Wednesday, August 01, 2012

12 hours of Wausau-Race Report

The 6/12/24 hours of Wausau started at 10 a.m. Personally this is my favorite time for an endurance race to start. You can sleep in a bit, set-up the pit area without feeling rushed but still start early enough that you aren't just waiting around.

I found my teammate Tim at the start line and lined up next to him. This was the first race of the season where I actually had a teammate also racing the same event. I've been lonely :-)

I'm in this picture...somewhere....
The race started before I knew it. Literally. I must have been so busy talking to Tim that I didn't hear the words "GO." All of a sudden the people in front were running so I joined in. My start was absolutely nothing to brag about. I thought that I would feel a little better then I did since I've been running a little, but oh well. Mental note: Warm-up next time.

My first lap was a lesson in patience. I passed when I could but most of the lap was done at a "I'm not breathing hard pace." I knew it was going to be like that and figured it was a good way to warm-up. The really tight sections had a few technical areas that caused a lot of bottle-necking and a few crashes. It was really, really dry and loose out there.

The crowd of racers thinned out as we pedaled through the miles and I was able to pedal much faster for my second lap. The course was so much fun...but also pretty bumpy in sections. For some reason I ALWAYS forget how bumpy it is.
My third lap was when I had my pedal mechanical. Right after the 3rd mile marker my left foot popped out of my pedal twice. I thought it was weird but kept pedaling. A little bit later it popped out again and I couldn't clip back in. This happened earlier in the year with an older pair so I should have known what was happening but I was in total denial. I have ridden with eggbeater pedals for years now and have NEVER, EVER, EVER had any issues. What are the chances that two would break on me within a few months???

I was in such denial that I actually got off of my bike to inspect, and then it was pretty clear that my spring was broken. I couldn't snap in at all so I had to pedal mostly with my right foot and try to keep my left foot from slipping off the top. Easier said then done, let me tell you. My left ankle actually started to hurt from trying to hold my foot a certain way...strange how that can happen in 6-plus miles. A lot of the trail was either bumpy, or had rocks and roots that you had to power over. I had a few moments where I felt out of control with my left foot sliding off but I managed to save it and not crash.

FYI...it's much easier to go through sections like this with BOTH feet clipped in :-)
When I finally got back to the pit area I grabbed my singlespeed but we realized my chain needed to be tweaked. Scott went to switch pedals on my El Mariachi but the pedal wouldn't come off. Back to the SS!!! I got rolling but the lap was definitely one of my longest.

I mentioned before that it was not a smooth race for me because I also had a problem with my cleat but-oh well. That's part of racing and luckily we were able to deal with everything. Most of the race went by pretty fast and there were lots of racers in the woods to talk with and lots of spectators cheering us on. At one point a guy suddenly appeared out of nowhere swinging in a hammock and he was there for quite some time. Each lap I would look at him and I think he had one less piece of clothing on with each lap. On one of my final daylight laps he was lying on his side watching us go by with just little shorts on. I started to wonder if he was going to be there in the dark....and started to picture glowing eyes peering out of the dark....creepy :-) My imagination is always out of control, ESPECIALLY when it's just me and my bike for hours on end. To tell you the truth I was kind of disappointed when he was no longer there :-)

As always one of my favorite laps was the dusk lap. It had cooled off considerably and I was still feeling good...
I made it back just in time for lights....it was getting really dark in the woods. NiteRider was at the event and I was able to borrow the new MiNewt Pro 750 for my helmet. All I have to say is that light rocks!!! Riding in the dark just got a lot easier.

I had a total blast during the night lap. I adopted two guys from Iowa to be my ride buddies and we rode most of the lap together. They were super nice and it was fun having people to talk to after riding alone for most of the day (the guy in the hammock was very un-talkative!). I had so much fun in the last lap that I wanted to go out for a twelfth lap. The only problem is that I had already told Scott I was going to stop with 11 so he packed everything up, including my light batteries. He's very efficient.

So I finished about 40 minutes early and hung out in the NiteRider pit area...
Scott kept telling me that I should wash my face because I was dirty, and I was like, "no I'm not!" Finally he took a washcloth and polished me clean. When I saw the washcloth and before and after pictures  I realized that my face did in fact have a "little" bit of dirt on it...
Finally I was able to line up at 10 p.m. with a lot of other racers and cross the finish line in first place. It was another great day at 9-Mile forest. Awesome promoter, awesome trail, and awesome people racing. I'll be back next year.

Maybe on a Fat Bike :-)

1 comment:

Chris said...

Oh, and you also rode with me for a bit on that last lap. You forgot already? Kind of like I forgot you were there at all last year? Geez. :-)

CONGRATS!