Saturday brought the start to my 2008 racing season at the Front Range 50. Compared to the past week, it was one of those picture perfect days in Colorado. I choose the WaltWorks with a 32 up front and an 18 aft. In an effort to meet the designated daily plan, I rode to the start leaving at 7:00am. I took a quick jaunt thru the lower section of Green Mountain before rolling on the road to Bear Creek Lake Park. I was met with long lines for both the number placard and timing chip. I setup my backpack in the feed area which held 3 bottles, 1 Red Bull, food, and 1 small CamelBak.
I rode down to the start, which the Ergon FJ was strategically placed nearby, and met up with Notorious B.I.L. The start of the race was at the base of the climb up to the Start/Finish and expo area. They staged all the male categories together. I found myself toward the back as we were given the signal to race.
Lap 1 – I found myself early on wheel to wheel with the pack grinding up the first incline, I settled in knowing that early placement was vital but not necessary. The climbs were clogged with riders grinding methodically up. I finished the lap in about 49 minutes.
Lap 2 – Things finally thinned out and I found my rhythm as things began to flow. The climbs seemed a bit easier when I could climb at my own pace. I was feeling really good at the end of this lap, which was done in about 40 minutes, and my plan for getting bottles at the end of laps 2 and 4 were thrown out the window. I made a decision to stop at the end of lap 3 to pick up two bottles for the last push to the finish.
Lap 3 – The first part of this lap I felt awesome, I was sticking to my nutrition plan and things were absolutely flowing. I made it through the serious of climbs fine until the last little up then things started to take that turn. I felt that little twinge in my lower quads, not so much a cramp as muscle seizure. I was through my two bottles with a mile until the feed area. I still finished the lap still around 40 minutes and still had hopes of holding it together.
Lap 4 – I decided to throttle it back a tad through the first bit and let the liquids I consumed do there trick. As I made it to the climbs, I felt like things were coming back around. I easily made the first two climbs without much incident, though I was a marked difference in my speed. The next two little ups brought back those twinges on the steeper sections. I kept plugging away and finished the lap in about 50 minutes.
Lap 5 – I tried to push the pace but the damage had been done, I rode at a comfortable pace conserving for the final climbing of the race. I ended up running the last steep sections to avoid full muscle seizure. I rolled across the finish feeling strong but a bit disappointed.
I finished in 4:08 which was good enough for 30th place in the geared Veteran 40-49 division where I was scored. My placing in the SS division could be 11th. The daily plan was met as I took the slow ride home.