Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I decided to split up my LOTOJA tale this year.

Part one: Running with the Devil. (Should we get into the whole Roth vs Hagar debate?)


This year I decided to take the whole family so the girls could at least hopefully get a sense of why I ride my bike so much during the summer. Being teens there was a lot of complaining and whining about going but I made them go anyway. Because of this I was one of those poor people standing in line at 7:30 with 100+ of my fellow riders. I finally made it back to the hotel around 8:45 just in time to get the bike ready and go to bed.

One thing I did different in my pre-race prep was I made sure that every other bottle of water I drank contained Elete to keep my sodium levels up.

Wake-up rolled around at 5:00 a.m. I had made a couple of pancakes on Friday to reheat in the microwave in the hotel room Saturday morning saving the trip to Mcd's for some overpriced non-wheat pancakes. Unfortunately, no microwave in the room so I ate them cold along with some gut bombing Accelerade and a banana.

Chad and Denny rolled by the room at 6:15 and we headed out for the start of the race. It was much colder this year then last. I had brought some warmer gloves thinking they might be useful at the start but left in the room since I didn't think I would need them.

We started at 6:30 and silence of 56 riders half-asleep while riding in semi-darkness was creepy. The pace as we turned off the main road didn't quicken at all and seemed to be a little slower then years pass. That didn't bother me as much as the cold. Arm warmers and a vest were no match for the bitter cold of a fall Cache Valley morning. I did all I could to think of warm thoughts as we waited for the sun to rise in the east. Then just before we hit Preston the 45's caught us and the mayhem began.

I rolled through the Preston feed zone knowing that very few people were going to stop. I made an effort to stay close to the front and as another wave of riders caught us, including Fist-o-Fury who was doing a relay leg, and as the group swelled I made sure I kept Denny in sight. I was feeling pretty good about the ride so far and as we hit the climb into Strawberry it was comforting to know that I was with the main group even though I knew I was about to be dropped. First Denny went off the front and left Chad and I to fend for ourselves. It wasn't long after that I could feel my heart rate starting to climb and I knew I shouldn't sustain the pace I was maintaining. I tried to talk Chad into stopping for a pee break but he didn't want to stop so I wished him good luck and went down a gear to pull the heart rate down.

The climb up Strawberry almost seemed easier to me then years past and I passed rider after rider. Finally on the last climb after the feedzone I spotted a Cole Sport jersey. I was excited I thought I must have caught the bull elk after a pit stop. I pushed the pace to catch Denny at the summit. I must admit I was a little disappointed but not surprised it wasn't Chad. After a quick pit stop myself I started the dh and worked with a few guys to catch Denny and some other riders including Brian Jeppson and we started a pace line hoping to make some ground up on the main field. After a few miles of this Denny said he was starting to cramp and suffer and dropped off. I finally dropped off the pack just before Montpelier to save energy for Geneva Summit.

As I hit the feedzone I watched for Sheryl. I saw Denny's wife Julie and asked her where Sheryl was, she didn't know. Great I thought, no sandwich for me. I decided just to grab a banana, clif bar and refill my bottles at the neutral feed and about that time Denny came by and we started off toward Geneva summit.

At this point I was pretty excited, I was right on schedule for a 10 hour finish hitting the 80 mile mark 4 hours after the start. Little did I know how much I would pay for this hard effort.

1 comment:

thesnail said...

Roth vs. Hagar debate? whats to debate. ;-)

Good read so far, lets hear part 2 though.

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