moab - the write up

Start my final prep’s of the day, last minute instructions on my food for the day and all the little things to get me through the next 24 hours.

Get up to the start line and make my way to the front of the line where I exchange a hand shake with Chris E and Josh Tostado.

Gun goes off and the craziness begins – elbows and dust are flying everywhere and I soon get shuffled back as at least two guys get totally run over in the run. Somehow, I am still near Chris but this soon changes as the group immediately bottle necks onto the course entrance.

For the first lap only, we rip down the service road that enters the venue and then shoot straight up the first climb of the day. I put in a decent effort to make it up to the back end of the group where Chris is at the front of the pack. I figure at that point, I have to be in the top 5 – later, when I check in on my first lap, I discover that I was in 3rd.

The first climb is going well, but things start to string out immediately. I pick off a few riders here and there, and the line of riders behind me is very sparse.

Things are rolling good, until I hit the 13 mile mark.

This year we switched out to Shimano chains – one of the pins popped out and bent the hell out of one of the links badly. Since I could see the venue, I started to run the last ½ mile.

Bad choice. I ran for what seemed forever, long enough that I thought I should have fixed the chain. Looking back, I question as to whether or not this effort may have caused my breathing issues later on during the race as running is not something I normally do or practice.

Nonetheless, I still manage to come in roughly 8 minutes down on the leaders and I am in 5th place, only minutes behind 3rd and 4th.

Second lap
By the top of the first climb, I am back in 3rd place.

I keep up a good pace and I am putting time on the solo field.

Third and Fourth lap
Same pace as the previous laps, I continue to hold my pace, but it seems like I’m starting to have some issues taking food down and I feel that I’m not getting enough calories in.

Fifth through Sixth laps –
Power is now starting to slowly sap out of my legs as I can't seem to push a hard pace, but more importantly, when I breathe in deeply, I start to cough uncontrollably. This for me is a sign of sports induced asthma – and once I get it, the only thing I can really do is either back off of my efforts or stop.

Dave Harris catches me and I slip back to 4th place. Technically though, I’m in 3rd place though as Josh Tostado pulls out on the 6th lap.

This condition goes away, but usually not until the next day. I push on.

Last lap –
My chest is now feeling more restricted and I’m having increasing difficulty eating anything. My legs and body feel fine, but the situation was not getting better.

On the final descent into pit row, I decide to pull out.

In retrospect, I don’t know if it was the run on the first lap, the dust, too hard of an effort too early. You think about anything long enough, you can analyze everything you did in the last 2 weeks and find something wrong with it.

Moab – you’ll have to wait another year.

Sologoat out


Dave Harris said...

"Moab – you’ll have to wait another year."

...and thus the obsession begins ;) I know the signs all too well.

Moab is the most difficult 24 hour course I've ever done. It really puts the beat-down on anyone going hard early. Even Chris' laps were approaching 2 hours. For whatever reason, the course was much harder on solos this year than in previous years.

SquidBuzz said...

Sorry to hear about the mechanical issue with the chain. Will you be changing to a different brand from here on out?

Hope you are feeling better. Don't worry, we are still with you.

How about doing the Iceman Cometh next month? I know someone with an entry if you are interested.

Adam Lisonbee said...

I was hoping to get over to your pit to say hello. Tough luck, having to pull out. This year the course was deceivingly tough, as the the terrain was more or less the way it always is. But something out there made it extremely tough, even as a team rider I was getting very tired on the lap.

Good effort, see you there next year!

Solo Goat said...

dave - no doubt i under-estimated moab. 5 minutes after i pulled out i had the notion that i would never compete there again. 5 days later, i'm convinced i'll come back and place well.

squidbizz - yep, i think i will change what chain i am running next year. i used to run SRAM, this was the first year for shimano... and normally i would switch chains about 1/2 way through the season - this year, for some odd reason, i didn't.... as far as the iceman, that's a possibility - i have to check my cross races though as i don't know what's going on that weekend..

adam - i'm hearing a lot more about the course now that i've raced there. i don't think anybody really has an idea of what the conditions are like until they get there - i sure as hell didn't... man, that sand! i've never seen sand that deep and in so many places on a course.

Junior Bike Racer said...

Ernie, what 'cross races are you doing?