm until this race when I was standing up hammering about 30 yards into the singletrack.  I looked down and I was at 165 BPM.  For anyone that has ridden with me you know that 160 is well into my redline. It seems I'm usually 20+ BPM below other people.  I don't know why my HR is consistently low but it is what it is.  I dialed back just a bit, alarm still going off,  and started to accept the fact that I wasn't going to turn in any kind of spectacular performance and this was going to be a fun 30-mile ride in the sunshine... and I was good with that.  I rode strong for most of the first lap and fell apart after the one big climb.  I recovered on lap 2 and felt good through the end of the race.  I focused on riding at a solid pace on the flats, pushing at times, and hitting the hills with everything I had. My goal was to keep my lap times consistent and try to come in under 2 hours.  I made the first goal and missed my second goal buy just under 2 min.  One thing that is really cool about racing mountainbikes are the friends you make.  At the drop of a hat, I had support from John and Kathy Davis (ok just Kathy). These are just two of many others I have met that would gladly offer to hand up bottles or do just about anything for a fellow rider.  The scene here in Colorado is just that cool. Thanks again guys!

It was hot!  Headed back down the big hill climb on lap 1 trying to recover. This was pretty much the end of my "race" and the start of my "ride".  I managed to hang on for 11th in my group and 25th overall.