Monday, September 25, 2006

Everest 2006 Wrap Up

As mentioned previously Nathan and I headed out to the Eastern Sierras to take the Everest Challenge. This would be Nate's first time, and my third attempt. Even though I have finished the race before, and on the podium, I use the word attempt because one really has to be humble and respect the difficulty of this event. If you don't you can find yourself in a big World of hurt.

My goal this year was to ride within myself and improve on my time from the previous a few years ago. The best way to do this was to make adjustments in my nutrition and how I prepared for the start. Previously I would eat a good breakfast before, sounds smart, right? I am sure it works for some, but I found myself needing a major nature break at the top of the first climb. This lost me a ton of time. This year, I decided to eat a big dinner and just have coffee and a muffin for breakfast about an hour and half out from the start. In essence I was starting with an empty stomach and the fuel tank full. I started with two bottles of Perpetuem and kept topped up with gels along the way. The result was that I could keep moving along without the need for a lengthy stop. I only stopped once at the car on the way to the last climb to get rid of some clothing previously needed for the cold morning start and to grab some pre-mixed bottles.

The volunteers and support this year was phenomenal, it was very easy to stay hydrated and topped up with fuel. Had I known that the volunteers were going to be so dedicated and outstanding, I would have carried less. On day two I had enough confidence in the support that I actually did, and it was fine thanks to these folks.

Saturday's stage being the hardest of the two, not that either are easy, was under my belt and went off without a hitch and even a little better than expected.
I was only faced with two problems, no appetite for 6 to 7 hours after the event and I was really tired. We went to dinner and I took about 6 bites of a large burrito. It wasn't doing it. Rest, I needed rest. Back at the hotel I nibbled on fruit and other snacks as much as I could, but I knew I was still at a caloric deficit. I popped an E-Caps Xobline and actually started to feel normal again in about 10 minutes. (Interesting!)
About 1:30 AM I finally started to feel hungry and had some more nibbles. I got up with Nate at 4:00 and had some oatmeal and a banana. That was starting to fuel the tank. A couple of hours later I had my coffee and muffin and I was back on track.

With day one over and being done conservatively and Nate in the lead by 10 minutes I decided it was time to make a contribution. Futile or not I was determined to try and put some hurt on the guys that ripped it up on the first day. Yeah, they are far better climbers, but they had to be a little fatigued and with very little warmup before the first climb, a hot tempo might take a little out of them.
We started out the first climb and the pace was sort of mellow, even by my account. I rolled to the front to lift the tempo and made sure the group was on my wheel. The idea is to lift it without much notice like boiling a frog. Louie Amelburu and Greg Leibert were tied for second, so the goal was to make them expend a little energy early while Nate sat back in the easy chair.

My ego would like to think it was working. While driving the pace Louie was next to me and seemed to be breathing nearly as hard as I was. Greg broke a spoke and had to stop for a wheel change and I kept the pressure on forcing him to burn a match to catch back up. Not something you want to do this early in a second stage. A Simple Green rider attacked to get away, but the pace was enough that I had him back in the group inside of a minute. I wasn't sure if I was doing any damage so I looked back and saw a very small group of only the top contenders. "Give me a shovel, I am gonna dig these suckas a grave!"

About 3 miles into the climb I decided it was time to get into my own pace and leave these boys to their game. I clocked out and slowed down, to my surprise the group slowed too and I actually stayed with them. I gave it about 30 seconds and punched back in for some overtime. This lasted for about another mile and we were closing in on the back end of the shattered Pro 1/2 field.
Job done!
I rode up on Jason from Spine and we mosied along at a conversational pace for a while. He slipped away, then I caught him on the second climb, where he slipped away again at the top. Then I caught him again with about 7K to go. The end of the last climb gets a bit steep and those running compact cranks have to stand too. It seems there is a point of diminishing returns. They had to stand and grind, and so did I, but I was standing on a 39 x 28 VS. their 34 x 27. You do the math.

I finished it up strong with a big ring sprint to the line just for a final show of defiance. At that event finishing is winning, and I wanted that mountain to remember my name.

Now I am sore everywhere, much like putting one's self into a meat grinder...twice...at 10,000 feet.

4 Comments:

Blogger velogirl said...

congratulations!

1:13 PM  
Blogger Gianni said...

Nice work!
Now can you relax and go back to the nice, short races for the next few months?

4:36 PM  
Blogger le petit lutin said...

Yeah, now they are relaxing in Vegas...but they'll probably find a way to go on a bike ride!!!

9:33 AM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

We didn't do much relaxing. We worked and walked are asses off.
But we did some good work, and if anyone complains...WHACK!

9:47 AM  

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