Monday, April 30, 2007

Crampin my Style

After 4 states and 830 miles on the road I made it down to DSG in Fayetteville TN. I rolled in around noon on Friday, got checked in, and started to set up my pit. There wasn't too many riders at the venue yet, but I did run into the one and only Kerkove who was doing some product pimpage for Egron. I ment to stop over during the demo and give the world famous grips a trial run to see if they make my hands happy, but went out to eat and never made it over. I also pre-rode the course and loved it!! 10.5 miles of sweet climbs and decents. 1500 feet of climbing per lap made for a relentless ride. I rode real easy on that lap so I knew the layout and I turned in a lap time of 1 hour and 12 min, which I would use as a pace indicator for the next morning.

I got up aturday morning and felt great race morning and was looking forward to a day on the bike. I got the rest of my things organized and did some last minute tweaking on my ride, got a warmup in, and then got ready for the 8:00 start time.

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My ride looks ready to rock before the start

The gun went off at 8 and it was a mad dash to the bikes. I didn't have an ideal spot so I got into the thick of it but I managed to get onto Rebecca Rusch's wheel and stayed there for most of the first lap. I felt great the whole first lap even though it was a bit faster that I wanted at about 1:03.

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Following Rebecca Rusch at the start

I got through the first pit real fast and headed out on my second lap. I felt good until the very end of that lap. On the last big singletrack climb I had a bit of a cramp in my left leg, but shook it off. I had another good pit and headed out on my 3rd lap. That is when it all fell apart. The cramps came with a vengence and I couldn't put any power in to the pedals without my legs cramping up. I have only cramped once in a race before and it was at mile 20 of the marathon in an Ironman and even then I was able to shake it after a block or so and continue running. However this time the cramps kept getting worse and worse and my lap time skyrocketed. I still kept my pits rather short and kept pounding out slow and steady laps regardless how painfull they were. The cramps made their way from my quads to my calves after a few more laps and then my stomach started to act up and I couldn't hold much food down. So, I basically felt like crap. I have never not finished a race, and was going to keep riding until the race was over regardless of how I felt. Near the end of the race I started to feel better and could put some more power into the petals which decreased my lap time a bit and allowed me to get in 8 laps total for a distance of about 85 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing all together....not bad for a guy from Iowa who has to ride 20 miles just to find a decent hill.

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Overall, I finished in 6th place out of 27 solo riders. Not too bad....but I would feel better about it if I would of not cramped and been able to ride at my limit. I'm still trying to figure out what would of caused my cramps. I may have been a little short on the fluids at the start, but nothing bad. Maybe I am just not used to riding in the heat yet this season and that took it's toll?? Either way it's time now to recover and take some finals and hopefully feel good enough to sneak out next weekend and go up to the XC race in Waverly.

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I could still manage a smile at the finish so it must of been an alright race....or maybe I was just glad to be done??

Check out some more pictures of the weekend here

Should I go and see a head doctor if....
After all that suffering I ask myself what the next sufferfest I can race in is???


Anonymous said...


Thanks from the entire Dirt, Sweat and Gears Team for making the trip to Fayetteville. We are already making plans for the second installment.

Good luck with the rest of your race season.


Jeff Kerkove said...

Not too shaby of an effort for late April. Rest of the season should be good for you.