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Transplant Athlete
Sunday, April 29, 2007
  300K Blitzkrieg

I meditated before I went to bed on Friday night, which is why I was able to bounce out of bed at 2:40 AM. I had to be in Middletown, VA before 5 AM for the start of a 300 Km Brevet (191.4 miles).

In 2005, It took me 18 hours 26 minutes to finish (186.4 miles). I had DNF'ed two other 300 k's before, so just finishing was a feat. A couple of weeks later I did a 400 KM (253 miles) brevet in 19 hours 48 minutes. The reason the times were almost identical for the two distances? The climbing per mile was lower on the longer distance.

I was determined to take a serious chunk out of my time from 2005. I tried staying with the lead group leaving the Super 8 Motel, but got dropped within 3 miles. The last I saw of the lead was Chuck & Crista leading a group up a hill and out of sight. Chris Mento caught up to me and I drafted him to Wolf Gap. On the climb, I kept him in sight. Near the summit, Lothar caught and passed me. Chris went over the top first, with Lothar a little ways behind and I accelerated near the top so I would be able to catch Lothar on the descent.

Lothar took it easy on the descent and I easily caught up to him. I think most people descend in their comfort zone and Lothar was no exception. I'm not afraid to push it to the limit and hope it sticks, which has lead to a close call with at least one car and several white knuckled descents around gravel strewn corners. No matter how fast I descend, I still can't catch the tandems...I've seen Chuck and Crista bomb downhill so fast, it makes me feel like I'm standing still even at my top speed. The same with Ed & Mary and Steve & Lynn. If you don't keep an eye on Steve and Lynn, they'll blow by you at Mach 1 on the descents.

I got to the first control as Chuck and Crista were finishing their SIT-DOWN breakfast at the Lost River Grill, the first control point. Chris Mento passed me about a mile later and I didn't see him until the end. Chuck and Crista with Bill Beck in tow passed me a couple of miles farther down the line. Bill took some great pictures of the event. I know I look like a chipmunk in the solo shot, I was eating a powerbar at the time. I caught back up to Chuck & Crista at the Slanesville General Store 110 miles into the ride. I'm sure they were finishing up their SIT-DOWN lunch. I also ran across a group of riders, I didn't catch their names and was too wasted to remember anyway, but they were wearing green jerseys with the motto "All Professional and shit" on the back pockets. They are identified in Bill Beck's pictures as the State College boys. I caught up to them just about ten or twenty miles short of the second control point (at the store at the intersection of Rte 50 and CR5), then I caught them again as they were leaving Slanesville.

The dogs in West Virginia are getting stealthier. One was lying in the grass waiting for me to pass. Another decided to intercept me at the gravel strewn apex to a corner. Another was really quiet until I got within striking distance and then he charged out into the street barking.

At 3pm, I was 130 miles into the ride and I was out of flat roads. That's important because I failed to reset my computer at the beginning of the ride, so I was calculating my average speed by my location and the time of day. It was long gentle climbs from Wardensville up to the steeper climbs in the George Washington National forest over Wolf Gap. I stopped at the top to use the bathrooms at the campground, described by the Forest Service as "Vault Style" which must mean low budget crap hole. Seriously, I've seen better outhouses in cemeteries. On the descent, I caught a tandem with Mary Crawley on the back. We had about 5 miles of downhill to the next control point, so I just stayed behind, but I got out of the control point before them. I was cooking along on Back Road and didn't think I'd see them until the end, but they caught me about 15 miles past the control point. With 5 or 6 miles to go, I'm guessing I was drinking too much water (I was definitely carrying too much water) and not enough food because I started slowing down. In the end, I rocked out 191.4 miles in 15 hours and 15 minutes, knocking three and a half hours off of my 2005 time.

Problems:
1) I think one or both of my blood pressure medicines is/are messing with my heart rate, I couldn't get it over 168, even climbing Wolf Gap at max effort. That can't be good for me. My normal max heart rate is around 203.
2) The saddle is still low and I think I'll find that I'm able to put out more power when it is where it's supposed to be.

P.S. CM - You lost 8 pounds in one ride. What did you just hop on your bike without food or fluid? Drink 4 gulps every 7 to 15 minutes, you should be finishing off a 24 ounce water bottle every hour. Try for a powerbar or a clif bar every hour also.

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Comments:
Technically it was 8 lbs in 2 rides, one 40miler one 20miler. I usually try to bring along 2 water bottles, 1 gatorade and 1 powerbar (peanut-butter).

Today with only 30 miles I drank all the water gatorade and ate the powerbar. I'm still messing with the right mixes of things :( running out fo fuel really sucks for me, atleast, I get all crampy legged :(

Sounds like you had fun on the brevet, I'm not sure I can get away for an entire weeked day though, so I'll just have to be satisfied with a century here or there.

-Chris
 
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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