With the 12 hour ride back from Sea Otter, I had a lot of time to think about my race and try to identify possible reasons for my poor performance. Here is what I came up with:
1. I could have over trained. While this is a common thread in my racing, I don’t think it is applicable to this case. The weather has been sporadic so I have not been able to ride as consistently as I would like and usually do during the season.
2. Driving through the night on Thursday could have influenced my performance. I am one of those individuals who feel it is unfair that passengers get to sleep while drivers do not, so I try to stay awake as much as possible. While I failed several times through the night, I still did not get quality sleep.
3. On Tuesday (five days prior) I donated blood. Now at the time I thought this could have a small effect on Sunday. But then all the literature they give you says that your body replaces the blood in 24-48 hours with proper hydration. And I did properly hydrate. I did some additional research though (after the fact) and apparently the quantity returns—plasma—but the red blood cells take much longer. This does not seem to affect submaximal efforts but it does hinder maximal. Most studies show this up to a week afterward, but no long term studies have been conducted that I could find. Some good articles are available here and here.
4. Maybe I am just slow. I don’t feel that I am where I desired to be weight wise. This can have an obvious negative impact on fitness and climbing especially. The course had quite a few hills and was not technical. It was very fitness driven. Maren also pointed out that much of the competition was from California and they have had the luxury of being able to train in real world environments much more than I have.
On a much happier note though, Chris and I rode after work. We did the dream ride up Provo Canyon—Race course up to the road, climbed Betty’s (Frank’s bypass), descended Dry Canyon, crossed over to Dragon’s Back, and then did Bonneville South. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. It was wonderful! I had a perma grin coming down Dry Canyon; it is so much fun.
Mad Dog is actually sponsoring a trail building day on Saturday up Dry Canyon* 9 am – 1 pm. Everyone is invited to join us and there are several benefits.
1. It shows the BLM that we are maintaining our trails and hopefully will dissuade and provide an argument against closures
2. There will be swag raffled off.
3. ICUP racers earn points.
4. High potential for a great group ride afterwards.
*Just take 2000 North in Orem to Dry Canyon Dr. turn Left on Dry Canyon Dr. and head up til you access the dirt road, continue on that to the parking area.