1. 4:45 awake in comfy condo. make mental thanks to cristi for letting us stay at her place.
2. arrive at venue, drop bags and get ready for start.
3. roll out with about 200 others in a neutral start.
4. not sure when the race became non-neutral but was we were still in a large-ish group heading into the first feed station at mile 20 at this point I'm guessing I'm in about 75th place or so. the original game plan was to start off easy and then pick people off as the race wears on. at this point all was going well and I was picking off small groups of people while I traded work with several others being careful not to redline. too early for that.
5. grab a sandwich and other munchies at aid station #2.
6. pull out of aid station to find I can't clip into my right pedal. as I struggle with it I hear the tell-tale sound of a cleat hitting pavement. F!
7. turn around and retreive cleat and thank my lucky stars I had thought to bring along a spare set of cleats and bolts. reattach cleat and continue on.
8. Having lost my drafting partners, I must now soldier on my own.
9. Things are still going fairly well through to aid station 3 but am starting to get tired. I hadn't been able to eat anything since aid station 2 and it was beginning to show.
10. See Jeff W has abandoned with a broken seatpost. Chat with him for a few minutes until he essentially pushes me out of the aid station. "The hard work is done" he says. Liar.
11. Leaving aid station 3 it became apparent that my lack of eating was catching up to me. My reserves were gone and I began to suffer immensely. This is also when I briefly considered removing my seat post, beating it on a rock to break it and then have to abandon the race. Thankfully, I thought better of it and continued on.
12. I suffered immensely over the next few hours. The legs no longer had any power. I could spin up the climbs but thats about it. Standing and hammering even for short periods was out of the question. I was so spent that I couldn't even get my pace up enough to create lactic acid. The technical descents were brutally rough and here I was running 5-7 psi more air than usual. I wanted to let air out but feared the extra rolling resistance on the dirt road climbs. I'm still not sure which would have been worse, the pinball like action my tires were taking on the descents or slightly more rolling resistance. I'm betting the pinballing was worse.
13. Watch as many of the people I passed earlier in the day pass me at what looks like double my speed. I have no will to fight and just let them go.
14. Finally arrive at aid station #5 expecting them to have cold coke to get me over the last hump. Not only did they not have coke but they didn't really have cold water either. I wanted to throw a hissy fit but didn't have the energy.
15. Suffered on. Couldn't stand in the tech sections because my hands hurt so much (must get ergons, seriously this time) but sitting was even worse since it felt like I'd been sitting on a cheese grater for 9 hours. On the smoother downhills I'd actually sit with the back of my thigh on the seat to protect the arse.
16. Get to finish, throw down bike and plant self in camp chair.
17. Sit in cold stream and scream like a little girl as the bacteria leaden water touches my chewed up ass.
18. Drank 5 or 6 beers and had three dinners.
19. Slept like crap because of lumpy ground and drunken yahoos.
20. Pack up camp and hit road at 6:45 for 9 hour ride home.
21. On the ride home I have plenty of time to reflect and figure if I had been able to force myself to eat earlier on in the event that I'd have been able to knock close to an hour off my time.