Monday, June 18, 2007

Lumberjack 100 Report

Lumberjack 100 2007

Bike Setup

Quiring 29er Steel Singlespeed, 36x19
Reba Fork
Industry Nine wheels
Kenda Small Block front tire
Kenda Karma rear tire

The word that best describes my experience at this race is “smooth”. This is the first race in a long time where I felt mostly comfortable leading up to the event. My bike was in good shape, I slept and ate well leading up to the event, and I knew the course. I had the normal pre-race jitters, but they were minor compared to Ouachita or Cohutta.

The first lap was pretty easy. I had to deal with traffic, including making some passes that were less than ideal. There were a couple of instances where I had to pass four riders at once, for example. Next year I think I will try to start closer to the front of the pack.

The only rough spot was my eating/hydration plan. Because the weather was cool and I started the race well-hydrated, I decided to use one 1.5 liter bladder for the first two laps. I thought I could get away with this because I have done several rides over four hours with that size bladder and I was drinking 24 ounces of perpetum/sustained energy every lap. This turned out to be a mistake; by the end of lap 2 I was feeling pretty dehydrated. I also need to re-check my calculations on the food bottle. After drinking one bottle during each of the first two laps, I felt bloated and gassy. During lap three I drank an entire 1.5 liters of Gu2O and only half a food bottle. During lap four I drank another 1.5 liter bladder and only ¼ of a food bottle. I never felt hungry during the ride.

Lap 2 and 3 were slower than I would have liked. I could tell by the middle of lap 2 that I wasn’t drinking enough. The good thing is that I never panicked. I knew I had enough food and fluid in the pits to get me through the race, so I suffered out the rest of that lap and drank as much as I could on lap 3. By the end of lap 3 I was really starting to feel good. I felt great on lap 4; I was hammering the hills and railing the descents. I could have done another lap.

The bike was fabulous! It was a pleasure to ride the entire race without worrying about losing the chain. The Reba suspension fork was great; I had almost no arm/neck soreness after the race or the next morning. The new Industry Nine wheels lived up to the hype-they were stiff, had lightning-fast engagement and were noticeably lighter than my other wheels. Even the Garmin Edge GPS unit came through for me; it lasted the entire 9 hours on one charge! I couldn’t ask for anything more from the bike.

I knew that I would not have a great result; suffering for one and a half laps means no podium in a race like this. I was pleasantly surprised to finish in the top 10. Because I took so much time off the bike before this race, I didn’t put too much pressure on myself.

The after-party was a hoot! Snob, Cory, Brett, Paula, Anne, Danielle, the Doctor…the whole crew was there. Lots of tired faces, but lots of smiles as well. Not like last year…

It was nice to get in a long ride, and to feel calm even though the food/fluid situation was sub-optimal. It was also good to complete this race with minimal outside assistance—staying focused and motivated has been a problem in the past when Becky couldn’t do support for me.

Now I have a decision to make. With a 5th place and an 8th place finish to my credit, do I want to add the E100 to my schedule and try to place in the top 5 for the series? I plan to do the Shenandoah 100 either way, so if I want to qualify I need to add the 4th race. The E100 is the only one that fits. Decisions, decisions…


Endurosnob said...

If you do go West, you have a place to crash on the drive out if you like.

Cornbread said...

Seems like everyone had hydration/feeding/stomach issues. Way to battle through it. Top ten is awesome!

The E100 sounds like a tough one. Course records are over ten hours. Ouch.

gjc said...

Great write-up. I always learn something from your blog.

Have you done the Shenandoah race before? My mother-in-law lives relatively close by, so I mentioned this race to Kris...

Just wondering how tough it is, technical? rocky? all of the above?