Sunday, June 5, 2011

Iron Hill Challenge and a Tale of 2 3rd's

Get off the tracks, the trains comin through!
There is something about having kids that makes you feel like you are doing something right on this crazy orb we call home. My son Alex is that kind of kid. I have 3 in total, but Alex is the one who loves his bike and loves to impress the Dad.

Today at the Iron Hill Challenge in Delaware-which is far from flat-my son entered his first "mountain bike race." He rode around the course 11 times before the race. He told me he was watching me warm up, so he had better do the same; makes my heart all a flutter! He lined up with the other 7 year olds with his "race modified" Gary Fisher ss and looked at me with that goofy smirk of his as if to say, "look Dad, I am just like you." Hopefully the bike riding thing is all he mimics. Ready...set...go! around turn one, Ohhh man down! Alex scoots around him and takes off in pursuit of the others. Tight turn..."stand up and attack that hill", he does and rides by me with the game face. Lap 2, a little slow to get going but regains his mindset. Come on...Come on! Alex pulls in with a nice 3rd. To see the look on his face that he "won" 3rd, awesome. I though for sure he would be disappointed that he didnt win, but he was happy. For his efforts-a water bottle filled with candy! Race promoters take note.

Now my turn. I mounted Pinky today for the SS expert class. Uh...ok. I have never raced at Iron Hill, so wasnt quit sure what to expect. I dont like racing blind either. We lined up and off the line I took up first, I hate that strategy. Of course that is never my strategy to boot, but it happened. The course was marked poorly at the start, so we did an extra 1.2 miles-aaarrrgghh! This course is very technical and riddle with rocks-nasty sharp rocks. I had settled in to what I thought was a groove, but still felt a little uncomfortable, not sure from what. My legs just didnt feel 100%. There are a few longish climbs, not steep, but littered with baggage. Some very cool pump track style whoop de doo's were around too. I just couldnt find my rhythm. The Rig felt pretty good throughout, even for aluminum.

My second lap was pretty good, I ended up re-passing the guy who passed me earlier, which gave me a little extra uumph. Sitting in 2nd with about 1.5 miles to go and who sneaks up from behind, for the 2nd race in a row? Mr. Houghton. AAAAHHHH!!!! I ended up 20 seconds behind him and a solid 3rd. My legs were the worst they have felt in a while. I usually have plenty of power up the climbs, even at the end, but today they felt solid as a rock. The weird thing was my max HR reached only 186, and that was early on, never got above 182 after that. My average was 172. Not quite sure what to make of it. My last little climb was lead filled, but only reached 180? I havent stuck to the plan for the last 2 weeks either-I am a certified moron.

So like father, like so we both settled for 3rd and a very poorly unorganized podium spot (no need to go into details) for me and the Crew. On to Quantico.