Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Life Goes On..........
Saratoga 24 Race Report
I went home
I feel better now.... How about you?
Not trying to belittle the awesome event. The great thing was seeing my UMCA buds and riding with some incredible athletes. And yes - I did pass Sandy Whittlesey. No kidding. Go ahead, ask him, he'll tell ya'! It was not long after he passed me (the 2nd time). He was even more surprised than I was. Of course I didn't stay ahead long (if at all), but had a 1/2 mile or so to shoot the shit with him until the River Road hill came. By the time I got to the top, he was a small dot on the road ahead - and still looking smooth as silk.
My recovery has been perplexing and bewildering. All the secondary stuff that normally crops up after a 24 effort was fine. Knees, ankles, feet, hands, and my "junk" all felt great afterward. Of course my legs felt tired and dead, but that's expected. So I got right back on my bike and resumed my normal 5 day a week riding schedule. All rides at recovery (below anaerobic threshold) pace. The following Saturday I went to pre-ride the 18 hour course. Hard to stay totally aerobic MTBing - at least for me. I found my legs were still totally dead and full of lead. Oh well.
Was entered in the State TT the following day - 7 days after the 24 hour race, and knew it was going to be ugly. It wasn't just ugly, it was WAY beyond that. Never felt so bad on a bike, EVER, EVER, EVER. The first leg of the out and back 40k course was down wind. Even with the wind at my back I barely managed 24 mph. I thought I was saving something for the return beat into the wind, but when I tried to find what I was saving, all I found was that it just wasn't there. Tried to push through the emptiness and pain, and all I found was more emptiness and more pain. That last 12 miles took FOREVER. It didn't matter if I eased up, or pushed harder, I just went slower, and slower..........................and slower. Wanted to quit at least 1,000 times. Told my wimpy alter ego (the one that was constantly whining in my head) to "Just shut up and ride" at least 40 times - every mile. It didn't listen. Eventually the finish line came, and it was over. I tucked my tail between my legs and drove home like a whipped puppy dawg. How slow did I go? - My average speed on the last 12 mile upwind leg was SLOWER than my average (on the bike) speed for the 24 hour race. YEEEESH. Laid in bed that night and almost all my leg muscles were fasciculating uncontrollably. Maybe it was the bowling we did later? NAH. That's another story.
The nice thing is - NOW - 2 weeks later, I finally feel my power coming back. Feeling - dare I say - stronger than before. But there has to be a faster way to recover. I'm working on it. Heck Saratoga was only the second time I've been able to ride 24 straight hours, so I should be happy. And I am. VERY. Seems like as soon as you break through one barrier, another one appears. Such is life.
I dunno know though, isn't bowling good cross training? Except for when 180 pound men use 10 pound balls that they have to palm since their fingers don't fit.