Just a bike race

Posted on 9:36 PM by Schottler

I raced the Show Me Games mountain race at Rockbridge State Park this Sunday. I won the last 3 races held out there, 1 past show me games and 2 A's collegiate races. It was my home course that I could race with my eyes closed.

Butthead took the whole shot with me on his back tire heckling for the first mile, with Ploch right behind us, followed by an inevitable flat tire into a creek bed. The new SlimePro sealant I used did seal the tire up with 10psi to go, but I didn't trust it much, so I put in a new tube. After all the expert riders and some sport riders went by I was on my way... with about 50psi in my back tire. Needless to say I was on a mission of breaking legs the rest of the first 8 mile lap and the 2nd. I dropped my water bottle after about 100 feet of getting it on the 2nd lap, so I finished that lap waterless. Fitness felt very good, loads of power, super pissed off, lots of bad lines. I ran into a ton of traffic through the single track, mainly the marathon racers and the sport/expert riders I was chasing down from the flat tire. By the time I hit the 3rd lap I was just getting irritated with what was happening and decided to go for a bike ride, not realizing the guy with me was in my category. Apparently I managed to get back into 3rd position, but dropped to 4th when I was slowing down on the last lap, finishing right behind Wes. Butthead and Ploch sprinted to the line for the finish, with Butthead taking it. Great... I will be hearing about this for the next 10 years, at least.

3rd race in a row of getting a flat. First it was 3 different maxxis Crossmark UST's that split open, then it was 2 Bontrager XR1 tires. I just ordered a pair of Hutchinson Python UST's that are about 200 grams heavier a piece, but will hopefully be able to hold some air in for me to finish a race.

I was planning on taking the next 2 weeks off completely since I have been losing desire to ride my bike, but this race has given me some more motivation. I plan on spinning a couple times this week and racing again this weekend at Castlewood. Never ridden there before, I will just be racing for fun.

I know, wtf is that?

burning out

Posted on 9:38 AM by Schottler

I've been feeling weak and tired lately since my Breckenridge race, so I took Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off from riding. Since I forgot about the state championships race on Saturday and had to work all day, I spent the rest of my time laying on the couch relaxing. I am disappointed I missed this race, but the timing wasn't very good. I seem to have chronic lower back pain which I think is linked to the way my mountain bike is set up, however it feels great while I am riding. It felt good taking 3 days off in a row, which has happened once since December, but my 1 hour ride today didn't give me much encouragement on fitness. I plan on being ready for the show me state games at Rockbridge so I can try to get a 4 in a row win out there. After that it will be a week off the bike and then preparation for cross season and a few select mountain races. Having little desire to ride my bike and watching the wattage drop isn't a very good feeling.

Tired legs

Posted on 9:13 AM by Schottler

I have been feeling shitty this week on the bike, starting to slow down I think. I may skip the race this weekend to get some rest so I can make it a little bit longer before I crack. A week off the bike is coming pretty soon, as well as beginning preparation for cyclocross.

Satisfaction

Posted on 1:21 PM by Schottler

The Firecracker 50 is a very challenging 50 mile race, last years DNF rate was 25%. I would guess this year was about the same, if not more. I took some tips from Nolan Froese about proper openers the day before and day of, which I think helped quite a bit. Despite the 11,000 foot elevation, my legs felt amazing.

My race strategy was to set a pace for myself that I know I could maintain for a large amount of time, and forget everyone else around me. There are so many places to pass, it doesn't matter where they are. The first climb of the race was about 8 miles long, starting on a paved to gravel road. I felt great on this climb, passing the people that were getting popped from the main lead group. I decided to not try and stay with the lead group knowing most of those dudes are just trying to hang on for dear life and will just get destroyed. By the top of this climb was beginning to pass some pro's that were already hurting.

The rest of this race consisted of very very steep crawling climbs that seemed to last forever. I was at a distinct disadvantage in this race with absolutely no altitude training and no sustained climbing experience. However these climbs are just lactic threshold efforts, which anyone can do, but experience climbing at just a few miles an hour would have been helpful. I passed a pretty large amount of pro racers on the climbs and was riding with them through the single track, which was an awesome experience.

My first lap was around 2:05, about 19 minutes faster than last year. I felt very strong and was able to stay very motivated and determined the entire race, definitely turning myself inside out on the climbs.

This race has 4 aid stations per lap, where they hand out water, gatorade, Clif shot blocks, and some Clif shots. Last year I didn't take advantage of this, but this race I grabbed two bottles and at about 2 snacks each station. I suffered from nasty cramps last year and didn't want a repeat. Thankfully, there were no cramps.

Going through the second lap, I passed quite a few people on the initial paved/gravel climb, keeping myself right at my lactic threshold. But this race couldn't be complete without me breaking something on my bike, so about 3/4 through the second lap, with a big gap on the next people in my field, I hit a nasty rock and blew my back tire. This was on a decent just after the most epic climb of the race, with my heart rate pegged. I had a lot of trouble getting a tube in, since my arms and hands would barely work and all I wanted to do was take a nap. While fixing it, I had about 7 people fly by me, 2 of which were in my field... SHIT. I got back on my bike and my legs were like concrete and it took some time to get my rhythm back. Fortunately, my legs opened up again and I started making up time. I managed to get back to those who passed me and it began to rain. This rain made the course pretty slippery in spots, and if you saw my tires, it's pretty obvious they are the worst mud tires anyone could use. Myself and about 4 others ran a pain train up the last climb, reeling some others back in and breaking them. But when we got to the last bit of technical single track before the finish, my legs shut off and I realized I wouldn't be able to get much done with those tires on slippery rocks and mud.

Coming through the finish, I figured I was in the top 5 of my class... but somehow I finished 10th. My time was 4:29, which is 33 minutes faster than last year. This time last year would have put me in 5th place. The next 5 positions up from me were only about 4 minutes difference, which is very small. I am pretty discouraged from which place I finished in, but still happy with my time. 33 minutes is a very large amount of time. I think with the flat tire on a decent, time fixing it, and the time getting my rhythm back cost me about 5 minutes, at least. It cost me at least 2 positions. My first lap was pretty quick, but the second slowed down quite a bit, from the flat tire and being tired. If I were in the pro field, I would have finished 23rd out of the 50 or so that started, which is fairly encouraging. Looking back at the race, I could have ridden harder up the climbs, but I didn't know how much it would take to make me cramp up and fall over.

I will be back again next year for a time of 4:15 and a top 5 finish.