Sunday, March 02, 2008

Vision Quest: Done.

Vision Quest:

6:55:12
54.93 miles
12,024 ft. of climbing.

That's what my Garmin read when I crossed the finish line Saturday at Vision Quest. My actual time was ~7:06. My Garmin pauses when I stop moving so the extra time is from stopping at the aid stations to fill bottles and to use the bathroom/bushes.

It was killer! I had more fun than I thought I would. I didn't approach this as a "race" but just a long training day. I figured it would be a sufferfest but honestly I felt pretty good the whole way. My plan was just stay on top of my nutrition and just keep it steady. I had a good idea of how hard the climbs would be, but was totally blown away by how fun the descents were. Miles and miles of fast, twisting single track... probably some of the best I have ever ridden.

The day started pretty early with a 3am wake-up. Beth and I stayed at her friends crib, Parker and Paige, in Mission Viejo so we were really close to the course. They cooked me up a killer pre-race meal. I had a couple good beers and two "personal" size pizzas. Soooo gooood.

So I was up at 3 for coffee, taking care of "business", and breakfast consisting of a PowerBar Performance Bar (peanut butter) and bottle of PowerBar endurance drink.... then more coffee. Beth is awesome... she got up just before 4am to drive me to the start (the start and finish were in different locations... and not close).

on the way.


Once at the start I got everything together and then natured called... again... not normal.... and Beth thought it was funny and decided to take a photo of my taking care of the business in front of my truck...



Once I had everything together it was off to the start line for the 5:30am gun.


The vibe at the start line was pretty mellow. The majority of the 500 racers are out the just to finish... and I was one of them. I took a PowerBar Gel before the start and was ready to go. When they sent us off it was pretty dark and just had a knog light on my bars which ended up being good enough but I just hung with some guys that had better lighting. A lot of people hammered off the start and I was just cruising and figured many of them would come back to me... and they did. The weather was good. It was in the mid 50's for the start and then after climbing 3,000 ft in the first 1:20 we were above the clouds and the sun was out and it was warm. The descents were chilly but not bad at all.

I am not going to go into too much detail about the actual race. It would just end up being too long. The climbs were long and arduous. I just sat in and kept up a good pace. I would catch people on the climbs, talk to them for a bit and then head on my way. I made sure to eat A LOT. It was nice having on my Garmin on my bars with a running clock. I just made sure to take in some calories at a set time. I alternated between powerbar endurance drink, power Gels, and powerbar bars. I worked perfectly which is why I applied for the PowerBar Team Elite in first place and am so stoked to have been a accepted. The stuff just works for me.... but the highlight of the day was the last aid station...

after a 1+ mile hike-a-bike with 1,000+ ft. of climbing I reached the last aid station which was about 6+ hours into the day. The guys at the top were bbq'ing and asked me if I wanted a burger. I said "no thanks" and asked them if they has anything salty... and they did. Anybody who has read this blog knows that my favorite snack food are Kettle Chips and that's just what they had... and my favorite flavor no less... Sea Salt and Black Ground Pepper! At this point, after hiking for 45 minutes, I was over it but after cramming in 3 handfuls of chips into my mouth I was ready to hammer! The last descent was pretty cold because I took off my arm warmers during the hike-a-bike, and we were riding on a muddy fire-road, but I was just hammering to stay warm and to get my ass off the bike.

I finished in just over 7 hours, was stoked, and felt great.




my killer (hot) support team.


Luke and Eric both had at great races as well. I am on still on a "high" from yesterday (and not from the post race beers!). It was just great to go out and "participate" in an event where the only thing mattered was finishing. I didn't care about time or racing, and everybody out there seemed to have the same mindset. I had some really good conversations on the climbs with some really strong riders and good people. There is no question I will be out there next year.

13 comments:

kt said...

That is super awesome. Huge high five to Beth who was fantastic for getting up early and driving you around to crazy events! =0)

Nice job, reading your post makes me super ready to get back out on my bike.

Paul said...

Nice job dude! I need to get on my mtn bike again one of these days..

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

that's killer dude! sounds like a long time to be on a bike, great job!

Ryan Denner said...

thats freakin awesome man - great race. Thats how I am going to approach wildflower LC this year - just a long training day. and i agree, kettle chips can't be beat!

congrats a great even

Luke said...

Yeahhh Boooyyy!!
Great race...Great challenges...I love em'!!!

PS...Nice feather!

GZ said...

Beers and pizza the night before a race? Sheesh. You live the name of this blog for real. Nice work man!

GZ

Nikee Pomper said...

Two words- BAD ASS! Great Job! Just the thought of 11,000 ft of climbing makes my legs hurt.

SixTwoThree said...

Way to go James!!! I was wondering the exact elevation. My guy took 3rd overall. But he couldn't do a tri to save his life - so he says ;-) Awesome job!! Kudos to Beth for her excellent race support.

Benson said...

Wow, nice job dude. What a fun time you had. Beth is the bomb.

TRI-ROB said...

The videos are killer bro! Nicely done! Way to go out and have fun! Write to Kettle Chips! They'd probably LOVE to sponsor you... even if its just in chips!

Breathe...

ramon said...

Dude, sounds like you had an epic time. Nice job. If you ever race out here in Colorado, let me know!

skinfit said...

Yeah Buddy!!!!!!
Kettle chips por vida!

Zippy said...

I thought about jumping on your wheel when you went by me on the first climb, but my brain kicked in and talked me out of it. I'm kicking myself for not having done it. Next time...