Cranky Monkey #4

cranky monkey number two for me, but number four in the series


there are a number of theories

the heat of the day was a factor... but the heat of the day was a factor for all involved

there is talk of a "samson syndrome"
that I was fast at Cranky Monkey #1 where I took second in the 35+
while the removal of my beard messed with my mojo
stealing me of my strength
leaving me weak
causing me to fall to 15th our of maybe 30 35+ racers today

there was some time off the bike
there was my vacation in colorado
those things may have taken away my speed
but... I feel that it may have been a case where the course did not favor me
as a matter of fact I feel that the sharp turns along with the stop and go took far too much energy from me
it seemed like there was a great deal of energy used to start the bike from a near standstill

I had speed today...
like a boy has speed on prom night
I was plenty fast
I just was not fast for long

yes, I am talking about the fast hard three pumps of pleasure
this can happen in sports too

I had shown up psyched to ride and race
overhearing that the course was a combination of the climbs of Fountainhead with the technical demands of Schaffer farms
the bike was running well
I was psyched to be racing
but it just did not come together for me

these trails were so much like the east coast style trails that I began riding on many years ago
that I ended up riding like a beginner

it was painful
I had nothing
I had no technical
I had no lungs
I had no legs
I had no power
I had no endurance
I had no self confidence
I had nothing

it was a brutual slog fest
just me and my bike

out there along
trapped in some cyclists no mans land
with the fast pack ahead of me
and a slower riders scattered somewhere behind me
I rode along at a painfully slow pace
no fluidity
no flow
just slow

lots of dismounting for short steep climbs
lots of heavy breaking on sandy turns

as mentioned
there were endless 90 degree turns that demanded major deceleration
there were short sections that allowed for some acceleration
only do bring the speed down again

lap one had me thinking that I did not want to do a lap two
the thought of lap two had me thinking of not wanting to race at the Shenadoah Mountain 100
much of the race was spent thinking about my ill preparedness for the SM100

the excuses are lined up
but I think that I may still be doing the Shenadoah Mountain 100
my body did not feel unnaturally sore
slow yes, excessively sore... no
the crash has little left of a bruise... sure there is a knob that looks to be either bone or hardened fat that is pertruding from my hip
but nothing that causes any pain or discomfort when I ride
and the back did not seem to be giving me any complaints
so the excuse of last weeks crash is not a valid excuse

the thought of camping with the kids and riding with friends sounds like too much fun for the approaching holiday weekend
would not want to miss it
as it will be a two wheeled party


Frank Brigandi said...

have yuo ridden any road rides that are at least 100 miles or the equivalent in time, say 6-7 hours?
y'know as a litmus test.
sometimes as yuor body begins a transformation, a raise in expectation or degree of fitness, you're warmed up "after" a 40 mile ride.....because it's storing something for later and essentially will not let you go fast until it's damn ready to. this is common in a transformation stage, you just have to ride through it. I used to go through unusual periods of deadlegs and wooden body syndrome then it would just vanish and I'd be flying unable to do no wrong then as I progressed to a higher level of fitness, technical ability it would start all over again.

Lee said...

Come on out to the 100. It's going to be my first time there, i'm scared, but definitely plan on finishing. I'd like to see you there.

Vince Amodeo said...

Wow, Gwadz. My thoughts exactly. Here is my take on this one.

Early hints that it was not going to be my day:

Cat pees on couch
1. Checking out of true front wheel, I find a broken spoke nipple.
2. Replace with wheel from SS bike.
3. On way to Quantico, realize I forgot my head hanky and my chamois cream.
4. During warm-up, find that the new front brake pads I put on that morning squeak badly.

I had no idea what I was in for at the Quantico Cranky Monkey. Talked to Mike Bender before the race and found out he did his two Sport laps in just under 2 hours, which would put him at about 9 miles an hour for the 2 laps. While I haven’t ridden with Bender in a long time, I didn’t think I was too much slower than him, so maybe I would finish quicker than my estimated 2:30 slow pace.

I start off the race feeling somewhat confident, but knowing that most of the guys in the 35+ class are fast! (They really need to make a Expert Vet class!!!) The course started off with a gentle uphill, but quickly put you onto a fun downhill. My front brake squawks as all of the 35+ class rides away from me. No matter, I’ve never been a fast starter and there were 18 miles to go. I felt OK despite being tired from 6 hours in the kayak and blazing sun the day before. The first mile or so was fun. Some of the 45+ guys passed me by the time we got to the first hike a bike. After that hill the course was fast and rolley. I’m thinking I’m doing Ok. The rest of the 45+ go by me. I’m getting up most of the hills OK, but the hike-a-bikes suck. I have to get off and walk most of them. Not knowing the course was a big disadvantage. Never-the-less I’m riding OK. I get to the first water station and ask for water on my back. Ack, that was cold!!!! I’m soon regretting forgetting my doo-rag as sweat starts pouring off my head and drips onto my glasses. While it may not have been as hot as the race I did at Wakefield, I think it was more humid. I reminded myself to keep drinking. Half-way through the first lap, I realize how slow I’m going. 45 minutes and only half done. This course is painful with no real flow and too many un-rideable hills. I’m getting more discouraged and fearing I will have to DNF. Spent the next few miles thinking how I have never DNF’d and how I would justify it. I get to the last water station and ask for some paper towels to wipe off my glasses. I’m absolutely sure I will stop after this lap. Oh the disgrace. But the course had a long downhill fire road after that, which helped me feel a bit better. Then it threw in a couple more nasty hills and I’m sure again I will stop after this lap. For some reason as I roll up to the finish line and see my pitiful 1:15 lap time on the clock, I start the next lap. I felt a bit better but was wondering what the heck I was doing. They are going to have to come scrape me off the course. But my legs keep moving and I manage to walk up the worst of the hills. I started calculating when the experts would start passing me. Soon. Matthew Bailey blows by me about a quarter of the way through my second lap. I soldier on. Most of the other expert men pass me one by one. I knew most of them. David Fahnestock. Mike Capraro. Joe Fritsch. Chris Scott. I tell them all what their placing is as they go buy. As slow as I am going, I think I will stave off being passed by the expert women. I get to the last water station. The naked buy and I had been yo-yo-ing placings, but I’m now clearly ahead of him. Think maybe one other guy I’ll finish before, but not sure if they are 35+ or 45+. I feel some relief and strength on the quick fire road before the hellish climbs near the end. I manage to big ring it up to the finish line, but just miss a 2:30 finish time. Ugh! This had to be my worst race ever. At least I finished I tell myself. How could the SSers have finished that course so fast! Amazing. At least none of the expert women lapped me. I realized this was why I haven’t raced in about 5 years. Being out of shape and racing is not a good mix. Oh well. Maybe I’ll get some form back by next year. Nice to see all the fellow riders out there. WTG!


gwadzilla said...

no long rides this year
no long distance rides
no long duration rides
no rides

I will attack the Shenadoah Mountain 100 just the same
as I am a soldier
I have been drafted


gwadzilla said...

I will see you there
it is an amazing event
I am sure you are more familiar with those trails than I am

I am counting on the amazing energy and the unbeatable support of the day to carry me through the race


gwadzilla said...

great write up
I was there with you
wanting to quit but having a hard time justifying int
getting passed did not help
it never helps
just a kick in the ribs when I am down

the course has much potential

not sure what can be done about all the short steep hike-a-bike stuff

they can increase the flow

the course is used primarily for runners
well, maybe joggers
if more cyclists were to beat down the course
a few turns were made into a less of a slow and go and turned into a flow
it could be a great course

so many of the East Coast locations have evolved
your people at PVC have worked with MORE and IMBA to turn little old Wakefield into a super fun place to ride a bike
Schaffer farms has evolved into a wonderful flow course
Quantico has some potential
I think it needs some man hours
not unlike "the bowl" at Wakefield needs to be more like "the race course" at Wakefield

it was a fun race
if getting my ass kicked can be fun
mountain biking is not always easy

not a good confidence boost the weekend before th sm100
I have a week to get my head right

-jg out
time to get my deal together and head into work

Frank Brigandi said...

try to get one 5 hour ride in...at least one before thursday. see how your body responds.