As I said in my last blog post neither Randy and I are in tip-top shape to be racing anything right now let alone a 6 day stage race. But we’ve been confident from the day we accepted Mike’s invitation to join in this years Breck Epic that we could finish.
Then with 4 miles to go on Day 1 (yesterday) I seriously thought there is no way we could do this for 5 more days.
Rewind a bit.
Day 1 started off great as we were about mid-pack and riding well. We held mid-pack and I think even 3rd place in the co-ed duo until Randy pretty much bonked with 10 miles to go. As is the case in most coed-duo teams sometimes one person is stronger and you need to accept and deal with one person holding another up. So I would wait at the top of the hills, eat and was feeling pretty good. Then at 6 miles to go Randy crashed and went down hard. He was fine but we went into slow mo.
Then I learned why they call this race an epic. At around 4 miles to go we started climbing again and I was ready to be heading downhill. That climb finished me.
But after my protein drink, massage, dinner, and rest I was back to feeling like I could handle another 5 days.
Day 2 (today) Randy and I did a flip flop. I was ‘off’ the entire race and he felt good. I was okay but slow for most of the race but around mile 30 of 38 I was ‘lay in the grass and pass out’ kind of done. I actually did stop a few times and do just that. Not sure the exact reason for my demise but it was partly my nutrition. Since I was off the back I don’t think I stopped enough to eat.
I did have a great time meeting new people on the course and enjoyed some amazing parts of the Colorado Trail. We are in last place in the coed-duo. While this is no surprise, it’s a really good opportunity to practice what I preach about not comparing myself to others (especially when they are mostly elite athletes) and to remain confident in my skills and ability.
I have to remember where we are in our life, what we have been through, and still go through everyday. And to enjoy the powerful feeling of being able to get out there and ‘race’ my bike.
Day 1: 36 miles. ~5400 ft of climbing in 4:58
Day 2: 38 miles. ~5400 ft of climbing in 5:50.
Nutrition: Pro Bar Meal, Honey Stinger Waffles, Honey Stinger Chews, Skratch Labs Exercise drink mix and my handy ‘nutrition bible’ from The Feed to plan my day. I also used ALL the GU products at Aid #2 today and they saved me in those last 10 miles. Thanks GU!
Huge thanks to SRAM and WD40. The SRAM tech spent an hour on the front brakes and disk after the race. I actually lost my front brake today and my disk was rubbing. I guess I wore out my brand new pads already! Then the WD40 crew completely detailed my bike. My drivetrain looks brand new. I could get use to this pro treatment!
Tomorrow is a new day and I feel up to starting again. It’s a big stage tomorrow with over 7,000 feet of climbing. Bring on the fun!