Hi blog, how's it going? Been a long time...oh yeah, I did a race over the weekend.
This past Sunday 8/18/2013, I did my first NUE 100, the Hampshire 100. A number of people asked for details so I thought this might be a good place to talk about it.
My personal life and responsibilities have been kinda crazy so I thought it would be prudent to throw all my eggs in one basket and have one big goal. I've been coaching Jocelyn who specializes in 100s for almost 2 years, and while I've been super impressed with her progress, it was time to put my money where my mouth is and show I knew what the fück I was talking about.
Commuting to work by bicycle, I get a lot of miles in. Most days this is just about getting to and from work, but there was some specificity thrown in there too. Some days I would ride my mtb (The Sauser method) hitting whatever singletrack I could patch in to my route. There was some intensity in there too (40/20s; Jocelyn's favorite). I rode my mtb on my days off. I did not do a ride over 5 hours this year prior to the H100. I followed a pretty standard 2 or 3 weeks on 1 week recovery training schedule.
The week before the race I watched my nutrition closely. Didn't give up donuts entirely, but I did make sure I was eating well balanced and not just filling up on carbs and simple sugars. The real Charlie Beal has got me on a "Would you like some oatmeal with your bowl of fruit" breakfast regiment (that would be my Dad and first breakfast). Thursday night I made pasta with summer squash, tomato, capers, garlic and Parmesan accompanied by a truly kickass salad. I made a large enough portion to bring leftovers to work on Saturday.
The drive up to Keene after work went like clockwork. Dropped my stuff off at the motel, and went out seeking some dinner. Found some and then spent the next hour driving around lost trying to get back to the motel before I could eat it. Quickly stuffed my face, set the alarm for 4:00 AM and went to sleep.
Thankfully Jocelyn brought Starbucks.
I don't mean to brag but then I pooped...twice.
Drive over to the venue, and check in goes smoothly. Pre-race meeting is somewhat redundant, so I skip out to go back to the car to get my backup race food in case I don't like what the aid stations have available. Can't find it (it was right where it was supposed to be), and make my way back over to the start. As they announce 30 seconds to go, I realizes my bottles are empty.
Where's the water?
I just get a bottle full before the start.
(@ :50 I'm tied for DFL)
The first 20 miles are fast. Really fast. I'm being passed by the 100k elites, then veterans, and masters. When I stop to fill my bottles and grab some food, the 100k sport riders catch and pass me. I'm wishing I had the 18t cog I had at Hodges.
Then things tilt up.
Some good climbs to get back into the hunt. Then some brutal hike-a-bikes to make me curse the man who came up with the idea of carbon soled mtb shoes.
At about mile 45 I'm starting to have some doubts. Will I regret the 100 miles and dropout at 100k?
Knowing the first 20 miles of the second lap are the same as the first, I try convincing myself that the last 38 miles will be easier.
At mile 54 I realize I'm more than half way done which gives me a little boost (or maybe it was the Coke?).
The race organizers are pretty tricky in that they put the sweetest singletrack in the miles before the start / finish 100k lap. Makes you forget about the suckiness of the flat miles and two hike-a-bikes yet to come in the final 38 miles. When I cross the lap mark, I'm not ready to stop riding.
Looping through the venue, catch up to masters racer John Mosher who is suffering some awful cramps. This makes it possible to keep up with him on the fast stuff, and get away from him and a couple of other masters when we get to the climbs.
Coming into water station 2 (where the sport 100k riders caught me on lap 1) I see Thierry rounding the ball field.
Thierry's a good carrot to chase...but it's pancake flat and he dangles 200 meters in front of me...for a long time.
Finally we get to some climbs and I catch him. I think he lets me get away so he doesn't have to listen to my creaking bottom bracket.
Suffer the final hike-a-bikes and on to the final pass of the roller coaster singletrack. Carving through the dark loamy ribbons of awesomeness I come up on a couple 100k riders.
One of them asks in exasperation "is it much longer"?
I console him with "not much further; you're almost there".
"Is it hard"
"It's wicked fun" is my final reply as I push on.
As I cross the line a robot voice says "Number 1000, 4th in class, 23rd overall".
Turns out podium goes 5 deep too.
Way better than I expected. I was in this to finish it and have a good time riding my bike, both of which I accomplished, no way was I expecting anymore. Such a surprise I didn't even get all gussied up in my Createx / Benidorm garb before they were calling us up.
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Now that I've done a 100 miler, I want to do more. So much fun. Like going on a really long group ride that's catered. Probably can go a little faster now that I know what to expect, and by streamlining my time at the aid stations. I can't wait for the next one!
Next time you see me ask me to tell you my bike racing / sex analogy.
Hey! We made the International Cycling news at Cyclingnews.com too!