Monday, May 4, 2009

TI V5 - A learning experience

First off, thanks to Guitar Ted and David Pals for putting on one heck of an event. This is grass roots racing at its finest. These two men, the volunteers, plus the challenging course make this event a gem. A round of applause to everyone that showed up to ride, and an extra round for those that finished. The event would not have been the same without each and every one of you. I only talked to a few people before and during the race. I hope to meet some more of the competitors next year. A big thank you to Rasmussen Bike Shop for ordering the myriad bunch of weird parts I've requested over the last few months and supporting me and other mountain/dirt cyclists in the area.

Summary. First attempt at TransIowa and resulted in a DNF after about 150 miles of riding. I think my physical fitness was fine, but a lack of long rides to develop the appropriate mental training led to me not being able to finish. We couldn't have asked for nicer road and weather conditions. Most everything we rode on was dry, and the temps were warm, but definitely not unbearable. In the end bad nutrition choices and bad racecraft sealed my fate.

Nutrition nutrition nutrition. It is impossible to eat enough during any ultra distance event. I thought that by regularly taking in Perpetuem and tossing down a Clif bar and a piece of pizza every now and then that I'd be able to keep myself topped off. I spent the the last 20 miles of my race trying to dig myself out of the deep deep hole I had been digging for the previous 130 miles. I had burned around 9800 calories for the 150 miles that I rode that day. I know that I didn't take in anywhere near that many during the race.

Racecraft. I rode too long by myself, especially bucking a 10 - 15 MPH headwind for 110 miles. Everyone that finished was riding with at least one other person for a good portion of the race. I should have backed the pace down earlier and settled in with a group of people for the ride rather than riding hard by myself thinking that I could bank time by getting to the checkpoints earlier. In the end, I was not more than 15 minutes ahead of some of the finishers for the first parts of the event. I abandoned my plan and I paid for it.

Next race up is the Almanzo 100 on May 16th in Rochester, MN. After that, the Dirty Kanza 200 in Emporia, KS on May 30th. I'l be riding my new Salsa La Cruz at both of these events. Hope that it performs well.


Courtney said...

Steve I'll train with you next year I think I'm also stupid enough to enter a 300 mile gravel race! I think a 300 mile ride the month before would help even if it's on pavement.

Steve Fuller said...

I don't think that a 300 mile ride is necessary before the event. I think it's a matter of consistent riding, and getting in some rides in the 150 - 200 mile range with varied terrain ahead of time. For running, most marathon training programs don't have you run a full marathon in training. A 20 miler is about all they have you do.

Squirrel said...

I think you better learn the Zen of Pace & an eating routine that will work for you. Best way to do both of these....solo 6,12, & 24hr races:) Don't beat yourself up, there is always next year. Enjoy Almanzo!

Cornbread said...

Steve, great to see you again.

Take those lessons learned from TI and use them to become a better rider. I think everyone learns a lot during their first TI experience. My recommendation is to write those lessons down so you don't repeat them next year.

Good luck at Almanzo. See you in Kansas at the end of the month!

Paul said...

Great ride Steve. You were riding strong that is for sure. I would recommend just riding the pace that you need to make the cut offs. Unfortunately, at TI that usually means having to really bust ass, but this year we had a choice to take it a bit easier than the typical TI. You definitely have the fitness Steve. Keep up your commuting. That was the answer for me this time around I know that for a fact!