Back at the ‘Jack

19 06 2008

Well Lumberjack 100 has come and gone. I suffered more than I did at Mohican, but I came in 7th out of the 13 women finishers, which is a pretty good result for me.

The Manistee area had 9 inches of rain the night before we got there, causing flooding that shut down roads and power outages near the lake, but we were lucky to miss the flooded road and to have a hotel room out of the no-power zone. We flew into Grand Rapids Friday (yet another 6am flight) and made it up to Wellston by 2pm. Kerry and Karen were staying right next door to us in the same hotel and they were nice enough to drive our bikes out and back for us, so we got to chill on the porch instead of putting bikes together.

The race started with a slightly downhill 2-mile stretch of road. I did what I could to keep the entire pack from passing me, but it had thinned out a lot by the time we turned into the Big M parking lot.

The course is 4, 25- mile loops of rolling singletrack and the lap starts with a long sandy climb that get steeper towards the end. There was the predictable bottleneck as the climb got steeper, and the predictable conga line after that, but after a couple of miles, I had settled in with my posse. I swear I passed and got passed by the same 12 people the whole race. Somewhere in there I picked up a shadow – Duke from mysinglespeed.com – who decided I was going to pace him. This was a little disconcerting at first, but once I got over the sensation that I wasn’t going fast enough, I just relaxed and enjoyed the company.

Me and my shadow

I’m glad someone was happy with my pace, because I wasn’t. I did a 45-minute preride the day before (first MTB ride since Mohican, due to the Element’s untimely demise), but I felt like I hadn’t ridden my SS in about a year. My right tricep hurt when I stood and pulled on the bars, and my right inner quad and left hamstring wanted to cramp when I pushed hard seated. I managed to work around the crampy pains with lots of position changes, but I was seriously wondering how I was going to survive three more laps. And then there was the this.

This crap went on for 50 yards or so. Since I had no shifting to worry about, I just plowed through and around it on the first lap. The storm also laid down a couple of logs, which I insisted on jumping. It was probably a total waste of energy, but a girl has to have her fun!

Miraculously, the leg cramps went away at the start of the second lap, (though the hurty tricep stayed with me for the duration). I tried to clear the mud pit in that lap, but it had gotten thicker, and I bogged down halfway through. Then Duke bogged down and fell over on top of me. It would have made a pretty funny video… I landed on my ass on top of a couple of branches and I struggled like a cockroach on it’s back to get up from under the bikes without breaking the branches and plunking my butt into the muddy swamp. I finally extricated myself with Duke’s help and decided it was better to walk through after that.

Lap three was a mental struggle as I started to fade physically. Towards the end, I started berating myself for being slow and not training enough, then I decided the problem wasn’t me – the problem was that 100 mile races were stupid, and this race was extra stupid because riding more than two laps of this course was stupid. Stupid!!! This race has a really high DNF rate and now I know why. If you start having the Bad Attitude 70 miles in, and your car, food, and beer are at mile 75, that fourth lap starts looking pointless.

Fortunately, I lost the Bad Attitude during the Insanely Awesome Downhill at the end of the lap and headed into the fourth lap feeling pretty trashed physically, but a lot better mentally, and made the last push into the finish at 11:21.

Huge thanks to Paula for not only letting us put our coolers in the perfectly located Dark Horse pit, but also helping me refill and refuel and providing a much-needed mental break. And thanks again to Kerry for transporting our bikes. That made our trip a lot easier. And while I’m at the shoutouts, congrats to Karen Potter on her 2nd place finish.

The awards ceremony was lots of fun. Founders brewery is the race sponsor and they make some seriously good beer. I had an IPA and a porter that were both fantastic. Because Laura moved to VA and Namrita got injured, I got a neat trophy for winning the women’s SS class (i.e., being the only woman on an SS to finish).

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6 responses

20 06 2008
Lindsay

Sweet ax! Congrats on pulling through the bad attitude and finishing!

21 06 2008
Laura

Congrats! Wish I could have been there but it would have been too much to squeeze into one weekend. I’m hoping to do some more races at the end of the summer, so hopefully I run into you then.

22 06 2008
Danielle

Congrats on getting the Axe!!! It was good seeing you and Tom again!

18 07 2008
Mallie

Where are you?

22 07 2008
The Shadow

Is there a pace line forming over here ;^) thanks again.

23 07 2008
Tom

I think it’s time for another blog entry. This happened over a month ago !

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