Recovery & Preperation
My nephew Michael & his son Brodie came for a visit while I was there & offered to take my electrolyte bottles home to keep cold & return in the morning before my race with a esky & ice to keep them cold during my race. Mick did one step better returning the next morning with a bottle of Coke to drink at the end of the race :-)
I got to sleep pretty late & had a hard time trying to sleep with my injuries from racing the XCO & I really was not looking forward to racing as I layed in the tent at 5 am with the sound of all the 100 mile riders tyres zooming past at the start of there opening lap for there 5 laps around the same circuit as us 100 km riders starting a few hours after.
The loop had some of my favourite trails such as Party Line, Pork Barrel, The Luge, Skyline & Double Dissolution making a 28 km loop that had to be ridden a total of three times. This time racing I had my tyre pressures set right after yesterdays mistakes in the XCO & found the bike much easier the handle in the corners & rocky terrain. Even the AMB course seemed like it had not seen much rain with all the dust about & thinking as I rode, I realised that I had never ridden in Stromlo in the summer & I'm sure this would be the reason why it seemed a lot dryer than normal. Another noticeable thing with the track was that the rocks seemed more exposed than other times I had ridden Stromlo, this may be due to the large amount of riders that use the tracks in wet conditions eroding the dirt away, leaving the rocks more exposed.
Right from the start I did not seem to have any power in my legs from yesterdays injuries & I was struggling to keep a good pace. 30 k & 60 k riders were also out on the track & it was impossible to tell who was who in my distance so I pretty much rode my own race. By the time my first lap was over I was out of electrolyte & was hanging for more fluid. It was a relief to finish of the lap & pick up a fresh cold water bottle & head out for my second lap.
Second lap had riders wanting to get by me for most of the time as the 60 k category started to wind up the pace toward the finish line. In the mean time my pace seemed slow as I thought back at the speed I had ridden past various trail icons in the last Shimano GP 7 hr at the end of last year.
Lap two seemed to take forever to complete & I still had one lap to go as the heat of the day started to take control. While trying to make up lost time on a winding descent I rode only centimeters beside a large brown snake on the edge of the trails that decided to have a strike at me as it caught the edge of my vision while zooming past. I lost my concentration for a second & found myself sliding off the track somehow missing all the hidden rocks in the grass.
I was happy to come around for the last lap but by this point I was starting to tire & once again running out of water before the end of the lap. I headed out for the lap with not much energy left & just plodded along wondering what was the cause of it all...Was I getting enough fluid, was it lack of food, was it the heat, was it not enough training, was it the race the day before or was it the injuries. I guess I will never know for sure but it could have been a few of the above I'm sure.
I drank my bottle by the half way point this time around and opted to refill my bottle and eat a few lolly snakes at a feed station around the back of the course after tipping the first bottle of water over my head.
Heading off for the last half of the last lap I seemed to feel a lot better after the brief stop & powered toward the finish line, relieved to finish & roll through 6th spot in Male Masters.
*Thanks to Rocky Trail Entertainment for giving me water bottles & electrolytes to race over the weekend & for hosting such a great event with brilliant trails.
*Thanks so my sponsor Graham Seers Cyclery for servicing my forks before the weekend & making them run the smoothest I have ever felt.