Saturday, July 18, 2009

Solitude - ICUP State Championship

As expected, that was a really hard race. I didn't want to blow up, so I tried to go out easy. I started in about 15th place, and I still felt like I pushed a bit too hard up that new climb. The first lap of a race is the only time where it can seem harder to go slow than to go fast. That all changes after about 15 minutes though, and people started popping left and right. I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the day and slowly picked off riders.

On the top of the 3rd lap, I started feeling some potential cramping coming on. I started using granny LaBerta quite a bit more from there on out. What was really surprising is that the cramping actually came on even harder during the 3rd lap descent. Each time I straightened my left leg to make a sharp right-hand turn, my left quad would start to seize up. I eased up on the the DH a bit, started drinking a bunch more CarboRocket (Thanks Kellie for the extra handup!) and ended up fine on the 4th lap.

Perhaps I over-estimated, but I thought we started with around 20-25 racers - at least 2 solid rows. I finished and was hoping to be top 10, so I was surprised to see I finished in 4th. I think more people drop out of this race than any other, which padded my result a bit. I think that less than 15 finished.

It was nice to feel good for a change. And when I say "good", I mean that I suffered like a dog, but I at least felt like I could push for most of the 3.5 laps. I've felt like I've been in a bit of a slump over the past couple months, but finally started feeling good last week. The conditions worked in my favor as well. I don't necessarily enjoy riding in the heat, but i always seem to do better when it's hot. My legs just never seem to get the wake up call when it's chilly like at Deer Valley.

Thanks to Jim W (who in addition to being a strong rider is also a really strong CX ski racer) for documenting one of my rare visits to the tweety chair:

Splits: Lap 1: 39:30 (including initial shakeout)
Lap 2: 38:00
Lap 3: 39:00
Lap 4 (lower loop): 25:30


Derek said...

I wish I could have tried to hang in with you longer. I went through the bike tonight to try and figure out why the chain broke and couldn't find anything. I guess I should be happy I was able to finish given the crazy amount of attrition.

South County Ciclista said...

Nice finish. Sounds painful but rewarding.

Rick Sunderlage said...

Nice one Aaron. That's a competitive group and 4th place finish has to feel good.

nails said...

It was shammy's time on saturday. Impressive. You sure nail it on that course, and I think it is the toughest icup.

Grizzly Adam said...

I missed out. I'd rather have suffered the way you were, than the way I was.