The race was on weeks before the SM100 even started. The pre-race race was to lose some weight and gain back some lost fitness. Basically, I raced the Wilderness 101 at the end of July a good 10 lbs over my race weight thanks to a buttload of work travel and jet lag induced unhealthy eating. I was also desperate to gain back some fitness after being off the bike while traveling.
So the pre-race plan was to live like a monk for a few weeks, eat healthy, and bank some saddle time. For the most part I did eat healthy and managed to drop 5 lbs by the race eve. I was still 5 lbs overweight but that's significantly preferable to being 10 lbs overweight!
In terms of training, I was behind so coach Eric Sorensen and I concocted a brutal weekend of training a week prior to SM100. Maybe too much too late but the counterfactual doesn't exist (for me) so I'm going to confidently say no :)
The weekend consisted of 5 hours on the road on Friday riding no harder than tempo to simulate pacing at the race, 4 hours of endurance riding at the Schaeffer Farm mountain bike race on Saturday (somehow I got 4th riding tempo which boosted my confidence), and 3 hours of Patapsco singletrack on my new awesome cross bike on Sunday. This 600 TSS weekend simulated the TSS I would probably accumulate in one continuous effort a week later (turns out my TSS for the race was 619, so a pretty accurate prediction!)
|SM100 simulation part 1, Friday: 5 hour road ride with teammate Homer|
|SM100 simulation part 2, Saturday: 4 hour endurance race at Schaeffer Farm|
|SM100 simulation part 3, Sunday: 3 hours on the new cross bike on Patapsco singletrack. Side note: hydraulic disc brakes rock!|
|Rice cakes, yum!|
I drove down to the Stokesville campground/start line on Saturday afternoon and setup camp. At packet pickup I ran into Erin Conner and her Sticky Fingers teammates and they were all super welcoming and invited me over to hang out at their camp. That didn't last long as I was in pre-race jittery mode so soon retired to my tent.
I must have the worst luck in the world because I ended up camping right next to the loudest snorer in the world and I had forgotten ear plugs! So I was up well before the wake-up gong went off, but on the bright side had enough time to make coffee and eat a significant breakfast.
|All geared up|
|Cheat sheet with elevation, distance, and aid station markers|
|HR and elevation profile for the race. Note the dichotomy of avg HR in first and second halves of the race. I paced well in the first half but bottom fell out in second half. Nutrition and hydration? Fitness? Heat and humidity? Maybe all three?|
This was only my second 100 miler so a lot to learn still. As another experienced racer, Greg Rittler told me, it take a while to learn how to pace these races. I think I also have to learn how to eat throughout the race. I think I'm going to try liquid nutrition (infinit) in training and see how that works for me.
I also need to work a lot on my descending skills. I think most other people had way too much fun on the fast curvy descents, whereas I was on my brakes a lot of the time and too timid on many of the faster sections. Practice, practice, practice!
Finally I'd like to give big shout outs to the entire Sticky Fingers crew. They took such good care of me the whole weekend, got me water and other adult beverages after my finish, helped me patch up a small wound, and were super fun to hang out with. Sincere thank yous to Erin, Honey, Dierdre, Angela, Megan, Dave, Bec, Tim, Larry, Isabel, and Faith (pls. excuse if I missed anyone!). You guys rock!
Back next year for SM100 part deux.