Single speed season came to a very abrupt close less than two weeks after it began. Monday night there was some discussion at the Holley household about the Park City Point to Point race instead of attending the Sundance Single Speed Challenge. The single speed race is Chris' favorite and he looks forward to it every year. It also happened to be scheduled on his birthday. I, too, had been preparing for it and mentally switching from a cross country single speed race to a 75 miler seemed overwhelming. In spite of rumors of cancellation, it was still posted on the Sundance website. The decision was made to proceed as planned. That was until Thursday morning.
When I checked my email on Thursday, Jen Hanks had sent me a message saying that she noticed the Sundance race had been cancelled and we could still get into the PCPP if we wanted. Out of disbelief, I checked the Sundance site. Not that I didn't believe Jen, it just seemed crazy that it would be cancelled. And, of course, she was correct. So single speeding was out and gears were in.
After a very hectic Friday and rather uncharacteristic late night followed by a very early departure for Park City, we unloaded the car and started getting ready. It was a pretty warm morning which was nice. The race got started without any big hang-ups for us.
The first half of my race was really tough. I was climbing pretty well on the Round Valley portion of the course, but I had no flow on the descents. I would start to pull people in on the way up just to get dropped again going down. It was frustrating.
Then we started the real climbing and I felt pretty good. Rain began to drizzle down. It was still pretty warm, so it was not too bad being a bit wet. On the road sections though my glasses got difficult to see through. I had the normal debate--take the glasses off or leave them on. Keeping them on worked in Leadville, so I kept them on. I was still struggling to see and finally took them off. I could see the trail now, butthe trail markings were harder to spot. In fact, I missed a turn but luckily there was a guy close behind me who called me back.
At about 2:30 into the race my left calf cramped and I could not get it to relax. I thought I was in big trouble. Finally though I was able to get back on my bike. Granted it was probably only 30 seconds but it seemed like an eternity. It was obvious that I was behind on calories. I took my effort down a bit and made a more conscious effort to drink my carborocket. I also was really greatful that I had more bottles of carborocket at the aid station. I was suffering.
After the first aid station, the course just climbed. People continued to pass me; my frustration grew. Finally at the top, I felt some flow. Descending back down to Silver Lake was finally fun for the first time all day. From here, I felt so much better both mentally and physically. The climbs were nice and steady. The descending was flowy, except for the technical stuff which was crazy fun.
As I left Silver Lake I was told that it was 15 miles or at mile 50 to the next aid station. I monitored my mileage and tried to ration my beverage and caloric intake. At mile 43, my bottles were empty. I kep thinking that the down hill had to start pretty soon, but the trail seemed to keep turning up. I was getting frustrated as mile 50 came and went. I was concerned about calories and liquids.
The aid station was after mile 53. I was so excited to get there. I had to fill my bottles with their race beverage and I also had a Coke. Even then Coke did not taste good. The carbonation was good. I knew the caffeine would be good. The taste--not good.
Then it was a nice steady climb back to mid-mountain and pure joy set in. I contined to push, the trail was so much fun, fast. By the time I got to the finish, I was glad to be done but the last 10 miles or so was as delighful as could be expected. It was a good race.