Monday, February 16, 2009

Sebring 24 Hour road race

It was a pretty good day…

Race started at 6:30am with 3 laps around the race track (3.7 miles) of fast and furious and I tried not to look at the 21mph my odometer was showing… chatted with some folks, watched the fog rolling around and the sun coming up. After that we went out on a 90+ mile jaunt through the countryside. I settled in and tried to ride steady but comfy. Very cool riding in shorts and a jersey and being warm! Very cool seeing all the orange groves and watching folks harvesting the oranges. Sipped on InfinIT and at 2 hours ate a payday. Pretty yummy! Only bad is that my bike is creaking. No idea what. Stopped at one point and reseated the front wheel but that didn't fix it. Creak creak creak.. Every pedal stroke. Old bike in humidity?

Turn around (bananna) and back and oh, there's some wind. That's okay, I'm used to wind. Kept on riding and enjoying the day. I haven’t been riding my aerobars enough in training lately so I could only handle 15 minutes at a stretch before I got uncomfortable. Need to work on that! Good news is that I stood up for a few minutes on a hill and sat back down and my creak was GONE! Sweet! Put in a earbud and enjoy the tunes. There were a bunch of hawks riding the thermals and they were sweet to watch!

Miles 90-100 seemed to take forever going into the headwind. Finally got back to the car and stopped for a shorts change, a coke, and some bananna/vanilla wafer pudding (YUM! This was the food score of the race, went down easy and tasted great!). After about 15 minute break hopped back on the bike and started in on the 11 mile laps. Saw Drew as I headed out and he was coming back in, big wave.

The 11 mile lap was 4 miles of headwind, some cross, and then a nice tail. So, 20 minutes of work, 20 minutes of relax. Stop at the bathroom, and back out again. Saw Drew coming in again, and he made the hand across the throat motion… uh oh. Around the loop and came in and Drew is sitting in a chair looking mighty relaxed. He's pooped, and not sure he wants to continue. I hit the bathroom again and he's on his bike and we ride out together. Chat a bit, then he takes off. 2 more laps in and he's decided to call it a day. Good for me, I now have a crew!

Around 5pm I come in and eat part of a sandwich and put on my lights. Drew is going to go get coke and ice and then move the car to the pit area of the track. Get ready to go out and get directed to the track, so I'm in for 3.7 miles loops for the night.

Night is LONG in February, over 12 hours of dark. I rigged up a keylight LED to point to my odometer, which gave me feedback on time and speed. Sweet. Round and round the track. 2 stretches of headwind, a few stretched of tail, and lots of cross. The track is a F1 track, not an oval but some sorta weird shape with 11 turns or so. Round and round. Stop every 4 laps for a bite, or a drink. The bathroom was off the pit area so wasted time every 4 laps or so there too. Put on too many clothes and stopped 4 laps later to lighten up a tad.

Got some serious heartburn in the 18 hours range that refused to go away. Made drinking and eating unpleasant. Next time DO NOT FORGET drugs for this! After 20 hours or so I really lost focus. It’s early season and all (and my longest ride to date is 6 hours) but looking back today I'm disappointed in the lack of drive. Kept going around. 21 hours in the bike creak came back… crap. Creak creak creak, every pedal stroke. 23 hours in the fog rolled in and I knew I had less than 4 laps to go. Should of pushed them, but just pedaled instead. Stopped at 23:45, because partial laps don't count. 326 miles. (21:15 ride time, wasted 2:30 on stops… 5 minutes stopping every hour through the night = 1 hour easily wasted with no good reason). Placed 4th (last) in my age group, but I didn’t get embarrassed… will analyze the results when they come out. Maybe 6th of 9 women.

So. I'm generally pleased. Although I did lose focus, I didn’t pack it in and that's good. My body held up reasonably well (need better padded gloves, continue with the core work, and my pinky toes didn’t wake up til today). My quads are sore today, and I'm pretty tired (long travel day back yesterday getting home at 2am with misc sleep on the planes).

And so, a pretty easy week this week and the journey continues. I'll be doing another 24 hour race in Davis in May and will shoot for 350 miles as my minimum distance and to finish that last few hours STRONG.

Ride on…


OCN: 1698 miles so far this year

Pics will be posted to "the blog" when I get them…

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