Thursday, June 9, 2011

From light into dark ...



So last Sunday I lined up for the Iron Hill enduro. I've always loved racing at Iron HIll, It's a super fun course and I try to get down for it every year. The last two years, I've raced in the Enduro SS class. My results haven't been anything to write home about either year, but considering the pace that you have to run there to stay in the top 10, I've been pretty happy with the outcome both years. Iron Hill is deceptively tough. The course is super fast, but there are lots of extended rock gardens, and all the climbs are short power climbs except two longer masher hills. This year's course covered just about every inch of the park, and I have to say it might have been the most fun I've ever had there. That is, until I cooked my legs in the fifth lap. I cramped pretty bad but kept going (which ultimately kept me off the bike from Sunday afternoon until this morning.) In the end, I lost a few spots because I had to slow down to deal with the cramps, but I still finished top ten, and considering how fast the course was and how atypical that is for me to go that fast, I was happy. In a lot of pain, but happy.

After that race, like I said I didn't ride until this morning. And then I went out again this evening. This morning was a typical morning ride, although it was a bit warm for the early morning -- it was about 80 degrees at 6:00. I got in about 10.5 miles before heading to work. And then I went back to Wiss this evening. As anyone int he region knows, we've been in a crazy early summer heat wave the last few days. And it was pushing up near triple digits outside my office.

The drive down warned me that it would be a warm night ...


But to be honest, the ride didn't feel that bad. It was hot, sure, and I was sweating a lot, but I had a lot of water and I felt really good. I even got to the ride the new trail section near Kitchens Lane for the first time. It's very nice and really flowy. (More on that in a future post when I can take some pics.) All in all, I was feeling better and better as the ride went on and I was starting to get some flow back after sitting on my ass all week.

Then things got ... dark ...

In all of five minutes, the night went from sunny, hot and bright to black skies, strong winds and the temperature dropped about 15-20 degrees just like that. It was weird. No kidding -- I couldn't see more than few feet in front of me in the woods because it just got that dark. I was prepared to keep going, though, to finish my ride, but then thunder and lightning started and the winds kicked up more. I figured I was pushing my luck if I stayed in the woods where it seems violent storms drop a few dozen trees every time they come. So I bailed to Forbidden Drive and got back to my car mere moments before the sky just opened up. Couldn't have worked out the timing any better if I tried!

I felt great to get back out again after so many days recuperating. I obviously have some work to do to regulate my nutrition intake so I stop this annoying cramping every race. But all of that gets pushed aside when I have a ride like tonight. I'm not heading out to the Stoopid 50 like I had originally planned. I'm still a little fried from Sunday and maybe even (residually) the Six Pack. I've already done a bunch of races this year -- way more than last year at this point -- and it may be time to take a step back and start turning my focus to my personal "main events" of the year (Shenandoah and Rattling Creek.)

This morning ...

This evening ...

No comments:

Post a Comment