Tuesday, August 16, 2016

BreckEpic Stage 3 - what was I thinking

Here are the good things about today's stage:
My chest cold is pretty much gone.
Overall, my body is holding up as well as can be expected. My butt is sore but not the worst I've experienced, legs are tired, but not cramping, back is a little sore but that's to be expected, neck is really sore but tolerable, and NO KNEE PAIN!!
Drew and I lucked out with the worst of the weather today.

We are half way done with this bitch of a race.

start of stage 3

OK, that's as positive as I can be.  Today was hell.  42.1 miles 6245 feet of climbing. Took me 6 horrible hours and 35 excruciating minutes.  By mile 2 I knew it was going to be a tough day. I had tried too hard yesterday and I was going to pay for it today.

The route took us over French Pass, which involved a hellacious hike-a-bike.  About 10 minutes from the pass, thunder boomed overhead.  I walked faster. On the downhill side of the pass I got rained on a little and it was cold.  As I was putting on my raincoat, the woman who I was vying for 3rd place with passed me.  I followed her down to Aid 2 but she blew through it.  My thought was, "if that girl can blow off an aid station at the bottom of a cold, hard descent, she deserves the podium more than me!" I let her go, and honestly, I am relived.  Now my goal is just to finish this insane attempt.

That was mile 10.  The next 30 were no more fun.  Long gravel road climbs, technical descents that I was too tired to enjoy, and the one trail I was looking forward to, a new trail along a flume, turned out to be boring and long. 

I finished about 10 to 15 minutes slower than I should have compared to my competitors and 5th on the stage, which puts me in 5th overall.  I don't care.  I just want to finish.  Today was one of the toughest days on a bike that I can remember.

End of day 3