April 24, 2010

2010 Cohutta 100 - Result ---

Daily Total: 39.55u Race Hours: 06:41

Time  BG  Carbs Units
----  --  ----- -----
22:24 78cz
21:08 107cz
20:07 56cz
18:45 93cz
15:37 218cz
14:44 320cz
13:42 Race Stop
13:41 172cz
11:38 131cz
10:29 179cz
08:51 165cz
07:00 Race Start
06:21 192cz
04:55 73cz
04:42 73cz

Disappointed is an large understatement for what unfolded at the Cohutta 100.  Sick.  Annoyed.  Sad.  Bummed.  Speechless.  I CANNOT get this monkey off of me.  A lot of stuff happened, some good, some not so good. 
I think I was as physically prepared as possible given the amount of hours I had put in on the bike, and the amount of nutritional testing I had done over the past months.

My legs weren't great, but about what I thought they would be considering the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever diagnosis during the week and the slew of antibiotics I was on.  Cohutta always means something is going on right?  :) I was on a pretty solid 10.5-11 hour finishing pace so I was pretty ok with that overall.

It POURED from the 3 hour mark on.  I mean poured. Temp at race start was near 60, but by the time I hit Aid Station 3 (highest elevation approx 52 miles in) it had dropped near 15 degrees.  Was soaked through and through.  Shivering like mad for the last 40 minutes of that climb to that aid station.  Add the 50mph wind guts, and thunder and lightning we were riding through and it was kinda nuts.  Did I mention the Tornado Warning?  Yeah.

I reach checkpoint 3 and stop to refill bottles and try to get warm - they have a fire outside.  I was freezing and definitely suffering.  I pull out my BG meter and find that the pocket I had zipped it in in my HydraPak had filled with water.  Even though the meter was in a plastic bag, it had leaked.  The meter was not functional.  Problem.

I put the bike near the wrench support and ask them to re-lube the chain while I take a minute to go in the cabin and try to dry out the meter.  A couple of minutes to do this here is essential to finishing- need to be able to check to my BG to continue.

The mechanic informs me that he'll re-lube the chain, but it won't be necessary as they are calling the race due to the tornado warning. Eh? Aid Stations 3-6 are stopping everyone and packing it up.  Can't be right.

I ask the other station volunteers to confirm, and they say they were told that a tornado warning would cause a stopping of the event.  Trying to contact race director to see what is up.

I go inside to dry the meter on the wood stove and wow - 26 riders hanging out, drying off, snacking, and watching tv.  I get the meter disassembled, dried, re-assembled, and working 20 minutes later.

By then they had stopped another 18 riders saying it was being packed up.  44 of us sitting there.  Most packed in, and 1 or 2 of us waiting to know if aid stations 4-6 were going to be there so we could take off and get riding.

Tick, tick, tick... 45 minutes go by not knowing when we are going to get the word to motor.  Meanwhile my BG is going way up as I sit there with a lowered basal rate reserved for actually riding.  348.

At 6 hours and 40 minutes we get word that trucks are on the way to pick us and our bikes up.  I immediately bolus for the crazy high BG and help it with a temp basal of 150% of normal.

I get back to the race site 4 hours later.  Too many of us to take in one trip, so it takes 3.  At 1 plus hour each.   You know what I found out.  Race is still going on and finishers still coming in.

I freak out.  Meltdown. Scream out loud into the pouring rain and wind gusts...  Annoyed? Yup.  Anything I could do about it? Nope.  The folks were only trying make sense of a very hectic and dynamic situation to protect us and do what was right.

Long story I know... but it was a complicated.  So I am trying to focus on the positive.

1) I am SURE I could have finished in < 11 hrs given the conditions and how I was feeling.  Would have been a really tough sufferfest, but definitely doable.

2)  My new and first time used race nutrition plan developed by Chris Newport was SPOT ON!!  I mean ON!! BG checks during the race (before the meter went south) were 175, 185, 144, 133, and 141. It doesn't get
any better.

So that is where I will leave it... take the positives, modify the training plan to get more climbing in, and go and race another day.  The 24 Hours of Burn is right around the corner.