Sunday, May 07, 2006
07 May 2006 - disappointment
Well, the stomach never really got better. It seemed it was doing fine at first. Julz drove to the venue while I rested and handled Thane (which entails supplying crackers, juice, and movies to watch...kinda like his own 1st class plane ticket!). Arriving around 3PM we set-up camp. I then rolled out on a warm-up lap with the hardtail. I started out in a 44/19, but discovered it was a touch too big of a gear. It was also dropping the chain a bit too easily. At about the half way mark I moved the singulator to the 21 cog. This was a better gear and the chain held fine. With about 1 mile to go on the warm-up lap I hit a tree stump that was conveniently in the middle of the trail on a sweeping curve...BAM!...It sent my left knee right into the Lefty! I yelled-out a few times as I staggered to keep my balance and to walk it off. I thought for sure I probably cracked the knee cap. Blood immediately began oozing down the front of my leg from 2 impact slices on the knee. Returning to camp I immediately took some Ibuprophin for the pain and swelling. On the Scalpel I had a 44/20 and chose to ride it at the start for 2 reasons: 1st I've never had any issues with the singulator on the Scalpel, 2nd It would allow me more room and confidence for the night start helping to soak up the unseen rocks, roots, bumps. Waking from a nap at 10PM, after 3hrs of rest, I dressed and ate prior to the 12AM start. I felt pretty good and lined up for the Lemans run. Taking the run easy I made it to the bike in about 10th position. I eventually passed a few other SS riders and a geared rider to move up to 5th overall, but by the end of lap 1 I was in 8th overall and had the SS lead firmly in hand. Lap 2 I continued the easy pace and actually started choosing what climbs I would walk to save the legs. By the end of Lap 2 I was up to 7th overall and still controlling SS. On the 3rd lap I began feeling nauseous again. Trying to drink more fluids wasn't helping, so I planned to stop for pasta or a sandwich and to change my battery. Hitting the pits at the end of 3 I was up to 6th overall, still maintaining the easy pace and walking the more aggressive climbs. For my friends in Michigan they could compare this course to TK Lawless with the climbing of PLRA. The lap was about 8.6 miles long with about 720ft of climbing. My avg lap times were about 45minutes. Getting food the first instant I placed a fork full of pasta into my mouth, prior to even chomping down with my teeth, I felt like I was going to hurl!!! I eventually got it down with some water and tried eating a powerbar, no luck there either. So, as Julz was rubbing my legs while I sat in the chair I decided with my better judgment that I should not continue. I make it a point to take in food every 60 minutes along with 16-20 oz of water. The drinking wasn't becoming an issue, but the food obviously was. This decision was somewhat easy as last year at mid-season I had a couple of months of tests due to blood in my urine after a 6hr race. Everything went just fine before and during the event, but arriving home I noticed the issue immediately while using the bathroom. Needless to say I was a little freeked and pretty worried. That issue thankfully has passed and has not returned. So, what's my plan...I guess I'll keep riding and re-think my race schedule whenever I feel unhealthy. Hindsight, I should've stayed home from this event, but I put in a good showing and enjoyed the practice and confidence I built for myself with my riding especially knowing I was sick. If I coulda just got the food to go down I know I would've continued on to win he race! A special thanks for my wife Julie, and my little boy, for going along in support on a nice weekend!