Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thank You, Tiny Chainring

Well, I finished...  And that's about all the bragging rights I have.

First, let's start with the stats.  CIRREM 2011 was a 63+ mi snow covered gravel course with about 4500 ft of total climbing.  Temps were in the low to mid 20's with occasional freezing rain and very little wind. I finished in six hours, which is about an hour longer than I was expecting.  Yuck.

The theme of this party was leg cramps, and I had my fill of cake. I felt the familiar twinge in my right quad early on, but otherwise I was feeling good and even running above my expected pace.  I tried taking it a little easier on the hills, but 25 miles in I started cramping up.  Around mile 40 or so my legs locked up.  Not long after I was walking some of the steeper hills.  Finally, 48.8 miles in I pulled over for a much needed a pop tart break.  I stood there for a little while, relaxing, taking time to just enjoy where I was.  Two riders passed, but I didn't pay it much mind. 

Feeling somewhat refreshed, I hopped back on the bike and took off again.  It wasn't long before I joined up with another racer who was going about the same pace as me, so I decided to ride with him for a while.  It's pretty rare that I spend more than 10 or 15 minutes riding with someone on these events, but we kept each other company all the way to the finish.  We took it easy, walked a few hills, chatted about work, bikes and racing and just enjoyed the rest of the ride.  So...  Jared from Ames, thanks for keeping me company.  I hope your knee is feeling better.  See you at Trans Iowa.

Overall, I had a good time.  It was a great course and with the fresh snow the scenery was amazing.  Even though I climb like a slinky and fought cramps for most of the ride, I did enjoy the hills they threw at us.  Still, this race showed me that I have a lot of work to do between now and April 23rd if I'm going to have any hope of doing anything impressive in Trans Iowa.  But hey, that's what we do...

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