That Pain Again...
First race in a long time for me, and most likely to be the toughest event I have done this far.
Being my first race back since the Tassie 12 Hour in March last year, I was somewhat nervous at the start line. Once the horn went, the nerves were gone... The road start saw a very fast pace early on in the piece. The first climb sorted the men from the boys; I had no intention of hurting myself in the first 10km so I took it easy. The first stage being mostly road and fire road made it easy to set a decent pace. Later in the stage powering the climbs, and bombing the down hills saw me feeling pretty damn good.
First transition saw me searching around for my support crew and water- they erected the signs just after I come in. Might have been more helpful if they put them up when they set up. After a feed and a top up of water I was back on my way.
Second stage was not what I expected - I really didn't like it, it was ok for the first hour or so, but the tight single track, which was quiet technical, really beat up my arms and upper body. Half way through I was thinking cool, I'm going to do this in about 7 hours, then I ran out of food- and then water; it wasn't until after the race that I found out this section had been extended a fair whack, and having only taken enough water for a little over how long I though it would take left me in a lot of trouble (about an hour short).
Second transition - I rolled in and almost fell of the bike; complaining being cold- I don’t recall much else other then drinking four bottles of water and two bottles of Gatorade. Finally I managed to pull myself onto the bike- despite thinking to myself that I was stupid and crazy for doing so. I later found out many riders pulled out by this stage, finding the harsh conditions a little too tough. Not me though!
Third stage saw some drive train issues on the single track climbs, for some reason I managed to find my legs again with a little power to get up the climbs despite the woes, and bombing the single track and fire trail descents was awesome. Finally after about 10 hours, being severely dehydrated, and quiet possibly suffering from heat stroke I rolled into the finish with a smile on my face; and a feeling of accomplishment.
My first marathon done - they only get easier from here. Personally I think 12-hour solo efforts are much easier. Hehe! I felt surprisingly good for an early season race. Special thanks to my awesome support crew Malory, she did a fantastic job of keeping me happy on the bike. Huge thumbs up to the guys at Rapid Ascent too for an awesome event. (Photos to come).
Will be taking it a little easy this week, although and early morning spin this morning was a good indication that I will be back on the road for a tempo session tomorrow. Tassie 12 Hour is next on the hit list!