Monday, April 20, 2009

Sea Otter/Training Recap

My legs hurt. The XC race yesterday was the hardest mountain bike race I have ever done... harder than Counting Coup, Vision Quest, and all XC races I have done so far. The race on Sunday also capped off a big week on the bike for me.

After an easy spin on the Thursday morning with Beth I headed to Huntington Beach to meet up with Ryan. We hit the road for Trevor's Grandma's house in Salinas, hit some some traffic, but eventually rolled up and grabbed good dinner and couple of good beers at the Monterey Brewing Company.

The plan for Friday was to pre-ride the XC Mtb course and then Ryan and I were going to do the road race. After spending 2:30 on the mountain bikes we cruised back to Trevor's. At this point we decided to bag the road race. The cat 5 road race started at 330 pm and was 5 laps/47 miles and there was 1,800ft of climbing per lap. We really didn't look at the race info when decided to race it. Trevor had done the race befor and pretty much told us that if we planned on racing well in the mountain bike race (which was the main reason we were there) then we shouldn't do the road race because it would kick our asses.... and Ryan's race was at 730 then next morning so he would basically have 12 hours to recover and have to race again.

pre-ride photo. perfect day, killer trails.

1 lap of the XC course.

Instead of racing we rode again in the afternoon. Trevor took us on a 2.5 hour tour of salinas, carmel, and pebble beach. It was sick and also a solid ride. So after pre-riding and the road ride we got 5+ hours in the saddle on Friday. Solid.

view from the ride.

The highlight of the day was the incredible dinner that Trevor's Grandma prepared for us. She made Sukiyaki and it was so good and a perfect meal after a hard day of riding. Ryan and I helped her cut all the veggies and then I had her teach me how to make it... I can't wait to give it a shot.

Saturday morning was Ryan's race so we were up early. Trevor's Grandma's house was a perfect 30 minute road ride to the veuue so it was a perfect warm-up for our races. We hit the road in the fog and as soon as we got there Trevor and I set out for another lap of the course before the Cat 2 races started. I took a pretty good digger out pre-riding but luckily landed in a big sand pit. After the lap we got back to the finish and watched Ryan finish. He had a very solid race and is definitely getting faster/fitter. I am seeing a podium in his future this weekend at the US MTB Cup race in Los Olivos.

ryan finishing.

After the race we all cruised back to the house. Ryan and I headed out for lunch and to pick up supplies for an epic pre-race feast. On the menu was salmon, bbq chicken, and a bunch grilled veggies and sweet potatoes. That capped off another day of training hard and eating good food with good friends. I was beat and in bed and asleep by 9pm.

I slept great and woke up ready to race. We ate breakfast, got ready, and jumped on our bikes and rode out to the race. It was the perfect warm-up and we got there about 10 mins before the start. Once I was on the line I saw Justin and Perry, both rad guys and super fast.

The race started on the Laguna Seca speedway and it was sick! I wanted to make sure I didn't make the same mistake that I did at Sagebrush and miss the pack. So when the gun went off I sat in the pack and we were blazing around the speedway in 30+ man pack. Once we got to the dirt I was probably sitting in about 20th of the 32 racing in my category and the top 10 were hammering. I really couldn't believe how hard they were riding considering we hade 38+ hard, hilly miles ahead of us. I didn't go with them and figured some would come back to me on the second lap. Still not a great start. It was better but still something I need to work on.

The race is too long to really get into too much detail. I worked my way up the entire first lap and was feeling good and was able to make some attacks and drop some guys. I was definitely feeling pretty good. Near the end of the first lap Ryan was waiting to hand Trevor and I bottles and he gave me some splits that motivated me and I hammered on. At the end of the lap you ride back on the race track and I went into full on time trial mode but was tracked down by a group of three working together and they just sat on my wheel. At this point i made decision and sat up forcing them to pull around and do some work too... it worked and I latched on and recovered and then we bridged to another rider and were in a solid pack of 6-8 as we got back on the dirt.

I worked hard up the climb and me, my xterra homeboy Damian Gonzalez, and another rider were able to get a way before we hit the single track. I was flying on the single track until I hit a blind, sandy corner. There was rider who had blown the turn sitting right in the line and I didn't see him until I came around the corner so I tried to cut to the inside and my front wheel totally washed out and I went over the bars. Killer crash! While I got up dusted off, assesed the damage, and got my chain back on a couple of riders past. I had a couple of scrapes but was back rolling in about 15-20 seconds. The crashed sucked but it also motivated me to ride hard. I started passing quite a few guys on the climbs, and even on the descents. I was feeling great, nailing my nutrition/hydration, and just having fun. Don't me wrong I was hurting,working my ass off, and it was getting vey hot, but I love the suffering that mtb racing brings on. The more it hurts the more I like it!

I continued to work hard the entire 2nd lap and passed some more guys in the closing miles. I was so stoked when I crossed the line. It was the hardest I have ever worked on the bike and I honestly loved every minute.

the finish

Time 2:54:09
D.istance: 39.52
miles - 6763 ft of climbing
10th Place in Cat 1 30-34

I cound't be happier with the race. I worked hard and I definitely could have raced better, but I am learning so much about racing mountain bikes at each race. This is probably the biggest XC MTB race in the country and finishing top 10 (barely) blows my mind. There were guys from all over and I beat some guys that have usually beaten me. The more I race mountain bikes the more I love it... seriously. It kicks my ass... I feel like throwing up half the race but when I cross the line I can't wait to go back for more.

Right after the race we rode back to the house, showered, and hit the road. It was a killer trip and a great experience. I can't thank Trevor and his Grandmother enough. Staying with them was so fun and the food was epic!

I woke up this morning and couldn't believe how sore I was. My whole body hurts and my legs are worked! This afternoon I resisted the urge to head out on the bike in the perfect weather (85 and not a cloud in the sky) and am relaxing/recovering.

Last week was a big one for me on the bike for sure and dialing back on the running was a good call. Here's the stats.... probaby the biggest week on the bike ever... 132+ on MTB!

Time: 20:59
Road bike distance: 92.64
MTB Distance: 132.59
Run Distance: 14.13
Strength: 1 weight/core session, 1 core only

so today is a much needed recovery day. I plan on having a couple of beers hanging out with FW and just relaxing! Then it's back at it on Tuesday.


runninggunner said...

Killer Week!

Great job on the racing.

Luke said...

great job bro! ...but harder then VQ? i guess it is all relative when you think about it. see ya next weekend!

MJ said...

Top 10!! With an over the bars crash.... Well done!

Seems like you could make a pretty serious run at mtb racing if you decided to focus on that...


Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

that is impressive!

way to go!

j.p. patrick said...

Sounds like a great week! I need to unhook the baby trailer from the mountain bike!

Ryan Denner said...

"I feel like throwing up half the race but when I cross the line I can't wait to go back for more."

This has got to be one of the better lines spoken (written!) by any endurance athlete. Way to be buddy!

GZ said...

Do we get a V02maxxed post on how to make that stuff?

Got to love leaving the legs feeling "run over by a truck." You know you have worked it ...

Pedal Circles said...

Congrats on the finish!! It was tough out there.

Glad they didn't make us do 2!

Zach said...

Congrats on the top 10 finish!

Slater Fletcher said...