My problem is that I only listed three things to be nervous about. Apparently, I missed a few things. There's an episode of "This American Life" with a story about a mentally challenged man who writes down every single fear he can think of in hopes that he can control them. Maybe I should have tried that. At least I'd have a book to publish like he did.
So here's the deal on the Lumberjack 100 (25).
We left for Michigan yesterday, and about an hour into the drive, our hotel calls and says they have to cancel our reservations because the entire town is flooded and without power. However, we can't find any info stating that the race is cancelled, so we pressed on. When we got about 30 minutes from the venue, we found out that couldn't drive any further north because all the bridges were out. We finally made it there after a long detour and the race was on. So we had a to scramble to find a place to stay in the middle of nowhere, since most of the places close to the venue were booked months ago. It made for a really stressful afternoon.
We found a cabin not too far away and not too scary. However, I have a horrible fear of hotel bedspreads and was up most of the night with nerves and heeby-jeebies. I'm just going to have to bring a sleeping bag when I travel.
I also had to force myself to choke down dinner, as I had zero appetite the day before the race. On the one day of my life when I really needed to eat, I had no desire to. Even peach pie with ice cream wasn't going down too smoothly.
I hoped the lack of sleep wouldn't affect my race, and maybe it didn't, but something sure did. I stuck to my plan of going really easy at the start, but I sensed trouble as soon and we hit the Big-M parking lot and my HR jumped from 140 to 160 on a very slight incline. When I hit the dirt it was 180 and within minutes I was up in the mid-190's despite really trying to relax and granny gear on even the smallest hills. For reference, my LT is about 184 and max is around 196, from casual observation. I was in the 194-196 range a lot, which it usually all-out cross country pace.
It didn't take long for the field to break up and pretty soon I was pretty well alone, with one other girl. We rode together for about half a lap and I was hoping my body with get with the program, but it never did. Finally, she pulled away and I fell apart. I ended up taking nearly 4 hours just to complete the lap and felt terrible. Obviously, by the time I made it through the lap I was so horribly off pace to make the time cutoff that I decided to call it a day.
Of course, I'm really disappointed, but not with myself. I did what I could with what I had today, but for some weird reason, that wasn't much. I just have to keep working and have more in the gas tank for next time.
After today, I'm having serious doubts about my relationship with Perpetuem. It's worked fine in training since the winter, but is not proving to have a very good track record in races. For the last three week or so, I've been using the Glacier Mist flavored Rapidaid on my hard training rides and at the Brown Country race with a lot of success. I normally hate sports drinks because of the aftertaste, but this tastes like Certs mints dissolved in water (weird but good) and is surprisingly refreshing.
I didn't use it today because I thought it didn't have enough calories, but late in the lap I was wishing for a happy shot of sugar to brain more than anything. That seems to be my biggest struggle; even when I stick to my Perpetuem schedule, I still end up feeling bonky because it doesn't digest quickly under the hard efforts that are inevitable in mountain biking.
Adam and I are fans of "A Prairie Home Companion" (more NPR) and they have a joke about "Powermilk Biscuits", a fake product that supposed to "give you the confidence to get up and do what needs to be done". That was how I was feeling about the Rapidaid today, but alas, I was not able to procure any in time to save my race. Not that I think it would have, but it might have helped.
Adam also told me that they had Powdermilk biscuits at the aid station, had I only got there in time.