Archive for October, 2015

Dakota Five-O

Posted: October 4, 2015 in Cycling, Endurance racing

Dakota 50
I have always wanted to do this race but my season usually hits the rest zone in September. the course is very challenging, with little to no passing opportunities when the singletrack section is reached after the fast road section. I was told that a time under 4:30 is an excellent time and was also told good luck at getting that your first time out. So that was my goal, sub 4:30. I started my race day as usual, nothing to eat, Anti-Fatigue, Endurance Aminos, and Race Caps prior to and an Espresso Hammer Gel at the start. Not wanting to go out too fast and blow up on the +7000′ climbing that I would face over 50 miles, I settled into a pace that I could maintain. Once I hit the singletrack I wished I had had more power to be further up in the queue. Riders in front of me may have had faster legs up the climb to the trail, had nothing in the way of technical skills on tight singletrack climbing and were slowing me down (maybe for the good?). Eventually the path widened and I easily passed everyone on an gradual uphill only to have my spare tube/tools/CO2 strapped to my top tube come flying off on a bump. Stopping to retrieve my stuff I was passed again by everyone but the “slow” rider thank goodness. I was warned by friends that the course has sharp rocks that cause many flats. My eyes got wide a few miles later when I counted no less than 5 riders over 3 miles on the side of the trail changing flats. I paid a little more attention to the trail after that. The course is unrelenting with climb after climb. It was about mile 30 where I started to worry about my goal of finishing. I decided to empty the tanks and upped my pace significantly trying to keep up with a faster rider from wave 2. Eventually the last aid station was reached with Beer and Bacon being available. I declined and opened it up all out on the descents to the finish. The other rider and I were crushing the descent, passing rider after rider before he fumbled on a technical section allowing me to continue on solo passing riders. Looking at my time I knew it was going to be close and held nothing back. I had played my race out perfectly, my Camelbak filled with ~60oz of Strawberry Heed and Perpetuem was nearly empty with 4 miles to go as I hammered my way to the finish. I finished in 4:29:37. Goal accomplished. 20th in age group and 84th out of 575 finishers
Looking forward to next time as the race is so fun and the location Top Notch

Dakota Five-O

Pierre’s Hole 100 (km)

Posted: October 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

My lack of early season base miles due to my surgery really did me in on this one. No amount of shorter speedwork can prepare you for the suffering that is found in Grand Targhee resort at the Pierre’s Hole 100. Initially I had chosen to foolishly enter the 100 mile race. My thoughts were that I had done plenty of 100s in the past so why quit now. A week out I realized that those times were on healthier years. Fact was my longest race this year was a 70 mile race I did 2 weeks ago and it didn’t go as planned. So I downgraded my race to the 100KM, still hard but not as hard as the 100M. Most riders that race this race actually start big but usually end up in the 32M race eventually because even that race is hard enough but yet easy enough that they still enjoy themselves. Let’s say I enjoyed myself for ~45 miles of a 62 mile race, there was a ~20 mile stretch that I was just hanging on by a thread. Thank goodness nobody offered me a couch and a beer or I might never have finished. The one thing that I do when I race ~5 hours is to not utilize aid stations. I prefer to load up my 70oz Camelbak bladder with Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem and Heed. This method is best used when I have no direct support otherwise I would opt for a lighter pack and swap it out mid race. For those unfamiliar with the PH100 it starts on a steep climb up a dirt service road and continues onto singletrack for approximately 30 minutes before you even see a drop in elevation. And drop you do. The initial descent is filled with a few bermed switchbacks that set you up for the test to come. after a bit of descending, you do a small climb on 2 track that leads to “38 Special”. It helps to have good brakes and top notch descending skills to make the most of the ~50 switchbacks as you drop down the mountain. After the fun there is a short bit of up and down before hitting Aid 1 where you could get your chain oiled by JayP himself while you indulge in some Hammer Nutrition HEED, Endurolytes, and an assortment of fruit, chips, and soda. There is a pavement climb after this that lasts for awhile before you head back onto dirt. The fun singletrack continues again until you exit by the horse corrals and pass the self aid station. Then you ride up a dirt road that gets steep to the point of absolutely no fun before rejoining fun singletrack. There is a whole area of singletrack up and down, all I remember is the “North Woods” trail and how much I couldn’t wait to get off of it and back to the start/finish. The next time up the starting climb was VERY different. It lasted about 1 hour. 1 hour of climbing before the fun descending started again. This next time around I was dead tired, and backed off the pace significantly to recover. This “recovery” lasted for the next 10 miles before the power switched back on. I can only relate it to running out of juice and getting refilled with Hi-Octane. I came back alive firing with all cylinders for the last 5 miles. In the end the result wasn’t too bad, 13th in age group and 48th overall in the 100km race. Looking forward to next time and doing better when I’m at 100%