March 14, 2009

Heritage Park 6 Hour - EPS Race #1 - Result: 8th Expert Solo

Daily Total: 35.50u Race Hours: 06:03

Time BG Carbs Units
---- -- ----- -----

23:48 61cz
20:04 212cz
17:44 104cz
17:21 110cz
16:00 Race End
14:46 66cz
10:00 Race Start
09:02 175cz
08:01 144cz
06:50 144cz
00:12 105cz

Calories: 4997kcal 
Num of Heart Beats: 60557 
Min Heart Rate:  83bpm 
Avg Heart Rate:  164bpm 
Max Heart Rate: 198bpm 
Ascent: 4878ft

Headed down to Athens, GA on Friday March 13th for the Heritage Park 6 MTB race being held on Saturday. The Heritage Park event is race #1 in the Dirty Spokes endurance series. Although the rain held off on Friday for the drive down, race day was predicted to be a rainy, muddy mess.

I brought both the HiFi and the rigid Rig with me.

Arrived in Athens around 13:00, and changed hotels to a place closer to downtown. Got checked in and unpacked, then headed out for a spin. Jumped on the Rig and spent about 3 hours rolling around Athens and the U of Georgia campus. Of course made a stop at Jittery Joes and The Hub bicycles (great shop down there btw).

Blood glucose levels where very slightly above normal, but pretty typical for the day before an event where I let it run higher. The day before a race is as probably more important then race day bg control. The Abbott Navigator and the Cozmo insulin pump was a HUGE help in monitoring for the day.

My friend Jimmy arrived in Athens around dinner time, and we walked downtown to get some dinner. Weather was looking better for race start tomorrow morning, and we didn't see any rain all day.

Up and out by 7:15am for the race start at 10:00am. It rained over night but didn't start raining again until the race was underway.

Heritage Park is a great place to host a race, and I was amazed by the turnout given the bad weather. Place was hoppin' when we got there at 8:00am.

Checked the blood sugar every 30 minutes until race start, and lowered the basal rate on my pump to the usual 55% reduction 1 hour before the official start.

Lap 1 was one of the busiest first laps of an endurance race that I can remember. The rain and mud made for some traffic jams in the single track sections as people walked or crashed. Luckily I didn't put the bike on the ground all day. After the first 45 minutes or so, it thinned out.

The balance between fueling and insulin intake was the story of this event for me. It was difficult to stay on the normal intake schedule due to the slippery conditions and rough course. I fell a little behind the schedule as the day wore on, and was running a 66 when I finished lap 4 at 14:46. Took in some carbs via a soft drink, and began to head back out.

Since the cutoff was 16:00 sharp, I figured I would head out on a pretty relaxed last lap. Wrong. Just out of the timing area, I tried to make some gear changes and the rear derailleur on the HiFi didn't respond. At all. The mud had caused some issue. I tried to diagnose the problem, but quickly realized the clock was ticking. I ran the bike back to my pits, and grabbed the rigid single speed.

Looked at the official clock as I headed out and I had just short of an hour to get this 9.25 mile lap in. I needed to pace the first 20 minutes to let the blood glucose to respond to the carbs, and then needed to haul the mail to get in under the cutoff. It was going to be close.

Forced myself to pedal easy for about 15 minutes and started to pick up the pace to make this lap count. Lots of calculations as the mile markers went by, trying to figure how long I had to make it to the next marker to make the 16:00 deadline.

I pushed pretty hard, as I was NOT going to let this lap be for nothing. As I popped out of the woods, I could tell I was close. As I traversed the double track around the perimeter of the park, people were yelling at me to hurry up. I rounded the last turn into the covered timing area, and realized I was in! With 19 seconds to spare. :) Cramped up hard after crossing the line. I was spent.

Was pretty stoked to have pushed through on the single speed to finish strong, and place 8th. Blood glucose was pretty steady during the race, and post race levels where excellent as well.

Congrats to the other 29er Crew members on a great race!