Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bears and fights or something - Race Report by Jon Maule (@JonMaule)

Man I was looking forward to this race. I did it last year (60 miles @ 5:10 or ~50min laps) and know I could have finished better (how much?) as it was my first enduance race and I’m sure I did EVERYTHING wrong. This year I set a target of 45min laps with a stretch goal of 40min laps – 45 would have put me near the top half last year while 40 min would have me around the top 10. Thankfully (?) we’re only doing 5 laps (plus a starting mini-lap) for ~50miles total.

If there is a course built for me to do reasonably well at it is this place with about 8-900 feet per lap and mostly gradual climbing. Lots of long drawn out downhills and flat power sections. Sadly it’s not the most exciting place to race but…

Maule BTB 2014 sf line

All week I’d felt a little tired/tight from Ridgeline and Fed Center on back to back weekends. The current block of my training is centered around racing on the weekend and the Bowl of Death (aka BOD) on Wednesdays. This week I hit dismiss on my tablet instead of snooze and slept right through BOD… Might have been for the best.

I did my usual race morning routine and set out early, still stinging from the Fed Center registration. Everything was great from the goody bag to some smiling face recognizing me in my early morning coffee-less fog. Andy Leuck was the man with the big marker putting my age on my calf. Thanks Andy! I should have had you draw something stupid on the other one to keep the people entertained. After waffling, I decided to ride with the pack for the first 3 laps. This course doesn’t really require a pack but it’s kind of a crutch that’s hard to get rid of. As I know, it’s also difficult to really measure how much you’re drinking.

This week I’d planned to be more aggressive/assertive at the start so I lined up around the middle of the pack of people. Unfortunately the middle was really the split between the 40’s and 50’s. Next time? I found a couple of the people I’d raced with down in Castle Rock and sat in while they towed me through the first lap well above their steady state pace. Thanks guys :)  The only bad thing was my freaking gel flask kept popping out of my feed bag. The third time that happened it was pretty apparent that we were splitting up.

Maule BTB start 2014

The first three laps went by pretty fast, I came in ready and ditched my pack in the pit without incident. I grabbed what was supposed to be a bottle of water but was really perpetuem – barf. Nothing like expecting a big swig of water and getting poop flavored chalk instead. Now I had to wash down my pro-bar chunks with that crap. Needless to say, I didn’t eat or drink much on the 4th lap and that might have cost me a few places.Maule BTB 2014

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot left for the last lap as I’d been going at a higher pace than previous races but kept on the gas. Near the end of each lap is the long climb of the day – about 300ft at a pretty easy grade for the most part. As I got to this climb, I could see some jerseys coming in fast. Oh well, I can only do what I can do on the climbs. Sure enough about 2/3 through they passes – I let them because I’m not that much of an ass. And sure enough, they were in my age group. The rate they were going made me think they had a mechanical or something.

I rolled through the finish line at 3:39:54 in 36th place – a whopping 40sec out of 33rd
· Lap 1 - 50:38 this includes the ~2.5 starting lap

· Lap 2 - 40:43

· Lap 3 - 41:39

· Lap 4 - 43:04

· Lap 5 - 43:48

What did I learn?

· I need to ditch my pack. I ended up with probably 30 (of ~60oz) left. The pack felt empty and I was drinking enough to feel like I could have stopped and used the restroom. Thankfully this race is short enough you can probably get by with that but you can see my lap times slowed down considerably. Some of that is likely attributable to not drinking/eating enough

· Gel Flasks. It was kinda funny that the damn thing kept popping out when I had no issue at Castle Rock. Maybe I’ll velcro it to the top tube? Probably missed these calories too.

· I really like my Capo Torino SL base layer. It looks ridiculous but seems to do a pretty darn good wicking (or encouraging wicking) away from the body. Of course it wasn't THAT warm but it was plenty warm for me


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