Monday, May 5, 2008

More on LODI -- Reports and Pics

Ricky Brown's Pics are here.

Don Pagano's Pics are going to be here (I think). He takes really, really good shots.

Zach's Blog is here and his report will be coming too (I think).

And below are the Weiser's reports... very nice! Brett is Mr. Creative. Thanks guys. Yet another memorable weekend in the history books.

There are some things that you go into not sure what they are going to be like or if you can even do them, let alone like them….well this was one of those things. I wasn’t sure about this race with the midnight start time, riding all through the night and the potential for rain and thunderstorms with wet, muddy roots. As Jill stated in her report i didn’t like the twisty, turny, loggy, rooty, off-camber, no-rocks course…at first. We did a pre-lap ride on Saturday afternoon. The temp was in the 80’s, it was hot and humid and the pollen count was way high! I was trying to keep my heart rate down and it seemed like every time we turned a corner there was another short, steep rooty, twisty climb---nothing like Michaux---AAAHHHH! I wasn’t a happy camper. When we laid down at 7pm to try to sleep with the band playing, all I could think of was, I’m going to die out there. I was really scared. I was imagining the worst scenario with rain and lots of mud and falling off an off- camber creek bank or bridge several feet down. I expressed my fears to Brett and he told me to just go out and do your best and ride with your head. So, after a couple hours of half sleep we got up and ready for the start. At about 11:45 it started to drizzle and I thought, oh no, here we go…but it stopped after 5 minutes and we never saw any rain after that! The start of the race was fun. They did a prologue loop with a lead bike on a trail that circled the woods around the field where we were camped and came back into the field by the start. The lead bike dropped off and we were all free to take off. Since the prologue loop did little to separate us, it was like a parade of lights in the woods with the trails twisting and doubling back on themselves—oh yea, and a radio playing heavy metal music was blaring on someone’s bike behind me, which made me ride faster because I didn’t want to listen to it! It did make me laugh, though. I soon realized that a drop in temperature was making all the difference in my riding and I made it through the first section in what I thought took an eternity in the daylight! With all the other riders and the camaraderie, it made it a lot of fun and I cranked out what I thought was a pretty good lap….Lap 2 was almost just as good, but a couple minutes slower, 3 was my worst lap-I was sore and tired. Before lap 4, I had some extra hammer gel and I felt great for that lap. As Jill said, I was ready to do lap 5, but we didn’t need to and both Brett and I somehow had to get our tired bodies back home! I regret not doing it but it was the smart thing to do.

To quote Chili, “we both agreed this is another chapter closing in our racing books. Neither of us are planning to do any more 12-24 hours races anytime soon. Especially a midnight start.” I said that before the race, but I need to modify my statement: I’m leaving the door open for 12 hour races, but just ones that are closer to home! i felt great for most of the race and I believe it was because my body never got the chance to shut down. If the race would have been closer to home we wouldn’t have had a nasty drive at the end.

Also, this is one of those things that you say you are never going to do again but for some unexplainable reason you can’t resist doing again!

Ask me tomorrow how I feel….:)

Kudos to my Hubby, Don and ZACH who did an awesome job. They made me cry when I saw what they did to their bodies. You guys are awesome!

**Warning** I directly quote my thoughts at one point, and they contained foul language. So I'm just tellin' ya at the beginning. I guess I'll edit it for wider distro.

Writing this makes me tired.

We went to Lodi Farm, outside Fredericksburg, VA, for the 12 Hour race. Started at midnight, so less sleep available than a 24-hour race. I was on a team with Zach and Don. They talked me into Expert class. Bastards. Where's the sandbagging in Expert class? I was out of my element!

The course was kinda like Marysville on steroids. 8.1 miles of twisty, loggy, rooty, roller-coastery, twisty, turny, where the hell am I singletrack with a couple (maybe) 100-yard stretchs of field thrown in. Rest? Recover? Speed? These things mean nothing to a Jedi Expert. Only steering, braking and accelerating . . . all the time. I didn't drink anything my first two laps. I was afraid to let go of the bars.

Zach was first up, followed by me, and then Don. Until we were 8 minutes back to the CityBikes team after the first rotation and Zach opted to pull a double lap that put us 3 minutes up. He put 11 minutes on them in two laps. Yes, Zach carried us. He was a monster. I followed the double lap and promptly gave up that 3 minute lead and put us back down by 1 minute. The race was back and forth like that the whole way. Everytime I started my lap, Zach would gift me with a 3 minute lead. Everytime I came off my lap, we would be 1 minute behind. I wanted to punch myself in the head. My fourth lap, I was working hard. Damn hard. It was deja vue. Third time in a row I knew how far back that other guy was. I was cranking for dear life to not see him behind me. And then my right hammy got locked in a vise. Oh, dear god. Stay on the bike. Keep pedaling. Hey, there goes my left quad. Then my right quad. Great, they're taking turns. Wait, something's relaxing . . . power up this hill . . . whee, there goes my left groin! Ever try to descend while hovering over your saddle and bunny hopping logs while both quads are in knots? I had to softpedal and wussy-spin through some stuff just to keep legs moving. The guy's right on my tail. Strafe a downhill to scream around a corner into another quick up. Can't stand. Gotta downshift. There he goes. Did I mention I wanted to punch myself in the head? Then tremors rippled up and down the outside of my left quad. After that it was, "Minimize it, motherfucker. Fuck you, legs, fuck you." Through the neverending flat twisties near the end of the course, where you can see the other guy everytime you turn, but you can't tell if they're 25 feet or a minute ahead of you. Bobbled on a turn and had to dab--bad news! Back on the pedal and keep spinning. Never get off the bike when you start cramping. It only invites more hell to dinner. Push as hard as I can through the rest of the course to finish my last lap, once again 1 minute behind. Don was up next and worked his tail off for his best lap time of the race. It was all down to Zach to try to catch the leader on the 14th and last lap of the race. It was Zach's 6th time out. Did I mention he carried us? He was a monster. We wouldn't be surprised if it was a sprint finish. We knew Zach could catch him. Even the other City Bikes guys expected Zach to catch their rider.

Waiting for end of the lap, we see the City Bikes guy cruise by the back of the transition tent before the final straighaway to the finish line...Where's Zach? This isn't good. City Bikes finishes, arms in the air, first place, we clap, we look for Zach. Nothing. Heck, the City Bikes guys were surprised, too. Even they expected Zach to catch their last guy. We keep waiting. No Zach. Definitely not good. Finally we see him weave past the backside of the tent. Not looking good. He comes down the straightaway and you know he's left everything out there somewhere on the trail. Pulls up to the table, I jog over to meet him and tell the people our team number. He slumps over his handlebars and doesn't move. Thrashed. More people gather. We get him some fluids, slowly try to work him away from the table to some shade, to something. More fluids. He finally perks up enough to weave back to the campsite and collapse into a chair. More fluids, electrolytes, time. We finally wander back over for awards. More chair slumpin' but then he chows down a BBQ sammich and baked beans. We get called up to the prize table. Look over the pickings . . . not much left . . . a bottle of Hammergel for me to give to Donna, Don picked out a bottle as well. Zach lingers the longest, finally picks up a ballcap....a black Monster Energy Drink ballcap with the green "M" on the front. Hey, that's fitting.

We ended up second in 3-man Expert. By mere minutes. Wow.

Donna and Jill Wiest raced Duo Woman open. They won. With 8 laps. Awesome!

And Jake Davidson rocked it Solo for the 12 hours, clocking 9 laps...awesome indeed.

Thanks for reading.


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