Monday, April 7

Race #1 Reports?

I'll post up my race report later today. Anyone else care to share their stories from the first Psycowpath XC race.

If you have any pictures you want to post, just drop me an email at and I'll get it added to a picasa album and slap a slide show up on this post. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures this time.


Biker Bob said...

The short version:
Race #1 is in the books, and I'm really hoping that this is one of the races I'll want to drop at the end of the season. I managed 6th out of 7 in the Expert Masters category. I had to be nearly 10 minutes behind 5th, but I don't know because I didn't see anyone after lap 3. My legs are a tad sore, but my back and shoulders are much worse.

The Long version:
Friday before the race, I didn't eat great. My stomach was hurting quite a bit, so I didn't take in enough food. On race day my stomach was still doing flips. I'm guessing it was more nerves than anything.

I arrived at Maskenthine at 10:30 with plenty of time to warm up and get ready. I did a 1/4 lap to warm up, then stretched, and ate one more cliff bar (probably a mistake). I also tried to heat my legs up a bit right before the start by doing an out and back, with the brakes on, to force my legs to start pumping some blood and oxygen.

When the gun went off, I stayed in the middle of the pack. I probably still started too fast, but I wasn't off by much. I went into the single track in 5th for the masters group. I passed for 4th shortly after that. I then pushed up to 2nd and stayed there for about another 1/4 lap or so with 3rd, 4th right on me. About that time my back tightened up a bit and I backed off intentionally because I was worried about my ability to maintain that kind of pace for 3 laps, let alone the 5 that I was going to need to complete. I was also fighting off a rather strong stomach cramp at this point. Luckily, it went away by the end of lap 2, but I had other issues by that point.

Shortly after I backed off, Jon H caught up, and I tried to stay with him for a while. He started to pull away and I dropped my effort back even more. My back was starting to get worse rather quickly, and was pretty much in survival mode when Jeff B caught me during lap 2. He went by me FAST and I saw Jon H go with him when Jeff passed. Shortly after that, they were both out of sight, and I didn't see them again after the big field near the end of lap 3.

By lap 4, I was all alone, and pretty much just riding like I was out for a stroll. I wasn't pushing my legs or my lungs very hard but my back was screaming, and I couldn't up my effort without causing that pain to become unmanageable. So I was pretty much stuck just gutting it out, and riding conservative. Ryan F passed me up at the end of lap 4 and he went by FAST. I wasn't expecting to see him again till the end of the race.

ON lap 5 I actually stopped to chat a bit with Josh while I gingerly lifted my bike over the downed tree in the technical section. That tree actually dropped right across the path in the middle of the race and was about 2 feet off the ground. He told me to try to catch Ryan. I didn't think there was a chance so I didn't take it too seriously, for about 30 seconds. At that point I only had 3/4 of a lap to go, I was confident that I could survive that long no matter what my body tried to surprise me with. So I stepped it up a few notches.

I spent the rest of that lap riding as close to my pain threshold as I could. Half way through I spotted Ryan stopped up ahead. I think he was swapping out bottles or something. I managed to squeak by him before he could get back on the trail. That lasted all of 10 seconds before he screamed by me again. Unfortunately, Ryan cramped up badly going up the very next hill.

I finished out the lap trying to push past the pain and was very relieved when I crossed the finish line. If there hadn't been anyone around, I probably would have just stopped and fallen over right there on the trail with my feet still in the clips.

So what did I learn?
- I need more training. Primarily long rides, hill climbing, and more trail riding. This race was my first ride on dirt in nearly 5 months.
- No food directly before a race. Maybe a GU, but nothing solid.
- 5 Laps is a long way, starting fast is just not smart (right Todd? ;-))
- Aluminum Hardtail + Maskenthine = bleeding Kidneys (well almost)
- I have a better idea of the pace I should ride for 5 laps, which I had no clue of prior to this race
- The new SRAM X-9 1x9 drive train worked flawlessly

I'm really looking forward to the next race. I know the course better, I'll be in better shape, I have a better idea of what pace I can maintain, I know who I can (and can't) try to follow, and I know I can do better. This should be a fun but very challenging year.

dmars said...

My back was killing me too Rob, both during the race, and after. I was still sore sunday night. It is kind of funny, I can ride my Bianchi single speed for a couple hours with no problem, but my NRS kills my lower back.

dale said...

I was looking forward to the race with very little pressure. It was an experiment pushing 2:1 gearing (58") on not overly steep hills like Platte or L&C but still a course with a lot of climbing. Because the descents were not really steep, the fix gear was not as big of a liability decending either.

I did a recon lap and found a pace or feel I thought I could keep for 4 laps. I don't know if I'll try to do race length + 1 lap each race but I want to use the xc's to stretch my endurance for marathon races.

My back started hurting on the second lap also. The back prairie was much smoother than last year, but the front quarter to the road was where it hurt most. Speaking of hurt, I thought the back pine section where we went down the outside and then came up through the middle - the middle was soft power hungry and a false flat that I almost had to get off and push.

I am happy I didn't have to push anywhere but the fourth lap had me on the limit with leg burn/anaerobic climbs. I wasn't sure I could make the climbs but I just kept turning the pedals and the top would mercifully arrive before I couldn't turn them anymore.

The ss cat looks pretty cool this year. Josh won by a minute and change, then there was a gap of a couple minutes and then 4 or 5 riders, each a minute apart. That looks like a nice bunch to try to gap up to hopefully. I came in 8 of 11, two were dnf's. I passed the 9th place on the south prairie of the third lap. He had blown and was in some hurt.

Thanks to eveyone for representing BMCC well and contributing to a great turnout for EVCC powered by Monster and Nebraska Lottery Psycowpath.

And the postrace meal at the wolf's den was nourishing as well, though Doug and Aaron's presence were missed. But Leah's friend Jake did carry the mantle and down a doublecheeseburger!

Brian L said...

First race on single speed (Lewis), found course much tougher than I had figured (32:18, would have rather had a 19 or 20), but had a great time, and I look forward to a season of always having the wrong gear. Bike and all components worked flawlessly (thanks Bikemasters).

NaugaBike said...

Here's the link to my photos from the Maskenthine race.



NaugaBike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RF said...

i started WAAAY to fast, just 6" off kevins wheel all the way up the gravel. Cam & Nate got around me as they entered the singletrack. There's must've been an LED clock on my back literally showing the countdown to when I would blow up.
I stayed pretty close to the top3 fast guys for the first 5 mins or so. I figured I better back it down a notch, so I did. After first 10 mins of racing I glanced at my HR to see an even 192 bpm. Not good. Very bad.

Knocked the notch down again, starting sitting in the 185-187 bpm, finished out the first lap like this.

Each lap got subsequently slower with lower HR, think I finished with an avg Hr of 177 or so, right at my LT. Cramps hit me bad on last lap, couldnt lay down any consistent power at all.

Funny thing, I am way lighter than last yr but it is obviously due to proper eating habits, not fitness. I didn't feel like I "maxxed" out my legs like I should have. Lungs worked well, but legs didnt seem to have the raw muscle power. Fueling might have been off. Didnt seem that different than fueling strategy last year, but my reduced weight might have changed my fueling needs.
Post race at the car, I was quite lightheaded and my ears were kinda ringing. Usually a sign of very low blood sugar.
I dont expect miracles anytime soon, but gosh, I rode most of lap 5 thinking about how I could downgrade to sport or race SS with fewer laps.
Hopefully my form/fueling was a bit off and I'll have a better races in the near future. I asked my doc about it, he said I should have "tempered" expectations since I was under general anesthesia just 9 days prior.
With the wind, I knew I had inhaled a lot of dust into the healing portions of my nose & sinus during the race. Sunday I rinsed what felt like a POUND of black blood, snot, and dirt out of my sinuses. Sorry Bob no pics to post. Seriously, I've never used so much tissue at one time. It was a little frightening.

Bob, I'm so glad the x-9 stuff worked out for you, I think you will like it. Next affordable upgrade you need to try is a tubeless tire conversion kit. Its the best way to smooth out the ride of your hardtail. at your weight you could run 28 psi tubeless and it makes a significant difference. And when your tires conform better to micro changes in terrain, you roll faster too and maintain momentum better.
I can't wait to race Perry april 27!

Biker Bob said...

Thanks for the tip Ryan. I might look into tubeless later this season (like before the TP race).

Oh...and thanks for not posting pictures of the flushing process.

Something else to keep in mind is that when the body is healing a major injury, you don't have access to that enery, not to mention your blood counts may have been a bit off. It all adds up.