Monday, May 31, 2010

Mohican Preparations

I stayed with my game plan the past couple of weeks and did my racing on the road instead of on the dirt in preparation for the Mohican 100. I raced at the PA State Championship RR near Bloomsburg, PA on 05/22/2010 and did the ABRA Tour of Tucker County this past weekend in Thomas, WV. My game plan of staying on the road to keep healthy and fit held up pretty good for the most part, but I did have an unexpected battle with sickness last week that I was worried might ruin my chances at having a good Mohican 100 Race.

So, anyway, my bad luck all started when I woke up at 4AM to travel 4 hours up to Bloomsburg, PA for the State Road Race. I raced for about 8 miles in what seemed to be a pretty fast master’s field and then all of the sudden, without warning, I blew my rear tire. I immediately raised my left hand and pull off to the right side of the road to receive a wheel from the wheel truck. The change was not a real fast one, but the part of the course we were racing at that time was. I chased as hard as I could for about 3 miles, but there was no way that I was going to catch the fast pack.

Not wanting to waste the day after getting a flat I decided to keep on riding anyway, so that I could at least get in a good workout. I soon joined up with another rider who also suffer from a flat tire during the race and we rode hard together until the end of the first lap. After finishing the first lap, we decided to do another fast lap together and then I decided to do one more hard loop after my flat tire riding companion decided to pack it up. Doing a ride after my flat did help clear my mind of the frustrations I had about my flatting and made me feel a little better about getting back into my car for the four hour ride home. My bad luck may have started on the bike, but the bad luck soon continued by attacking me by the end of my long drive home.

During the drive home, my gut did not feel right and latter Saturday Night it was impossible for to keep and food in my body. Even now I am not sure if I got a case of food poisoning or the flu, but I can tell you that it knocked me down for a few days whatever it was. Being the way I am, I tired to ignore my symptoms on Sunday because I had planned to do a long ride. Well, being the way I am, I did the long ride anyway. It took just about every ounce of energy for me to complete and probably only made a bad situation much worse. By Sunday Night, I was so sick that I was unable to eat, was shaking from being cold and had a screaming headache. I took so many trips to the toilet on Sunday Night and during the day on Monday I started thinking about staying seated on the thing rather than heading back to bed. Thankfully, I was able to call off work on Monday to try and recover from my sickness, which definitely did some good. I also stayed off the bike on Monday and Tuesday, which was easy to do because I had no energy to do anything.

It wasn’t until last Thursday that I started feeling somewhat better. I was already pre-registered for the Tour of Tucker County (ranked as one of the hardest road races in the United States), but I was having apprehensions of doing it because of how I was feeling. But, by Saturday, I figured it would be best to give it a try and see how my body responded. My goals were simple: attempt to ride hard and hope that my GI track would withstand the extra stress of riding hard. I managed to exceed my expectations by actually being one of the main riders to create a five person breakaway on this major climb that was eventually whittled down to me and another rider by the last climb. Additionally, my gut felt fine and I didn’t have to finish the race with a chocolate stream running down my leg. However, being the non-sprinter that I am, I mistimed the last charge to the finishing line and wound up in second for the day. I was stilled pleased, though, because only a few days earlier I thought I was on my death bed.

Things seem to be back to normal for me now. I followed up the tough Tour of Tucker County Road Race with 3 hours of single track riding on Sunday and a hard 4.5 hours of riding on Memorial Day. Hopefully my spat with bad luck is done now and I can have a smooth week leading up to the Mohican 100 NUE Series Race this weekend. I am so psyched to do the Mohican and feel very fortunate that my health turned around quickly enough for me to prepare properly for the race. Let the count down to the weekend begin! Happy Trails, Gerry
BTW, thanks to Benjamin Stephens for the photo.

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