I decided to race the marathon race because the Breck 100 is getting ever so close. This would be my first long MTB ride since the MFXC. My plan was to start slow, chase no one, watch my heart rate(keep below 170), stay smooth and try to keep the legs feeling good.
When the the race started I held back, way back. I dropped down the gravel hill and coasted along with the riders in front of me. Climbing up the other side I reminded myself to stay focused and not follow wheels that would take me out of the "zone". Plus, with the heat, taking it easy on a 3 1/2 hours race was probably a wise idea anyway.
First lap I felt great. Coming through the feed I grabbed some ice cold water and slammed it. It felt like my core temps came down instantly. Heading out for my second lap I again reminded my self to keep the HR below or at 170. There were riders right in front of me but I was sticking to my plan, not chasing.
Coming through the feed area staring my third lap was the middle of the race for me. It was very hot, I drank some soda, grabbed 2 ice cold water bottles and headed out. Ploch indicated the Greg Ott was just out of sight from where we were at. I thought about putting in a big dig to get to him but that was not in the days plan. Half way through the 3rd lap I had seen no one, and not for a while. With the heat and being alone for some time, I let my HR slip down into the 140's. Realizing that I had fallen off pace, I stopped for a quick nature break, drank some water and got some calories. When I got going again my legs felt good so I took it back up to the 170 range.
4th and final lap was great. Being my last lap I decided to push into the 180's and see what I could do. My last lap was probably close my fastest lap of the race. Not sure though. I felt great and actually kept some the Cat 1 riders that were coming by in site for a while after they came by.
So, I only finished 11th out of about 30. I wasn't there to win. It was a test for me. A: See if I could control the urge to chase. B: Stick to a plan.
I think I was successful at both. For the day, I had ridden 54 miles off road in 100 + degree heat and felt like I had more in me. That's what I need.... more.
In training for the Breck 100 I have done some long rides. I have regularly been going out for 40 and 50 miles road rides after work a couple times a week, plus riding a racing during the weekend. I did my longest road ride ever this year. After the Illinois state road race(finished 21st) we decided to ride to the crit the next day in O'fallon Il. I road there, did the race, and road home for a total of 123 miles that day, 198 for the weekend. I felt great doing it too.
Breck is going to be hard. I need more.
What a year!
1 day ago