RACE IN BRIEF
I had a slow start at the back of the pack. It just has not been worth it for me to try to keep up with the front pack lately since they head out so fast. It might have cost me 4th this time, however. I got caught behind some single speeder on the singletrack uphill and the front guys got a lot farther ahead earlier than usual. Once I passed through the log jam it was a great race. I noticed I was feeling pretty strong. After the first lap I caught Darren Cottle who has consistantly beat me this year. I was feeling good. After the second lap I realized I had no cramps and I got this rush of excitement and rode even harder. The trouble was there was noone behind me nor in front of me and I didn't know how far out I was. But as I was finishing the last climb I saw Fred Porter ahead of me. I couldn't beleive it! I've never even been near catching him. He was chatting with some 'girl' biker as he passed her. I thought if I could sneak up on him I'd have a chance. But he saw me as he made a hairpin turn and smiled in suprise stating, "Karl, you tried to sneak up on me!" And he took off and I couldn't close the gap on the downhill. He finished about 20 seconds ahead of me. I got fifth, but it was a very good feeling fifth that I had not felt for many a race.
IS IT GETTING BETTER?!
I didn't cramp up this race! That's the first time since Old Pueblo. I really felt good the whole race. The trouble is in my desperation to fix it I changed so many things that I am not sure which of them did it. Here in bullet form are some of the things I changed or tried that "may" have helped. They are in order of most likely to not sure.
1a. REST: Since even before Soldier Hollow I have really been only doing light spins of max 1.5 hours except for the races. I have not felt this lazy in my riding for a long time.
1b. ARANTIX 69'er: I've never felt stronger on the downhills since putting the 29in wheels on. This course had a lot good singletrack down hills. I rolled over a lot of rocks and roots that were stickier last year on the stumpjumper.
2. BREATHING: My theory here is that I tend to hyperventilate during the races. Some hyperventilation is good in blowing off the CO2 from lactic acid buildup but severe hyperventilation can cause muscle cramping as well.
3. ELECTROLYTE: I have been loading up on Carbo Rocket and Endurolyte before and during the race. Although I did that during the Draper race with some cramping still.
4. FUEL: I have increased my use of gels during the race.
5. TONIC WATER: (Dot's idea) Quinine which is in tonic water has been used for prevention of night time cramping. This was the first time I tried it (taken before the race). Hey if is works for the old folks why not me?
6. ASPIRIN: First for this race. It thins the blood and improves circulation.
7. JOGGING: I went for a short jog two days before the race. I have been riding so much this year that my cross-training has been lacking severely. It's a proven fact that this helps in performance and recovery.
8. FULL BLADDER: I forgot to pee before the race and had to go pretty bad when we lined up. Theory; increased sympathetic tone needed to "hold it" which increases adrenalin (who knows..).
9. PRE-RACE CRAMPING: I was cramping pretty bad before the race in my calves. I couldn't stretch them out until the race started then I forgot about them and had no problem. Theory; none.
10. SLOW START: I got caught behind some single speeders in the single track up and was forced to start slow and at the back of the pack. I usually take a while to warm up and maybe this gave me time to do so and forced me to pace myself.
OK so what do I do now? Do I have to replicate all 11 points each race? If I have to....