Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Silver Rush 50 Mtb

They say the Silver Rush 50 is just like the Leadville 100 with all the easy parts taken out.  I'd have to agree.  Another difference is the start.  I arrived shortly before 8:00 for the 9am start and casually walked my bike up near the front and laid it down.  I visited with friends and my coach then the family and I walked up Dutch Henri Hill to scope out a good line and warm up the legs a bit.

I was excited and a bit nervous before the start.  I had only pre-riden half the course so there was a big unknown about the backside of Ball Mtn.  Other sections I had either ridden in training or run on during the marathon.  I wasn't going for a fast time, I just wanted to finish before the cut-off and keep my bike in one piece.

The start is pretty amazing to watch as a spectator.  As a competitor, I only saw the few feet of earth right in front of me as I had my head down pushing my bike up to the top of the first hill.  I only had to wait a short time in the bottleneck area before I was riding.

I kept a strong, steady effort without my heart-rate going too high and none too soon I was at the top of Iowa Gulch enjoying a fast descent to Printer Boy.  I passed a ton of riders here and I wasn't even pedaling much.  1:54 to PB made me happy and the bottle hand-off with Lucho was text-book perfect.

Waiting for mom
 Getting to Stumptown was more of an effort than I wanted.  There was a lot of climbing and pushing the bike and unfortunately, my stomach was off from my electrolyte drink.  Heed just wasn't doing it for me.  I came into Stumptown dragging and it was nice to get support from Lucho.  I drank a lot of water trying to dilute the Heed in my stomach which helped.

I backed off my effort a bit on the return and settled into a steady "push the bike" effort up to Ball Mtn.  It seemed to take forever.  The descent down the other side was fun but I was definitely lacking in energy.  Then the cramping started.  I was dreading this moment.  I kept taking S-caps and the kept the cramping at bay.  On one descent I found myself behind past race director Ken Chlouber who was riding a quad.  He kept looking back as I kept gaining.  He finally pulled over and I went flying past him.  The climb back up to PB wasn't bad and I stopped a few minutes to re-group with my family and Lucho.  I was feeling better and wanted to finish strong.

Coming back into Printer Boy
 The climb up the road back to Iowa Gulch wasn't the nightmare I thought it was going to be.  The cramps stayed away and I found myself passing quite a few people.  Only 1 person passed me back on the entire last 13 miles of the course.  I rode the last 10 miles of downhill fairly aggressively and willed the bike to stay in one piece.  The last couple of short uphills almost destroyed me as that was when the inside of both quads decided to seize up dramatically.  I couldn't stop because I was afraid I'd fall over so I just kept pedaling and it was agony.  I'd get to a downhill and stand on the pedals and the cramps would go away.  I was really looking forward to the finish line.

The course took us along the top of Dutch Henri Hill and a final downhill to the finish.  There was Pat, my girls, Lucho, and my Leadman friends to greet me.  Lots of hugs and smiles as we congratulated ourselves for making it one step closer to Leadman.  Ken Chlouber was there and we laughed when I told him it was me who passed him riding his quad.

Ken and I share a laugh

Kiki and I happy to be one step closer to Leadwoman

With Andy and Lucho and my girls

My daughter Sara, future Leadwoman
 Dinner at the Golden Burro then back to camp.  Time to head home for a few weeks for some final touches on training before once again heading back to Leadville for the final 3 events: 100 mile bike, 10K run, 100 mile run.  Maybe after the 100 bike I'll start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  But right now I feel like I'm still right in the thick of things.



Andy said...

Awesome write up! We are almost there. Looking forward to catching up before the race.

Kiki said...

so excited that the family is all coming back together for the final push~! See you later today:)

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