Wow! That's all I can say. What a race. There has to be something to these small, cultish races that just get me. A fantastic, beautiful course, great people, and a wonderful challenge...What else can you ask for?
I have to say that this was by far the toughest race I have ever done. The hills/moutains were something I have never done in training before. Living on Long Island is SUCH a disadvantage when it comes to this race. We have nothing that even comes close to the MOUNTAINS I saw yesterday.
The race started out easy enough with a nice little 5 mile trot through the woods. Easy enough right? Well, after 'dry humping' a car on Tuesday, my knee was throbbing. I knew it was going to be a long day when I came into transition and felt like I just wanted to go home. But I soldiored on, mounted the bike and headed out on the mountonous course.
I have to say that the bike felt too easy. I expected it to feel somewhat easy, as I was not pushing too much because of my injuries, but there was only really one time all day where I felt, 'damn, this is tough'. It was a nice course, consisting of three loops totaling more than 8,000 feet of climbing. However, the beautiful views more than made up for any discomfort I was feeling.
So after the 84 miles on the bike, in which I saw many interesting things (more on that later), it was on to three loops of the 5 mile trail run. The first loop felt like hell. I was cramping like crazy and my legs just couldn't handle the uphills. Now remember, I was not stuggling, my legs were not working. I do not think that I went anerobic the whole day, my body just got tired of moving for 8 plus hours. In a good way, each successive run was easier. I took my time on the first loop, a little faster on the second (although my split didn't show it), and then finally on the last it was pushing it a bit more. I managed to finish in about 8:45.
I have to say that I was pretty happy with the way things turned out. I was looking to go pretty easy for the day, and managed to do just that. Being driven off the road by a car and crashing pretty hard does leave you with a few sore spots. I definatley felt them. However, I managed to do the race, have a good time, and take in some pretty awesome sights during the journey. I was able to ride with some pretty cool dudes and have some kick ass conversations. I'm glad I decided to do the race, injuries and all, and can't wait for next year. Things will hopefully be different then!
So, interesting things I saw on the bike:
1) A couple of bloodthirsty dogs, ready to take my legs off if I was not moving as fast as I was
2) My buddy (just met him that day on the bike-riding for about 20 mins together), John, slumped over a guard rail on the last loop of the bike totally bonking his ass off (I gave him a couple of gels, but don't know if he managed to finish)
3)A car parking directly behind me as I stopped to take a piss on the side of the road-I don't know what they thought I was doing as they pulled up, but I'm sure they figured it out when they saw my 'man' hangin' out of my bike shorts :)
4)Plenty of dead animals. This had to be the worst of all. Not only are they dead, but they give off that 'death' smell. I hate when I'm breathing hard and get a good wiff of that stuff. YUCK!
So all in all, I have to say that it was a great race and a great day. I feel pretty acomplished, and definately pumped for next year's race. Let's hope that next year I don't decide to have a horrible crash the week of the race!
Push 'till ya puke...Always.