Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

VT 50 Last Push

This week is all about the build up- it's the last push to get ready for the Vermont 50 on Sunday. It's been six years since I last did the 50, and I suffered miserably the last half of that event. That summer I was doing mostly standard (or Olympic distance if you prefer) XC events and tore through the first portion only to hit the wall and crawl to the finish.

This season is a lot different. I've been focusing on enduros and have some serious base mileage to back it up, I just hope that my mid-week 'cross racing hasn't made my legs forget how to ride tempo for 6 hours. As I've said in other posts, I guess I'll find out how good my prep was on Sunday.

The start is ridiculously early, and the 5:15 AM racer meeting is just painful. The temperature will be in the low 40's and we're going to be standing around freezing while we listen to some grandstanding about how great the volunteers are. I'm all for being thankful, but that's not the time. With that 45 minute pre-start lockdown I've been debating about when to get up, how to fuel, how to warm up and how to stay warm waiting for the gun to go off.

What usually happens is that I get a minimal warm up, the start is lethal fast with non-pack friendly mountain bikers and not pack-friendly bar ends all jockeying for the holeshot onto...the first few miles on paved (then dirt) roads. I'm so cold that I freeze for 10 minutes, then start to warm up, burn too many matches trying to ride with the fast starters, overheat, pull off some clothes, remember that I need to ride my own pace, then settle in after about 45 minutes with my pockets stuffed full of food, clothing and tools. At least I know what I'm in for.

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