Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Lewis Morris Race
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The race at Lewis Morris may not be my favorite course, but I have made it a personal challenge each year to make this race stand out from others by racing it on my single-speed. Once on a single-speed, the monotony of an endurance race becomes a game of playful extremes. Perseverance replaces discipline, and the thought of pacing oneself on a single-speed does not exist. My will to stay on my bike determines my pace. The race becomes a rhythmic chain of efforts, that are all different than racing with gears.
My race day started quite early, as I wanted to be there to support my friend, Adrienne who was participating in her first race. My big breakfast was long burned off by 11:00 and another small meal was needed, and somehow it did not feel like enough and I started my Heed mix. The start was delayed but I took advantage of as much shade as I could because it was once again real hot. By race start, I realized that I had once again under estimated my fluid needs, and only had a half a bottle of Heed left.
I felt good out of the blocks and surprisingly got a fantastic placement for the opening climb. There was a little bit of a shake down, but eventually we found our places by the top of the rooty climb. I was geared a little hard with a 32X18, a gear I had not felt strong enough to run there the past 3 years. The gearing felt just right for the start. I was prepared to suffer later in the race.
Out of drink mix, I was ecstatic when Adrienne handed me an icy bottle of water in the feed zone on lap two. Art had brought a cooler full of ice to put our drinks in and it was the best! By the start of lap three I had faded just a tad, and spotted Shasta 45 seconds back on the switchback. I dug a little deeper but my legs were screaming on every little uphill. My descending was actually getting better each lap as I became more relaxed and familiar with the grooves and contours.
I was handed another bottle of Heed for lap four, that was most likely a leftover from a teammate, and it sealed the deal for me. It was just enough to keep me hydrated, focused and able to rev the engines into the finish line in second place. I had no stomach cramps, which is something I struggle with, no leg cramps, conquered my gear selection and felt like I rode a very good race.