I sucked a big fat pickle at the five-O this year. Right off the bat I knew I was in for a long day. The race starts at Spearfish Park and rolls up Tinton road for about 3 miles or so before getting to single track. It is a fairly healthy climb but nothing that is too strenuous. Except for the dreaded Sunday. I actually felt weak and tired about half way up the climb to start the single. Thoughts were rolling through my head about quitting and maybe even the slightest hope that the weakness would subside if I continued on. So, I tried and tried... My legs felt like lead and my stomach felt horrible. Each time I would take a sip of my water, a sick feeling would soon follow.
I finally made it to the first checkpoint which is about 10 miles in. I still didn't feel well and I really wanted to pack it up and head home, but I thought the bad feeling I had would go away if I kept on peddling. Well, it didn't at all! I pushed my bike up more hills than I think I ever had. Most hills I wouldn't even attempt, I'd hop off my bike at the base and just start pushing. There were even times on flats that I just didn't have the legs for.
I did make it to the finish line but not in a good time by any standards. I was hoping to get in the 6 hour mark for the first time, instead, I rolled in at a very unhealthy 8 hours 54ish minutes. It was even a worse time than 4 years ago when I fractured my collarbone and got stung by a bee. Then I came in at about 8:16. I'm very upset about the result and I will be back next year for some revenge on the course.
I was extremely surprised that a new course record was set. 3:40 was the time. INSANE!!! I have no idea how anyone could clock that kind of time. I'd really like to meet these folks who even ride under 5 hours and find out how they do it. What their training is like and how often they ride. It blows my mind. Congrats to them.