|Melissa got a photo of me coming into the finish.|
The first ten miles up Iowa Gulch were a grind. The effort was there and as far as I am concerned damned solid and consistent looking at the HR data. The speed just wasn't. I was several if not closer to ten minutes behind my split getting to the ten mile mark from last year. I shrugged it off the best I could knowing that it was way too early in the race to get too concerned about things. There was still lots of miles and hours ahead for things to play out. The rest of the day was an extremely solid effort as well. I never backed off.
Honestly, even though I was slower I had a much better ride overall. The time that I lost in the first ten miles I more than made up throughout the day. And I am pretty sure from about mile 37 on that nobody passed me but I know I passed a TON of people.
In the end I am happy with the ride. My bike got a little trashed and had to be fixed this morning. Basically I lost about half of my gears on the inbound. It started with not being able to shift up to the big ring in the rear after leaving Stumptown and by the end of the race the top three to four rings were completely out of commission. My shifter cable was hosed, and my rear derailleur was bent and a couple of other things that added up to $100 bucks to fix.
Again, I am happy with the ride. I feel I am a much stronger rider than last year even though my times were damned near identical. If I had to generalize the race, my climbing is not as strong as last year but everything else is WAY better... flat out pedaling, handling speed, and my technical riding skills. I got past that race which puts me into the LT100 MTB race in four weeks. I also believe anytime you can get off of the 50 MTB course without any major problems or wrecks it is a good day. And the best part of it is that I had fun riding on Saturday.
But really, the bike ride was not to be the high point of my weekend. My friend Jeff from Aspen that I run with ran the Silver Rush 50 Run on Sunday and it was his first ultra ever. Since I had to do a long run on Sunday I decided a week or so a go that I would meet him at Stumptown and then run into town with him. I had a good training run and he had an awesome race coming in just under ten hours with a time of 9:52:02. Sunday really made the weekend for me.
Leadman... 210.2 miles left in the series. 104 mile bike race, 10k (6.2 mile run), and of course the 100 mile run. A lot can happen between now and then and anything can happen in those races. But after a lot of reflection the past day I think that I need to recalibrate my expectations of myself for this series. That is a downer considering all of the work that has gone into this year but it is evident that the results, times, output, speed, whatever just is not coming for both the running and the riding. At this point in the series I had hoped to be at least an hour ahead of my times from last year at the same time... as it stands I am a good 33 minutes in the hole. Right now I am leaning towards doing my best of course, hope to finish at least on par with the rest of the races compared to last year, but also to just have fun too. If I ride and run everything else equally and make up the 33 minutes and have my cumulative time be just slightly better than last year, I'll take it.