Thursday, September 11, 2008


Part 3 of LOTOJA: Wings...

I left the Alpine feed zone in a hurry trying to catch the tandem group that just left. I caught them after a few minutes and did my best to hang on. My legs were gone though. I could power through the flats and the descents but on the short hills I was dropping down to 13-14 mph. I finally let go and thoughts of quitting entered my mind. I kept thinking if my wife drove by I would just flag her down and quit since I wasn't even close to my time goal and I didn't know how long I could ride with no legs. Group after group rode by and I talked to a few riders and received a lot of encouragement.

Finally I made it to the Hoback feed zone and stopped. I fueled up on some Swedish fish and then while talking to Atomicmiles who recognized me from my blog, I did what I thought was the unthinkable. I had a Red Bull. Soon after this I took off and started the final leg of the sufferfest. I did find a group to ride with as I came up to the intersection at Hoback. A few miles out of Hoback I decided that this group of relay riders weren't very experienced at group riding and after nearly hitting a couple of pot-holes I decided to float off the back for my own safety. About this time a group of about 15 riders came by including one in my group. I decided I was going to hang on to this group or die trying.

As we made the turn off the highway I could feel my legs coming back and even managed to take a pull. The pace was pretty mellow through the subdivision and I made sure I could always keep the guy in my category in sight. We hit the bike path and one guy didn't make the climb to the tunnel causing a brief pile-up. When we hit the road I started to make my way up the pack to look for the guy in my group. We made the turn to Teton Village and I noticed he and another guy had gone out on a break. I moved the front of the pack and pushed up the pace. I took a quick 30 second pull hoping someone would help me bridge the gap but no one wanted to so the pace started to slow down. At the 5k mark a group of 4 riders went off the front and this time I was able to bridge back up taking a few guys with me . Again another attack that was quickly caught. At this point I decided to stay in the middle of the pack and watch for the sprint to happen. Sure enough, at the turn-off for the parking lot I heard the guy in front of me shifting up. I did my best to jump on his wheel as we sprinting out but was unable to close the gap on him. I looked back about 50 feet from the finish to see no one on my wheel. I was done! 10:57 after starting I had finally made it!

Good things:
* Can't say enough good things about carborocket I didn't have any stomach issues at all. Also Elete water kept me well hydrated, too well hydrated. Also this meant no cramping!
* Food choices were good this year. Lots of bananas helped this year.
* I was able to hang with the main field all the way to the canyon.
* Knocked 15 minutes off my time to Montpelier.
* Didn't bonk at all, maintained energy the entire race.

Bad things:
* Spent way too much energy in Strawberry canyon.
* Tapered off too early before the race.
* Needed to get at least one more long ride in of at least 150 miles
* Started to fade at the 7 hour mark

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