Monday, April 27, 2009

Pontiac Lake TT

Pontiac lake has a little bit of everything: rocks, roots, mud, grueling climbs, fast downhills, and fast flats. That being said, this trail is tough. It seems like you're always climbing or decending there is no place to spin the legs out for recovery untill the last mile of the trail coming down the two track. 

 It was a two lapper for the experts/elites again today and I opted for the extra single speed lap too. Most people (not CMo, Daniel or MV) think I'm crazy for racing 3 laps, but I feel like I have to if I want to better my Lumberjack100 time from last year

The first two laps were nasty. And not good nasty. I didnt get a chance to eat early enough so I ate a few mini bagels with PB&J at about 9am and I guess that just wasnt enough time for my body to process them. I got to the line feeling sluggish and it never got any better. 

I started with another guy on a single speed, he was on a 26" with slightly less gear.  
I took the lead and he was on my tail for the first 2 miles. I kept telling myself to run my own race and not worry about him. I kept finding myself on the gas trying to put some space between the two of us. The hill at 2 miles is a monster.  I picked a bad line and spun the rear tire on a root, I had to un clip and run the rest of the way and the guy i had worked so hard at putting some trail between got by. I caught him again in the next mile, waiting for my chance to throw out an "on your right!" and never looked back. The rest of the first lap was rather uneventful other than the 2 kids parked in the middle of the chute. I was able to navigate around them safely but as i'm cranking to make it up the short steep uphill on the other side, there is another kid standing in the middle of the trail. Running that hills probably wasnt a bad idea anyway. i had to save some of my chips for the second lap. From the way I felt I was expecting DFL.

Lap two felt better than the first, though my lap time was about 45 seconds slower. still feeling like trash, I slogged my way around the 9.5 mile courseover the hills, through the mud and
 crossed the finish line. Water. Recoverite. flip flops. thats all I could think. I was convinced I wasn't riding lap #3. I did much better than my expected DFL. 6th place in Expert 19-29 with Daniel Sterling and Earl Hillaker taking spots 3 and 4 respectively.

Its a good thing there was more than an hour between races or I wouldnt have even thought about riding another one. 
Lap 3 felt the best of the day and was actually faster than my second lap by about 15 seconds. Good enough for 13th in the Elite/Expert SS class. (thanks
 to for that photo)

Things I learned from this race:
1. Just keep moving. No matter how bad you feel, chances are you're doing better than you think.
2. Eat at least 2 hours before a race.
3. I need to spin my legs for a bit of recovery between hills. (read: I need to do hill repeats)

Thanks to the Greyhounds for all the food and the cool place to hang out between races. I had a great time hanging out at the Compound and meeting all the new team members.  The Cycle to Fitness RACING GREYHOUNDS experience is absolutely top notch.



Di said...

If lap three was your best, then it sounds like you had a good race. :-) I wish I could've been there, this year. I love that course.

Craig said...

Great effort and results, Mike. A few good lessons learned too. How do you feel about oatmeal?