Monday, July 18, 2011

Knees

In 2003, i hired a cycling coach, I blame Ty and his ex. Said coach helped me reach my potential, (as much potential as a mid 30's hack who worked 40+ hours a week could reach). In 2003, I weighed 135. With clothes on. By 2005 my ideal 'race weight' was 147. That extra weight came in the form of muscle, mostly in my legs. Mostly from doing 12 week strength building sessions of Leg Presses (along with weekly maintenance in season) .

In 2009, I decided, as a 40+ racer, a coach wasn't needed, so I moved on, and, quit going to the gym.

The 2009 Laramie Enduro was my first endurance race in several years. And at the end of it, I found myself walking any climb with knee pain.

2010, I did a few more endurance races, Laramie, 12 Hours in Ky and The P2P, all sans knee pain, but i did do a whole lot of really really big rides to prepare.

2011, i had a pretty aggressive schedule. 12 hours of Mesa Verde, Bailey 100, Breckenridge 100, Pierres Hole 100.

Mesa Verde went great, until a lack of push ups ended my day, but no knee pain. Bailey was grand, tinges of knee pain on the last climb near the finish, but nothing horrible.

The Breck 100 is altogether another story. The start climb up the service road to Wheeler Pass is like starting a 100 miler withe the Widowmaker at snowbird. @ 3k feet in 6 miles, except that you are over 12k feet at the top and due to a lingering snow field, we had to scramble up a very steep rough/ loose dirt slope, tri-podding with one hand holding on to your bike, A fall would have been catastrophic. (see below)

I got pretty freaked out here, but made it up, only to be greeted by the infamous wheeler descent. This DH drops close to 3000 feet in a bit over 1 mile, it is super tight, rocky, muddy, wet with high exposure consequences to the left. Already being rattled from the scramble, I flailed this descent. I made down to the Bike path Connecting Copper Mountain Ski Resort to Frisco in one piece and for once was grateful for pavement.

I then hit the Peaks trail that went along the 10 mile range back to Breckenridge. I had a blast in this section, a nice rolling, sometimes technical trail. I passed Garth Prosser post crash here, who was not having a stellar day. I came in to the hub of all 3 loops at 3 hours and 2 0 minutes, feeling good.

Loop 2 was reported to be the most fun and the most challenging. Boffeli talked on and on before the race about the evil Little French Flume climb, I was actually able to ride almost all of it. I then descended a bit of fun one track and a long dirt road to the first aid station on Loop 2. I swapped bottles and took off up some fun singletrack climbs, except..... My knees were screaming at me. Any time the trail pitched up, they felt like a knife was being driven into the knee caps. I kept riding, slowly, up any climb, but at about mile 16 of loop 2 i had to start walking the climbs. (I am guessing at the mileage, cause at the start of the race, when I turned on my GPS, its battery was dead) So, about 18-20 miles to go in loop 2, only about 46 miles into the race and it hurts too much to climb. Anytime the course flattened out or went Down I was able to go mach 3, having fun and passing many of those who passed me while I was walking, only to have to walk again when it went up.

I made myself finish lap 2, and called it a day. After lap 1 I was in somewhere around 45th over all, by the end of lap 2, I was close to 175th over all. I went, showered and came back and did some 'reporting' for MTBRacenews.

So, I can't blame 'race promotion' for this, I believe a combination of no gym and fewer big rides are the likely culprits.

Let's see what Pierre's Hole has in store......


4 comments:

rabidrunner said...

Sweet recap!

OilcanRacer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OilcanRacer said...

try moving your seat forward, it help me a little. well that and surgery.....

Heather said...

Sounds painful. The knees and the race. I had considered the breck epic. Kinda feeling like I would have suffered a lot! :) Good luck at Pierre's. I love that area.