Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Show Time

Have I whined enough about the weather?

Complained and groaned enough about the pre-dawn hours spent turning the cranks in the bike cave? (I think I'm changing the name to "Pain Cave" – Nat came up with that, and I think it's a keeper.)

Mentioned my diaper rash dilemma?

It is high time for the whining and griping to stop, and the fun to begin.

It's show time!!

Saturday we are riding in our first race of the season – the Front Range 50.
It is a 50 mile – fast (for some riders, anyway!), non-technical - mountain bike race at Bear Creek Lake State Park (near Morrison/southwest Denver). It has a reputation as a great place to test early-season fitness.

The weather report is calling for highs in the mid-60s with only a small chance of showers later in the afternoon. [According to Channel 9 News - Saturday: Partly cloudy with a chance for a light shower or two. The day will not be a total washout. Morning lows will be from 40 to 45 degrees, afternoon highs from 60 to 65 degrees.] The race starts at 830 am, so we should be off the course by 130 pm at the latest, well before any showers move through the area.

Phil and I had talked about doing the Battle the Bear
, which runs concurrently with the Front Range 50, but would only involve racing 10 or 20 miles (depending on the rider category selected). When I asked Nat whether he thought it would be a good idea to do the event and test our fitness he said yes – but also said we should do the 50 miler. Hmmm.

That means humping it up a little more than I planned to at this point in the season, but what the heck? As our friend Matt said, it is a loop course, not an out and back, so if we decide to just quit after 30 miles, it is easy to do that. Sweet!! I always like to have an exit strategy. Plus, with so many events going on concurrently, it might not be abundantly obvious to all onlookers if I'm DFL

So now the planning begins:

What will I bring to eat? A combination of Vanilla Gu, Gu Roctane, Enervit Cheerpacks
, and EFS Liquid Shots.

How much? Since the race is probably going to take about 5 hours, I need to get about 200 hundred calories/50 grams of carbohydrates every hour – not a whole boatload of stuff to pack – whew.

What will I bring to drink? Phil likes Cytomax, but it makes me gag, so I'll just go with plain water and some Camelbak Elixir tablets.

How much? I'm a big drinker, so I'll need at least 30 ounces each hour – I'll pack two Camelbaks and just swap the whole set-up as I come through the aid station, rather than fussing with swapping out bladders (since we'll be self-supported with no crew to pamper us).

What will I wear? It will be about 45 to 50 degrees at the start – so I'll go with a set up similar to what I wear at Leadville.

Which tires should I run? (Tire sealant is strongly recommended due to goathead
thorns on the course.) I think I'll go with my tried and true favorites – Specialized “The Captain” cross country race tires [550g in the 2.0 version]

Should I bring my iPod? Probably not – with all the traffic and the amount of singletrack in the course, it is not a good idea to block out the sound of approaching riders – though I'll definitely miss the boost I get from jammin' good tunes.

I'll bring my camera, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get many photos.

The great thing about this event is it is less than 10 miles from our house, so we don't have to camp out at the course the night before, or get up at 4 am to drive a couple hours to the start. We can get a good night's sleep and roll out about 7 am.
My goals for the race are simple:
-- don't get hurt (meaning, don't be a fool and crash like a monkey);
-- don't interfere with anyone who has a chance of placing well in their category (meaning – get out of the way and let the fast guys and gals pass whenever it is feasible);
-- go hard enough to test myself, but not so hard that I blow up and need to take a couple days to recover;
--and have fun – 'cuz it's show time baby!

1 comment:

  1. That's right - it's show time baby!
    I know that I don't have my new bike yet - "the wifebeater II", but I am going to definitely give you a run for your money!!!

    PS: I love reading your blog!