Ultra-Endurance Racing

Posted on 2:51 PM by Schottler

I seem to be on an ultra-endurance kick. I don't know why. I think I flipped some sort of switch after winning the Berryman the last two years and finishing only 6 minutes behind Manny Prado (who rocked a 12th place finish in Sea Otter XC this year) in the 6 hour race in Arkansas a month ago. I think I generally end up doing better in the event the more challenging the conditions are. Racing in the mud, rain, snow, and long epic shit pumps me up. It must be mental, I like epicness. The physical feeling you get after something so grueling is hard to beat. You remember it all, in detail.

Other than the level of epicness that accompanies 50-100 mile races, I really have started enjoying the prep-work. Organizing all of the gear that you could need: tools, spare parts, clothing, food, and whatever, which has been stockpiled over the years of racing and training, pretty much anything you have you could possibly need.

Also the eating. I love eating. The week leading up to these races for me is a free-for-all carb loading. Snacks snacks snacks, I love snacks. After the racing is a multi-day skyrocketed metabolism that makes you eat all day long, mmmmmmm.
(Someone please make this a t-shirt)

Anyway, I have obtained a position at Syllamo for May 14th. Big thanks to Scott Davis, the promoter of the Berryman Epic for transferring his spot. It is for the 125k (80ish miles) race, which is #2 on the NUE (National Ultra-Endurance Series.) I'll be racing the big boys of ultra-endurance racing. I am pretty excited. If I am actually good at this style of racing, I will know once that event is over.

The downside to these races is that I don't think I can do that many of them, they are long days, and it's a great way to burn yourself out. After a few seasons I am sure it's easier to knock them out, but I haven't done very many.

As for school, there are two weeks left in the semester plus finals week. I have finished a lot of work in the last two weeks, but it's mega crunch time now. For the next 2 weeks, commuting counts as training, and any other time on the roads will be short and intense. The stress of finishing my last two classes and my Master's degree and research is stressing me out, making the training pretty unenjoyable with my mind not free by any means.

Bone Bender 6 Hour

Posted on 6:31 AM by Schottler

Last week was busy, really busy. I got some rides in, but they were all short, and pretty intense. Thankfully there was a 6 hour mountain race in Lawrence, so I could pile a whole week into 1 day in the woods. The race was Bone Bender V3.0, put on by Chris Locke. The course laps were about 9.5 miles, with a mix of technical rock sections and some super fast smooth sections.

A lot of people were there, however most of the heavy hitters were doing 3 hour or a co-op 6 hour team. So, my plan was to drill the first 3 hours with everyone and try to just continue on for another 3 hours. Not exactly the best plan for a 6 hour race, but oh well, I need some anaerobic training. The race started with a long run up a gravel hill, I hate running. I was on the front line and got pushed back to around 10th by the time I got my bike. But thanks to a nice placement, I was on the road in about 4th and time trial'd past everyone on the road section and had a small gap into the woods in 1st.

I usually don't like being in the woods first, it takes me a bit to get my technical riding skills going, since I rarely ride in the woods. I was bouncing off everything, taking some bad lines, lots of mashing and powering through obstacles. Another reason I don't like being in the woods 1st, I go hard. The whole first lap I drilled it pretty hard, but I wasn't being smooth, so I wasn't going super fast. I had a few people in view behind (Kent McNeil (Trek Store-3 hour), Travis Donn(Ethos-6 hour co-op), and Kevin from Iowa City (3 hour). Time gaps behind me varied throughout the race, at times I couldn't see anyone, while other times they were on my wheel or 20 seconds back.

Lap 2 I was still in the lead and some skills were starting to come back, so I stayed on the gas. About 1/3 through the lap I hear 'psh psh psh psh,' AWESOME, a flat! I stopped, put my thumb over the hole and let Stans do its magic. I was at probably 15 psi and kept racing. Garrett (Ethos, 6 hour co-op), was on my wheel by now and I was hitting rim on a few rocks, so I stopped and aired it back up. Kevin also went by. I rode easy for a bit to make sure it stayed sealed, which it did. Back on the gas, I caught and passed Kevin and continued on to lap 3.

Lap 3 was about the same, plus lots of lapped traffic. 99% of the people were very friendly and quickly got out of the way for me to fly by, much appreciated! Half way through the lap I hear 'psh psh psh psh'. Neato, front tire is going flat. But, Stans amazed me again and sealed it up after 4 psh's. Lost little to no pressure, so I kept going.

At the end of lap 4 I was still in the lead of the 3 hour field, so I basically won the 3 hour race, but unfortunately I couldn't have registered for both races. The rest of the race I didn't have much motivation as there wasn't anyone around me for the next 3 hours and 2nd place was wayyyy behind. So, I tried to motivate myself to go fast. I was trying to do the math of how many laps I could do, and it was looking like 8 laps, or over 70 miles. I didn't want to do over 70 miles, 6 hours is already past my limit. Lap 6 and 7 I doodled along so I wouldn't have to go out again, but I was riding much more smoothly so my laps were not exactly slow. Ploch (6 hour co-op) eventually caught me on lap 7 about half way through, finally someone to talk to, I was BORED! I eventually just told him to go by, I have had enough.

I finished 7 laps in about 5:49. I could have gone out for an 8th, but I was 22 minutes ahead of 2nd, even with my slow last few laps. Lap 8 would have put me at 6:30 ride time and over 70 miles, that's too much. The technical rock sections of the course beat the crap out of me, 29 hardtail with 2.0 tires made it rough.

I felt great for pretty much the whole race, I rode hard for over 3 hours at the start which burnt some matches, but I could have done that pace for A LOT longer. It kind of sucks not having anyone around you or anyone to chase, like Manny Prado in Arkansas a month ago. I didn't even know Garrett and Travis (Ethos) were in front of me, I thought I passed them with a flat... pretty irritating. I had no sign of cramps or nausea, which ProPam told me was a classic sign of not getting enough sodium in. I put an effort into eating more sodium throughout the race, great advice, thanks ProPam! Overall, I am disappointed in myself for not doing an 8th lap, it would have sucked, a lot. It almost feels like I quit, I don't quit, I don't like quitting. But, I still think it was a good decision, maybe I am too hard on myself.

Here is some Garmin stuff. You can see at about 3:15 once the 3 hour race was over I kind of settled into a different effort. The lap times are confusing, my Garmin was lost. MTB-Bone Bender 6 Hour by jcschottler at Garmin Connect - Details


Posted on 7:09 AM by Schottler

The MTB race in KS was cancelled, so I registered for the Hermann crit and road race.

I was stuck in the office over the weekend, missing the road race, but I was able to work in the crit on Saturday. Early AM 1 hour almost tempo ride, 4 hours at school, then drove to Hermann for the crit. Really happy I got to do it, it's a great way to blow off some steam over a certain stubborn computer program.

It was around 90 degree's, hot. I was lined up at the back and quickly moved to the front and stayed there for the majority of the race. I rode pretty hard, attacking and chasing down attacks. Eventually Austin Vinton (Mercy) was off the front by himself and his teammate (Nick Coil) followed an attack to bridge up to him. I eventually attacked the group and bridged up to Nick and then we went up to Austin, but I was hurting at this point. We eventually got caught and I spent most of the rest of the race in the group, with only a couple more efforts to get away. Eventually Zach Reed (Dogfish), Andrew Coe, and Nick Coil solo'd off the front. I am not too sure what happened up there with them, I was just trying to stay attached to the main group that dwindled down to under 10 people.

At the end of 3 laps to go there was a $100 prime. I figured we weren't going to catch any of the leaders, so there wasn't any chance of winning. I already paid for the road race which I wasn't able to do so I needed my entry fee's back. Coming up the climb at the end of the lap Devin Clark (The Hub) and I sprinted for the prime, which I ended up winning by only a bike length or so. We had a pretty good gap on the field at this point, Devin said we should keep going, but I was blown. We got caught and I tried to recover. I lost motivation after winning the prime and sucked up the climb on the last lap, finished 8th. Everyone beyond 10th place got lapped, pretty insane.

Thanks to Elizabeth Rangel again for taking pictures of all the racers!
Here is the Garmin data. My average HR for the race was 185, crazy! I think the heat had something to do with that. Road-Hermann Criterium by jcschottler at Garmin Connect - Details

Props to Austin for almost winning the road race on Sunday, getting caught on the last climb of the race. Zach Reed (Dogfish) for winning the overall and Justin Maciekowicz (Dogfish) for winning the TT and RR and 2nd overall.

This week is going to suck. My max ride will probably only be 1.5 hours, I will be spending all day/night in the office trying to get results done. Which really isn't that bad since I have signed up for a 6 hour MTB race in Lawrence this weekend, resting is good.

Hillsboro Roubaix & Stuff

Posted on 12:43 PM by Schottler

I developed some new pain near my tail bone on Friday while doing a short hard road ride to get ready for the weekend. I didn't think much of it, but by the evening and Saturday morning it was worse. I figured it would just go away at some point during the 87 mile Hillsboro Roubaix road race, it kind of did, but not soon enough. I read a bit about it, it's usually just related to riding too much and nothing to be concerned about. It's Monday now and I feel fine after taking yesterday and today off the bike. I was originally planning on doing the 8AM Castlewood MTB race Sunday morning with the Tilles Park crit that afternoon, but the smartest thing to do was rest and not injure myself. It's a few days into April.

Anyway, 120 people started the race and again I was at the back. I felt like total crap, accelerations hurt my tail bone, and I had no power whatsoever because of it. Not to mention this killed any type of motivation or adrenaline rush I would normally get.

The whole race I was positioned horribly, right near the back. 20mph winds were destroying the field to pieces, being at the back kept me in the gutter and sprinting hard out of corners. I constantly found myself drafting someone who was getting shelled from the group, requiring to bridge back up. There were a lot of crashes and people flying into ditches, thankfully I was able to squeeze through the mess. I was still a part of the lead group until halfway of the last lap. Again, I was behind someone getting shelled and I couldn't bridge the gap back. So the rest of the lap it was Tom Price, myself, and a couple other guys rotating. I ended up coasting through the finish with Tom for 35th place. Disappointed.

I wasn't feeling it the whole race, which sucks, that hasn't happened in a long time.

It's safe to say I have procrastinated in school more in the last month than I have any other month of my life. I am burnt out on class and research. I knew what was coming, huge hours to finish my final results once a plan was finalized. That time is now. I am down to a month to set up and run all of the finite element analysis simulations on the computer and pull results from the endless amounts of data. It's doable, but my riding hours are going to be cut considerably.

I've dragged my base miles further into the season because of this, it would have been 21 hours last week if I felt healthy enough to race on Sunday. Now that it's crunch time, my rides will be short, mainly relying on the weekend races to get/stay fit. This also means I will probably miss Sea Otter, even though I have pre-registered for XC & STXC. But, for once, school is taking priority. I have Boulder in the back of my mind pushing me through the work, a month of suffering will be worth it to get out there ASAP.

This weekend I have a MTB race planned in KS and possibly the 90 mile RR in Hermann.

Here are a couple of images from the work I have done to give you an idea of what I'll be staring at until I graduate.

I am modeling a bioabsorbable polymer screw in cortical and cancellous bone placed under bend and pull-out forces. We have synthesized and strengthened the material in our lab, now I am trying to design a screw with that material in mind to eventually replace it's metallic counterpart.