07 May, 2013

Cuattro and Cinco de Mayo

Cuattro de Mayo aka The Elusivity...
This is my mantra (on my top tube) when my Id shows up on race day
On the weather cooperative days, I can get a pile of miles in.  My elusivity is the marathon mountain bike race called the Ridgeline Rampage-actually it's just getting in my first marathon event under my belt.  The weather here in Colorado-especially in the Spring-is downright unpredictable.  The meteorologists (people who study meteors) forecast about as well as my tea leaves do.  So the week I actually get a pile of miles in, it snows (and snows and snows!).  In fact it snows so much they have to postpone my race for the following weekend.  To make a long story short, I couldn't race that day but the promoter was cool enough for us to transfer our application fee to another race-Battle the Bear.  So I get miles in ready for that one (this Saturday); and take a guess what happens?  Yup.  It snows.  Again.  On top of that insult, the injury of cold creeps in.  It creeps into our bones when we're outside; it creeps into my house because I'm too cheap to turn up the thermostat, it creeps into my sleep underneath my blanket and sleeping bag when I'm wearing my flannel University of Texas PJs (Hook 'em!!) with a hoodie. Needless to say, I was able to get in an hour of power group ride in Lone Tree known as Meridian; and, I was also able to ride with my mountain bike club here at my HS where I showed them the new, manmade mountain bike trails in Greenwood Village, near the Cherry Creek reservoir.  We had a blast.

My next elusivity is rest.  As the school year comes to a close there's still a whole lot of learning going on.  So I plan and grade.  And grade.  And grade.  And grade.  I put in on myself though so I need to stop taking in so many assignments.   My Principal's shaking up things at our HS so this puts needless stress on my thought process when it hovers over things school related.

The next one up?  Calories.  Sheezus my tapeworm's going nutty!  The week I ride long miles reveals this latent effect on my hunger drive and general energetics.  I go strong mid-week then CRASH!  I need like a consistent drip of fuel to keep my metabolic fire going.  I feel like I'm a shark without a swim bladder.  If I stop moving and ultimately can't get enough dissolved oxygen into my gills I'll asphyxiate and sink to the bottom of my couch (minus the asphyxiation part).  Speaking of calories...

The next one, hanging with my honey.  We had a mid-week date where we went to a restaurant in Denver called Beatrice and Woodsley.  Very awesome date place dinner joint.  A colleague forewarned that the food's good but the portions are small (the French Restaurant part of them I suppose).  So when our first course of SPAGHETTI AND WHEATBALLS (salad of celeriac, parsnip, and parsley with steel-cut oat, feta, and lemon croquettes, tomato-almond gazpacho) arrived, after some interesting tasting cocktails, I had to stifle a laugh.  David wasn't kidding about the portions.  Next course wasn't so bad though-proportionally speaking.  It was a pretty durn tasty organic fabrication called SMOKED RICOTTA AND MUSHROOM CREPES (ugly yogurt crepes filled with smoked Jersey Cow ricotta, kale, and trumpet mushrooms with braised radish and mustard vinaigrette).  Still it brought a small smile to my face proportionate to this entrée (that's french for entrée).  Dessert was actually decent sized.  To wash it down with espressos, it seemed as if they broke into a little kid's doll house and stole her cups from her formal tea tray.  A thimble would've held more espresso!  The spoon to stir in the brown sugar cube (hecks no I wouldn't put sugar in my espresso!) measured to the nearest nanoliter (don't laugh I told myself!).  I had a completely sublime time eating and being physically close to Karen who sat on my right during this fine evening.  I switched to a southpaw so I could eat (and not hit her while craning the food to my mouth) and sit closely to her.  She is an audio-visual treat.

Okay I'm done bellyaching about my elusivity of things that are elusive.  I am excited though to get in my first race of the season albeit it has quite the emotional attachment.  Saturday I rode again to the Greenwood Village bike park easy and back to make sure the engine checks out.    

Cinco de Mayo
Before race.  All dolled up with fresh latex in the tubeless
The experience I received from today's Battle the Bear 60 (miler) should help me with the Growler.  My official time was 4h and 39 minutes.  Came in 29th out of 46 in my field.  Damn.  Quick bastards.  All of 'em!  I always get caught up at the start.  Rolled hard with the leaders to get the holeshot, even though there's a million places out there to pass it's that roadie in me that wants to dice it up with the leaders.  So I locked out the front fork and turned it into a crit start.  Lined up seventh when the singletrack started.  Other than hurting from placing as many watts into my legs it was fairly uneventful.  Painful; but eventful.  The coolest part of the course was on my last lap when the kids raced.   The dregs of our category who were caught up in the wave of U-12s (including me!) were impressed on how they could ride and stay in the tight single track and  the confidence they had negotiating the downhills.  If any of them were my kids, I would've praised them; in fact, that's what we did.  After we passed them, it was back onto shite on your neighbor mode.  Sadly, I got hosed on the last climb.  The mixture of the cold and hypoglycemia couldn't handle the stess of the climb.  Now on the flats, that's a different story.  Thought I could pass them on the wickedly fast finishing straights but it was too long to get up to terminal velocity.  Needless to say, I was satisfied.  Damn my category was the largest by far and had the most sandbaggers.  Live and learn.  My legs are ready for more please.  Thank you sir, may I have another?  Have you ever been passed by a pro?  They are the most polite people to ever hand your ass to you while you're cranking like a fiend on the pedals.

My hardtail an Airborne guardian, Penelope, was impressive.  I haven't raced her since last year so I was fighting her (as we were slowly becoming one) when we hit terminal velocity on the twisty downhills.  I went off-course on a particularly tight switchback (twice!) because those 29 inch wheels are so scary rolling fast! There was a flowy portion of the trail where I would pull away from people because it was just tight enough for me to hip turn and really lean into the corners (unlike my 'cross bike where cornering mannerisms are waaay different!) while silky-smooth pedaling with my toes down!  The final kilometer of the course was super fast and I was passing people like crazy (unfortunately they weren't in my category).  It was a great finish, I pushed it hard and didn't cramp-came close though!  The promoters fed the racers with Heed and Hammer products at the start/finish where I refueled and hydrated every lap (each lap was 10 miles long).  My training seems like it's going okay.  Here's to Cinco de Mayo.  Here's to Battle the Bear.  Here's to the Gunnison Growler.  Word has it (Karen's brother, Drew said) that there are some technical sections but the flowy, fast, non-technical portions are longer than the previous.  I need new brake pads if I'm running Penelope at the Growler. Curious though about bringing my other steed, the DS/XC-specific 29er affectionately known as Vivian.
Dirty.  Now my Id has disappeared and my super-ego tells me to clean it.  Notice the travel indicator...
PS.  Lost about 3 pounds of water weight as measured on/by the nurse's scale at my HS.  Exhausted yes;but happy?  Yes too.  Time to eat....

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