15 July, 2012

Point to Point 2012

Well kids, mentally this race was kind of long in the tooth coming.  I busted a PR (that's not saying much) on the Firecracker 50 and I guess mentally it was getting dull.  I mean, the Firecracker was the mental destination of where my fitness should be and now it's done?  My intrinsic motivation to put the evil-stinky on my fellow human is waning y'all.  The freshness of anticipating an event with giddyness wasn't exactly there.  Fun in competing is there but when i was registering for the Point to Point it almost felt like a chore.  What is going on?  Where's the newness?

What I needed to see was an improvement.

Some carry over from the Fiddee obviously was endurance, becoming more aware of nutrition and hydration, but did I increase leg strength for this event's shorter distance (by .5)?  Strength/power and endurance are on opposite ends of the cycling spectrum o'fitness.  I had endurance (well kinda) but I needed to crush peeps on the climbs.  Click on this to see the map; and click on this to see the profile.  No more vacillating between the leaders and the mid-packers otherwise I better take a mental break for a while; or see if Dr. Ferrari makes housecalls (you know which Dr. Ferrari I'm talking about road freaks).

My attainable goals for this year was to bust some single digit placings in XC races or road races.

My road racing placings this year was 16th (out of 33) at Deer Trail, 19th (out of 55) at the Denver Federal Center Criterium.  Not exactly lighting up the RR scene but I was having fun and it was kicking the living shite out of me physiologically (I love suffering because it's mental-that's also why I hate it too).  Road is fun but the fitness it confers to me translates nicely for XC.  Not doing the technical stuff, but the base fitness I arrive in in order to perform in XC races.  Basically an XC race is a mass start time trial.  You need fitness sure, but if you descend riding your brakes, or can't flow in tight singletrack, or can only tear up courses your six year-old finds challenging, all that sweet, suffering-inspired road miles are for naught.  I know some mountain bikers who only get miles mountain biking.  I find that might be a tad boring.  In fact that's what I'm realizing now, hence my blas√©-ness registering for the Point to Point.  Now I'm aching to do a crit but it's been months since I've done the Meridian circuit practice loops here in Denver Tues/Thursday evenings. 

I woke up early not that motivated.

Went and ate a lox and bagel for breakfast on my way out of town.  I love eating lox and bagels and I would marry it if the State of Colorado recognized it as a legal union but alas they don't.  Had the usual butterflies in my tummy rife with angst on my performance, who would show up? would trail ninjas abduct me and tell me my arse looks big wearing these bib shorts? would rogue bonobo monkeys dry hump my non-drive side leg on the trail?...etc.  What is good about this stress is like what happens when a goose freaks out-they go poopy uncontrollably.  Unlike a duck though, I go poopy with intention so before I ate the lox and bagel I had a pretty durn empty digestive tract.  Gotta show up to the line with food digested and slightly sweating from an adequate warm-up.

15 seconds!....................5...4...3...2...1, GO!!!

Before we actually left, I lined up next to a competitor who helped a friend of my friend who crashed on a trail we were riding two days prior to this race back out of the steep side of the mountain back onto the trail.  He recognized my kit (orange and black-eternal Halloween) and I recognized his bike (Specialized, hardtail carbon).  My friend's (Kevin) friend (Karen) hit a water erosion barrier and tumbled on some poison ivy and a bush broke her fall as she fell and rolled.  She was a trooper but now she has a wicked case of poison ivy all over her.  She's fortunately getting better as the days go on (rash hopefully diminishing).  Small world.  He asked if she was okay and I said that she was.  What a nice guy.  I would learn later that his name was Ken.  Too bad I had to put the evil-stinky smack down on him on the singletrack today.  Oh yeah suckah!!!!!  Okay, I'm talking trash now and I will stop (but I would eventually put the evil-stinky smack down on him except for two people...).  So we're off and like a freaking novice I am having issues putting my non-drive side foot into the pedal.  The same side I have issues about rogue bonobo monkeys doing inappropriate things on said side.

I'm third behind pole position.

We're sprinting from the beginning and I line up third.  Number one-whom I would learn later's name Marcel-flew out the gate.  It pretty much stayed that way the entire race.  We all lost contact with each other mid-race but we were all diligent in looking at people's marked calves with their ages.  We didn't care if we got passed by another category but if a dude was in your race you better make it a race foo'!  For what seemed like an eternity I was in no-man's land riding by myself.  Then on this particular downhill a 37 year-old on a hard tail passed me like I was stationary.  I slapped it on my largest gear and fought to get onto his draft as he was picking the sweet line down.  We were flying!!! Left to my own device I'da never attempted this part of the course at this speed.  Holy Mackeral his skills were impressive and all I had to do to hang on was a little monkey-see-monkey-do chameleon adaption of his line and his weighting and unweighting floating over pinch flatting obstacles.  Once it leveled off I thanked him for his descending skills and he replied, "I wish I could climb as fast as I descend!"  Pretty much after he said that a climb started and out of the corner of my eye I see number one!  At that point, J, the guy who beat me last race caught me.  Just the sight of number one rounding the uphill bend motivated me to catch him.  I dropped it two gears and did my best imitation of Jan Ullrich.  Marching the largest gear possible but always increasing rpms.  I even locked out my front fork and slammed down the pedals as I stood and danced on the pedals.  I'm not a good dancer but I can mash nowadays.  From this I was able to distance myself from J and the 37 year-old descending savant but I could barely keep Marcel in my sights.

Deem!  Number One's riding away from me!

There was a technical, long descent after this climb and every now and again in the trail I would see number one through the trees descending.  I swear whenever I could I would sprint out of corners, on the flats, to try and close this gap.  Hard work pays off and letting Penelope (my Airborne Guardian who absolutely loves this kind of abuse and course profile) run twin-turbo I was able to glom onto him!  I ask him are we one-two or two-three.  He said we're two-three because he got passed by number two (I said number two).

I pass him.

So we're bobbing and weaving, he's on my tail and we're talking and by mile 23 I am absolutely dying but I can't let Marcel telepathically catch that vibe so I pedal harder (which increases my deathrate).  We look back and there ain't nobody behind us but we pedal harder so that no one ninjas a space before us at the finish.  Now I'm really dead and at a wide point in the single track he passes me.  I always have something in reserves for sprint finishes if I'm not cramping and I do intend to attack one more time because we have to be getting close!  The profile is slowly turning downhill and Marcel drops it into his largest gear and we're off flying.  We are CRUISING in this tight single track and I hear the announcer's voice in the distance-we're getting close.  I quiet down my mind and visualize putting Penelope in her largest gear and jumping and cranking the handlebars with all my might should an opening occur to go for the evil-stinky pass.  We're at warp speed at this point and the queue I'm in stays like that all the way to the finish line-so we finish 2nd, 3rd.  

I get rained on.

Point to point means you start in WinterPark but finish outside of town, so I have to ride back to WinterPark because I'm not logistically hip enough to park here earlier and ride to the staging area.  I'm pretty much toast and now it starts to rain at about 9,000 feet.  So I'm getting pelted as I ride the 5 miles back into town with this frigid arsed rain.  This absolutely takes all heat energy out of my body and I'm getting hypoglycemic climbing back into WP wet and cold (boo-hoo, poor baby!).  Once I get back to the staging area there's Vitamin Waters, cookies, and fruit for the racers!  Thank you Epic Single Track Race Promoters!!!  I drink several Vitamin Waters to get glucose back into my blood stream and kill about a dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Samer gets 2nd and Danielle his lovely wife gets 2nd too!

At the awards ceremony I finally get to stand on the podium and I'm so tired and cold after I get my coffee mug and bronze medal I go home.  I didn't have dinner with Samer and Danielle this time but at least I got to hangout with them for a wee bit, post-race to enjoy their company. 

Wow, finally I podiumed.  Thanks Airborne and thanks Natural Grocers Cycling Team and thanks legs!


Kimberly Sink said...

You and Penelope are a dream team. Way to get your evil-stinky smack down on!

...it's me!... said...

'Tis good to be occasionally evil-stinky Kim!