Steve Heaton M35+ 123
Two months ago I dislocated my should chipping the bone around my socket area, ripped, stretched and tore other stuff. surface pain is gone and what's now left is a stiff and limited moving shoulder/arm. However I can ride a bike and feel like I have control over my actions so I decided to race. All I wanted to do was not get dropped and if so at least on the way back not before (you know it's a mental thing).
The pace was smooth tempo - 35mins into it I felt like crap, but once I added my warm up time to it I always feel like crap 50-55mins of riding as this is the turning point to being ready to get it on. Once I sensed the climb was coming I moved into position! Yes about 5 back ready for action. I had no problem holding my position once the pace picked up and my confidence was rising with the climb. At feed I picked a bottle and notice I have already finish 2 big bottles of fluid (these were frozen bottles that melted within 40mins) pulled my third frozen bottle out of back pocket that kept me a bit cool and my gels as well. Anyway, once on flats around mile 25 into it I went to the front to find my groove when all the sudden I started to feel a twinge.......I looked at my arm and it was dry? Shizt I'm starting to cramp - I can't let anyone see my weakness. I dropped back and WHAM full blown leg lock (I dropped myself) and I'm fading back. I can't believe 1:15mins into the race feeling great and I'm having a major cramp? Now I'm super pissed (pack is now 40m out) and I sprint back on recover make the left turn that goes flat for a couple of miles then a short punchy climb up and over to turn around. All the sudden a slowing of the pace, I look up and the break has gone and the selection is made with all 3 teams represented. FUuuc I have to go if I want a chance at it. I sprint from the back bringing 1 guy with me, we rotate for a few minutes within 10m from break WHAM cramp is back (I yelled to the guy behind me to jump I'm cramping) he makes it and when I looked back we had a monster of a gap so one again I sprinted back on to the break only to get asked for some help in pulling....(I'm thinking RIGHT I'm hanging on working out my cramping issue) then a few minutes later as we approached the climb 2 guys are talking? Shizt they are going to attack.........Yeeep (bye bye). Now I'm the chase in "no mans land" I held the pedal to the metal in hopes of making it back over after the turn around before the group behind so I would have someone to hide behind on the way back. On the return climb I get passed by 2 sets of 2 riders but I was getting it together a bit and was able to keep them within 50m and thought if I can hold this to the top I could attempt another one of my HAIL MARY sprints to catch back on to the new chase group and Walllaaa - baby I'm back! now on the flats for a little recovery riding( so I thought). Only we had 3 guys out of 6 that had team representation in the break of 4 ahead so they did nothing but mess up the pace causing me to feel obligated to do my share of the work only to get dropped by tactics I know better than to let happen but feeling a bit limited I wilted as I ran out sprints for the moment (31miles to finish). I held 23-24mph for a few miles holding the gap at around 200m only to have them pull away going into the climb back. I turned around and the pack was waaay back. I decided to put my Mtn biking TT skills to work and charge on in hopes of picking off blown riders. That I did!
I ran out of water with 2miles to top of climb (bottle feed) and started to slow. I can't believe how hot it is! Like - 4 peckered billy goat in heat on a south facing rocky cliff in August. At one point I had 2 flies buzzzzing my face~~~I'm going to slow so I picked it up a bit only to feel the sensation of being in a sauna with someone pulling a wool blanket over me. My feet felt like I fell a sleep by a camp fire with them in the fire pit. I wanted to stop so bad but what would I do? stand in the hot sun on the side of the road looking like a jackass sizzling in the 100deg+ sun. Once I reached the feel and got water I started to get it together. 20 miles to go then 13 to go I ran out of water and was suffering in the head wind. I looked back 1/2 mile and 2 guys are coming that I dropped earlier. I sat up fully recovered in case they wanted to attack me. I was offered a wheel and off we went. 10miles to go one of the guys accelerates on a rise and drops the other guy. I'm thinking all I want to do is get this over with and he wants to play. I made him pull all the climbs so I could have the juice to hold on if he gets any ideas. Then I was fantasizing of cars pulling up to me and handing me water bottles but none of them did and it was starting to frustrate me? I thought of asking the guy I was with for water but I hadn't seen him take a drink the whole time? when i would drop my head from being so tired and delirious I would see my empty bottles and had to toss then in frustration of them reminding me of being out of water for a long time ended up being a total of hour without water. 2k to finish and now this guy isn't going to pull through for anything. I noticed he ain't no sprinter! All I need to do is get within 100m and I can take him from the front head wind and all (I'm a sprinter and a sprinter always has a jump) Guess what? I jumped - he dropped anchor and was able to sit up show my number and blast off the the car to dive into my ice chest. 8th according to the pre-results haven't seen final.
Let's recap the high lights!
Almost 40miles to finish I started a series of cramps, made the break, became the chase all while getting dropped 5 times having to sprint, climb, attack and TT all the way back chasing the chase and break away. Flies hoovering around my face, ran out of water, got a great tan, paid my dues, feeling like a took a few years off my life. 3:22mins of pure hot pleasure I hope I never experience again. Overall I'm glad I did it and my shoulder feels fine. Pescadero here I come!