Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 Knobby 9 to 5 Race Report

Quick Stats
Place:  2nd, Solo Men 40+
Laps:  10
Time:  7:51:49
Miles:  90.4
Elevation Gain:  12,303’

My Race
Fast forward to the end of the first lap as I came through the timing tent; the woman calling out numbers yelled, “Number 38, 42 minutes…”  WTF?  Did she say 42 minutes and something?  Holy shit!  I was nowhere near the front of the race but that was much faster than I expected.  I had been racing wheel-to-wheel with several fast folks for the entire first lap and was riding at a pace that was above my normal endurance race comfort zone.  It’s good to break out of your comfort zone once in awhile right?

Solo Men, 40+ Podium
At the 2011 Knobby 9 to 5, I had a very good race and did nine laps on my singlespeed.  In 2012, I DNF’d after three laps with severe low back pain.  For 2013 I wanted to go “all-in” and see if I could do ten laps.  The math was intimidating…I had to average 48’ per lap to finish ten before the 5pm cutoff. 

Starting fast has never been my strength but I knew that I needed to “bank” at least three fast laps to start this race in order to give myself any shot at doing ten laps.  After that, I was simply hoping that I my endurance would kick in and I could sustain a 48’-49’ per lap pace for the remainder of the day.  I love it when a plan works!  I was able to finish my 10th lap with nine minutes to spare.

Pre-Race Movement Prep
My Crew Chief was very calm before the race
Things that worked:

LW Coaching - The foundation for this race was laid back in March & April when LW Coaching dished out the pain prior to the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde.  I didn’t do a lot of “training” between Mesa Verde and the 9 to 5 and I was a little nervous about a loss of fitness.  In fact, twitchy might be a better description.  As usual, LW was right and her formula worked.  Thanks coach!

CarboRocket – The original CarboRocket was one of the first high-electrolyte drink mixes to hit the market.  Most people have heard about Skratch Labs and Osmo Nutrition these days.  Both companies make a low calorie, high electrolyte drink mix and preach “food in your pocket, hydration in your bottle”.  The original CarboRocket was ahead of the curve with its 110 calories per 24oz bottle mixture and high electrolyte content and I have been using it since the summer of 2009.  The main difference between original CarboRocket & Skratch/Osmo is that CarboRocket uses a mix of Maltodextrin & sugar instead of simply sugar as Skratch/Osmo do.  The other huge difference is price.  Original CarboRocket is $.82 per 24oz bottle whereas Skratch & Osmo are $1.50 per 24oz bottle.  Hey Boise bike shops, we need a local CarboRocket dealer.

Here is the most important stat:  This stuff just works.  When I look back at the notes from all of the races I have done using Carbo Rocket there is a common theme; no stomach distress and very little cramping.

Scott Spark 900 – My 2013 race bike is pretty awesome.  In fact, it is the best race bike I have ever owned and I don’t feel like I am giving up anything by racing a full-suspension bike 100% of the time.  Based on my conversations with the other Fitzgerald’s Bicycles team members currently racing this bike, I am not the only one who feels this way.  I use the shit out of the Fox CTD Remote lever and I find myself using all three settings equally as often.  Having the Fox CTD remote lever on the left side of the bars and the SRAM XX1 twist-shift on the right is a sweet combo.  In hindsight, I wish I had run a 34T XX1 ring for the Knobby 9 to 5 but the 32T ring worked out ok.   

Work to be done:

Low Back Pain - My low back started to hurt on Lap #1.  Seriously?  It wasn’t a deal-breaker but it was uncomfortable and forced me to stand and stretch on the bike more than I wanted to.  The pain crept up to about 7 out of 10 on Lap #3 but then subsided a bit and leveled off for the remainder of the race.  Sustained, seated race-pace efforts seem to trigger my low back pain. I also think nervousness and stress manifest themselves in my low back at times and I was pretty keyed up before this one.

My visits to Dr. Nate at Trailhead Chiropractic have helped a ton.  Dr. Nate has used a combination of Graston Therapy and Active Release Technique on me and my back has responded well.  Most importantly, Dr. Nate is the first doctor to accurately diagnose “why” I have low back pain and prescribed a series of stretches & foam roller exercises that allow me to work on the issue on my own.  This is obviously a work-in-progress but I am far ahead of where I was last year at this time.  

Garmin500 Race File

Lap Splits