My buddy Laurel Darren is a pretty solid runner, and she was looking for a cyclist. It was only 15 hilly miles, so I agreed... even though my road season has sucked thus far.
Saturday morning I did the X-stream Cleanup along the Mississippi. After a day of picking up the trappings of our local white trash, the free-beer-and-brats party was a welcome event. Too bad I was racing the next morning at 8am. I only had a handful of beers and skipped the brats. By the time a got home, I was just stinky and tired-- so I chugged some water and passed out.
Getting up the next day was a little easier than one would expect. I hosed myself down in the shower, choked down a waffle and some juice, and hit the road. I got to the race before Laurel and had some time to have Moon look over my bike and get in a warmup.
It rained a little during my warmup, which had me a bit concerned about the supposed mile-long 15% descent on the chip-and-seal surface of Illinois City hill.
My biggest mistake was nursing Clif Shot Crisp Apple all morning, and then trying to take a Clif Shot Sonic Strawberry gel as Laurel started the run.
They had all of us bike suckers in what could only be called a holding pen, waiting for our runners to tag off after the first 2-mile run. I got down half of the gel, and felt that familiar tightness in the back of my throat. Lucky for me, I brought a bottle of water to help me out. As I stood there, poised and ready with my hands on my knees, a fellow biker asked if I was okay. I nodded, and just as I was about to say something really witty-- up it came! This was a good one, coming out of my nose and launching forward by at least four feet. And bonus: Crisp Apple is green.
Other Biker: "Oh, shit! Are you okay?"
Deb: "Yeah, just lightening the load for the climb."
OB: "Wow, that's dedication."
D: "No, that's Clif Shot Crisp Apple. And I've got about 12 minutes to get rid of the rest of it."
I caught one woman and two caught me on the bike. Only one woman that caught me didn't have a number (bikers in teams didn't wear numbers). We ended up getting second place, so that was on me. Laurel set me up to keep the first-place team at bay and I didn't swing it. Illinois City hill was not nearly as epic as legend would have it. It was only about .25-.5 of a mile and pitched at the top to max out at maybe 8-9%. I did it in my 36/23 and was fine, spinning past the dorks on MTBs. The turnaround was soon after the summit, and on my descent I saw a few people actually walking their bikes. Hmmm... maybe if I had run first it would have sucked harder. Who knows.
1. Eat a meal of solid foods the night before a race.
2. Minimize beer intake the night before a race.
3. Get the electrolyte beverage down. Chug it and finish it... don't sit there and suckle it. Use water to satisfy any nervous oral fixations.
4. Waffles are gentle coming back up.
keep it down,