I’ve been tossing and turning since 4am. I’m up up now. The plan? Host hotel has a buffet breakfast at 530am. I’ll let my crew sleep in a little more. Should be nice to see more of my friends in a relaxed setting before the race.
Brandy (faithful crew chief) here, reporting from Santa Clarita. After some hurdles with our rental hoopty, err…I mean minivan, we made it to Santa Clarita for the racer check in and inspections. Like last year, I followed Mama Duck Cindy around like a little duckling until it was our turn to be inspected. We passed with flying colors!
We just checked into our hotel and we’re about to head to the pre-race meeting, which thankfully, is much earlier this year and begins at 5:00 p.m. After that we’ll grab some dinner and last minute groceries and then it’s off to bed for a good night’s sleep before the adventure truly begins.
As always, it’s so nice to see familiar faces out here, whether they are racing or crewing. Good luck to all of the teams!
So the lesson learned was too much training with too much sleep deprivation. Another lesson learned was DO NOT MESS WITH YOUR SADDLE HEIGHT! I raised my saddle about a 1cm a week before the event. I had to move the saddle forward so I also raised it and the combination of those two things wreaked havoc on my left knee in the event. I think I also choose the wrong gear. I was gearing for the flats and the downhills (35,000 feet of climbing means a lot of descending lol!) but some of the climbs Towne Pass in particular really hurt. Towne Pass, which comes at mile 199 and after 11k of climbing, is a 13 mile climb with a 6 mile section that averages 9% ouch! My nutrition was good this time and the only sleep problems we had was the crew couldn’t stay awake through Death Valley so we had to stop in Badwater much to my chagrin. It took me 45:12:45 to finish “the toughest 48 hours in sport”.
San Diego 200km
Fixed Gear 121 miles and 6600 feet of gain
Butterfield Double Century
Fixed Gear 204.5 Miles and 8300 feet of climbing
Solvang Double Century
Fixed Gear 194 miles and 7200 feet of climbing
Mullholland Double Century
203.7 miles with 17,000 of climbing
5:40 72 miles 11,000 feet of climbing
Heartbreak Double Century
Heartbreak Double Century 202 Miles and 17,000 feet
Race Across America
Furnace Creek 508
The Furnace Creek 508 is 10 days away. I have an unusual calm as the days tick away. I am usually a lot more stressed out about my gear or nutrition. But this year being the fourth year racing the “toughest 48 hours in sport” I feel ready and healthy. Over the next few posts I will recap my experiences from my previous three races. For new readers it will give you a chance to see that I’ve probably made every mistake in the book 😉
In 2006, I had incredible form. I had had a good full season of Ultras. I had done fast doubles, climbing doubles and climbing centuries and unsupported brevets. I even had a great month of August training in the mountains with 1650 miles and 124,000 feet of climbing.
January San Diego 200km Brevet 125 miles 6,500 feet
February I was hit by a car.
February Palm Springs Century weekend 340 miles 20,000 feet
March San Diego 300km Brevet 186 miles 11,400 feet
Mullholand Double Century 202 Miles with 16,500 feet
Breathless Agony 11,000 feet in under 75 miles
Heartbreak Double Century 200 miles 16,500 feet
Death Ride 129 miles 15,000 feet
Everest Challenge 29,000 feet in 2 days
Death Valley Northern Route 196 Miles 10,500 feet of climbing
So where did I go wrong?
Are you asking yourself why was I taking in so many calories? Because I was intimidated by the event. The 508 miles the 35,000 feet of climbing. I thought I would really fuel up this time. I would really take in the calories to make sure I wouldn’t falter on the course. But that was a big mistake and I paid for it for miles miles and miles and hours and hours of poor performance.
So in short, I had great fitness but my nutrition made for a horrible first 152 miles. Sleep deprivation also was a major problem through the first night and I was still in Death Valley (about 300 miles) by daybreak. I learned a lot from my first Furnace Creek. But as you’ll see I still had a lot more to learn in the next couple of years.
T- 17 days until Furnace Creek 508 2009. I go into this event burnt-out from a full year of ultra racing. My season began with the San Diego 200km Brevet back in Jan 3rd and will end with FC508 on Oct 3rd, a full 10 months! Follow labels such as Race Reports, races, Brevets, or training, mountains, high intensity to read up all the races and training leading up to the Furnace Creek 508, my goal event of the year.
On my website, http://www.epictrain.com/follow the link “Race Reports”. There you will find 2006, 2007 and 2008 Furnace Creek 508 Race Reports. Or you could “skip the book and see the movie” here in my video gallery.
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