Wednesday, October 29, 2008

24 Hours of Moab Video

I got this link to a cool video of 24 Hours from Bart's blog. Check it out and get your juices flowing for 2009.

24/7 Night Ride

Laura crossing through the mud.

Laura, Patrick & TMac


Tuesday evening was the absolute perfect night for a ride in the hills above Jeremy Ranch. The air was calm and comfortable, the sky was starry and clear and the trails were spectacular. It was one of those evenings where you could spend the rest of your life and be totally happy.

I rode with 3 Ski Utah hot shots including my former coach Terry McGinnis (TMac). We started just before sunset and rode for a little over an hour on Fink This, Dropout, 24/7 and a couple other trails I can't remember. I've got to get back up there in the daylight cuz even in the night they had good flow and fun obstacles. What a treat.

Mad Dog is having a handicap race up there this Saturday and I hope it covers some of these trails. If you haven't ridden them, do yourself a favor and get up there before the snow sets in.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

24 Hours of Moab recap

Thursday afternoon before the crowds arrive.

A tranquil camp soon to be interrupted by incessant winds that lasted until Saturday.

This tent flapped in the wind all night long on Friday!!! No one slept.

The LeMans start is always exciting and gets the crowd pumped.

That's me coming down the sandy "S" curves section.

Bill Dark on his pre-ride.

Me on a pre-ride glamor shot.

For the third year in a row Old Dogs, New Tricks wins the Grand Masters title. This could be our last year in this group if nobody else steps up to challenge us. Left to right: Mike Matzko, Bill Dark, me and Dwight Hibdon.

I'm finally feeling back to normal and am ready to finish this post that I started on Tuesday.

This years event will be remembered for the wind and cold. I heard the wind gusts were over 50 mph and I'm certain they were a steady 20+ from Thursday until late Saturday, and the temps got into the mid 30's during the night. Burrrr....

As always, Mad Dog Team Manager Keith Payne put together a great camp with spectacular food, great support and a welcome atmosphere. Because of his efforts, and those of the other Mad Dog volunteers, this race is the highlight of the year.

I took some notes between laps and will give a short recap of what went on in my race.

Before I start, my knee was fine. I rode twice on Friday about 20 miles and felt no pain. I've been taking 1500 mg of Naproxen since last Saturday and that has deadened the discomfort. I did not get a shot and I have a ortho appointment set for October 21st. Now back to the race.

I ran/rode the first lap beginning at noon on Saturday. My effort was minimal and slow so I wouldn't aggravate my knee, plus, my 34 minute 10K days are well behind me so why make a fool of myself. On the bike, I passed a lot of riders on the road before hitting the single track where it was congested to the 5 mile point. After that the pack thinned out and the pace quickened. If possible, running faster and staying ahead of the less skilled riders would help greatly so keep that in mind when it's your chance to run at the gun. The wind was a factor in places but the sand was better than when I rode on Friday. My bike floated over the sand and I passed lots of people who were struggling mightily. The technical sections were a breeze on the 29 inch wheel and I actually enjoyed them this year. Ride time 1:25:44, run and ride time 1:28:32 - slower than last year. Max HR 176, avg 161, temp 71F to 78F, 74F avg.

Lap 2 began at 5:41 pm and was a race to beat the sunset. I got in at 7:09 and it was dark, but I did not use my light cuz I wanted to save my battery for later. This lap was a struggle since for some unknown reason I ate only 1/2 of a turkey sandwich after lap 1. As a result, I semi-bonked and got cramps in both quads after about 9 miles. Dumb, dumb, dumb! I crashed on the tilting slab at about 1.5 miles and wandered on the fire road sections more than I wanted to. I couldn't seem to get the flow and the lap was just so-so. Afterwards I ate a big dinner with lots of carbs, brownies, Gatorade, more goodie and real food; and I felt wonderful! Ride time 1:27:33, max HR 169, avg 152, temp 51F to 59F, 54F avg.

Lap 3 started at 12:15 am and physiologically went better than lap 2, but it was cold! I took and endurance drink in a bottle along with water and E-lyte powder in my Camelback and had no physical issues. My only problem was I got tentative on several of the technical drops and walked a lot. The lines just don't look the same at night and that throws me off. Since it was so cold I decided to ride at an endurance pace, not that I could have gone any faster, so that I wouldn't sweat too much and go hypothermic. My toes were frozen in spite of wearing Woolie Bullies. The slower pace worked and although I was cold I was never in any danger. Ride time 1:42:11 (my slowest lap ever), max HR 152, avg 135, temp 38F to 40 F, 39F avg.

We had a problem during the night when Mike Matzko, our new guy from Colorado got hypothermia on his 3:38 am start time 3rd lap. Come to find out his battery didn't charge properly and he lost his light after just a couple miles. That forced him to ride slow and therefore not generate enough body heat to keep the chill away which resulted in shivers that forced him into the EMS station at the Camelback truck. Bill Dark was waiting in the exchange tent and got a call at 6:14 am to head out cuz Mike was pulled from the race. Lucky Bill - he got to go out on the last night lap and watch the sunrise over the LaSalles. That is a special time and one that stays in the memory bank a long time. Bill rode a great lap and got us going again.

My 4th and last lap began at 7:56 am and I didn't need a light - nice! By now I was quite tired since I hadn't slept more than 1-2 hours at a time since Wednesday night, and I was whooped. Being able to see in natural light is a great help and I felt much better, although it was still quite cold. I walked less than on lap 3 and found a few new lines that were more efficient and had a good time. No cramps or crashed, no problems. Ride time 1:34:58, max HR 148, 134 avg, 38F to 43F, 39F avg. Click here to see my lap times.

We left the venue about 4:30 on Sunday and I got home at 9:00. I went right to bed and my wife said I didn't move all night long. Monday was cleanup day and I was still on a high and feeling good. Tuesday the post race depression syndrome (PRDS) set in and I've been in a funk ever since. It's Thursday morning now and I can see a light at the end of the long dark tunnel.

The weekend forecast is for warm weather so hopefully someone will want to go on a long MTB ride and all will be good. Winter's coming and that means fun rides in Moab and St. George and that brings hope and a smile. Life is good...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Moab - 3 days and counting

Finally, yesterday my knee started to feel good again. I actually had a day of very little discomfort and pain, so, I'm rethinking my options. I decided not to get a shot cuz I didn't want to mask the pain and cause more damage, which could make the cleanout more difficult and recovery time longer. Interestingly, driving the car hurts more than walking!

I have an appointment with the VA Ortho Clinic on October 21st and I'm hopeful to get on their schedule for surgery before the end of the year. Things move slowly up there so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and, I'm going to butter up and be real nice to the docs in hopes of getting near the front of the list:-)

As far as the race goes, I'm going to take it day-by-day and see how I feel when I get to Moab. The plan is to ride the smooth dirt road in front of the exchange tent later today and see how that feels, and progress from there. If I can get out of the pedals without pain, and hike uphill, I'm ging to give Saturday a try - one lap at a time.

Well, that's it and it's time to hit the road. Moab or Bust!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Year of Injury

I can't believe it! The 24 Hours of Moab is coming this Saturday and I injured my knee, again. It must be because my training has been going real well the last month. I've been night riding several evenings and I've focused on this race more than in the past, and I want to give it a good shot this year and not just get through it. Ironicaly, I've been concerned the last month about getting injured and have had that in the back of my mind - that's not like me at all and I don't know why I harbored those thoughts.

What's the old saying; if you think about something long enough, it will become reality. Damnit, it's true. For the second time this year I've reinjured the meniscus I tore 3 years ago in my right knee. Only this time it locked up on me and it was painful straightening it out. Bummer! I wore a brace the last 2 days and that took some of the pain away, but moving side-to-side hurts.

So, I'm putting in a call to my VA doctor today in hopes of getting a Cortisone shot so I can ride on Saturday. I hear they hurt real bad so I'm not looking forward to that. I also think it's time to get my knee fixed and hope I can convince the doc to finally do what should have been done years ago. Seriously, when I initially hurt this they wouldn't operate on it because, and I quote "half the guys your age are walikng around with knee problems". What's that have to do with me? Ninety percent of the guys my age are over weight and don't exercise either, especially the ones that go to the VA for medical help. Warning to those of you reading this that want the government to take over the health care system, be careful what you wish for.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I'm able to get a shot in the next day or two. If not, I may be a spectator this weekend.