La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Front Range 50

5 laps of a 10 mile course in a city park. To be honest I was not at all psyched about this race. But it was part of the Rocky Mountain Ultra Endurance Series and it was local so I signed up. The day was good to me: 8th 7th place out of 94 finishers in the 30-39 group, 15th overall with a time of 3:23:07, with fun flowy singletrack trails, good people, perfect weather, finally having my nutrition plan dialed in, good pacing, no mechanicals, free food and beer after. How could one complain about a day like this…

All the pluses were almost overshadowed by one huge glaring minus. Traffic. It was a big event. In addition to the FR50, the ran the Battle of the Bear XC concurrently so there were all sorts of riders of all abilities scattered all over the course. I cant recall a single moment when I didn’t look up to see a line of riders in front of me. At times it was backed up wheel-to-wheel for 20+ riders on the climbs. I spent more time riding in the grass to get around people than I did riding on the dirt trail. You think I’m exaggerating.. but I’m not. It was that bad. Of course passing so frequently meant regularly riding through uncharted areas with tall grass, rocks, holes, etc which is dangerous, bad for the trails and a major energy sink. I spent the majority of my mental and physical energy passing.

If the traffic had been even remotely reasonable, the course would’ve been an all-out test of sustainable power. Only a few short climbs and no technical sections, I could imagine just cranking along in the big ring for hours on this course. Of course all I could do was imagine it since the feeling was generally interrupted every 20 seconds (again not joking) by having to plunge off trail, punch the engine to anaerobic and make some heroic pass.

Physically I was toasted before the day even started… this race was at the tail end of a brutal 5 day block of training and I had no rest. The legs felt immediately heavy from the past week’s efforts but I pushed through it. I’m not doing any tapering at all for anything but my A races this year .. train right on through and get a bigger payoff when it counts. The downside is that I’ll always think, “Hmm wonder what I could’ve done if I had rested”. I don’t plan on knowing the answer for any race but the Firecracker 50 and the Breck 100.

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May 9, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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