Another great ride!
Long ride down to Emporia, but it was well worth it for a race of this caliber.
I was DNF city around mile 130- can't fully blame it on the weather or my conditioning as I also compounded the lack of those with significant fueling mistakes. Also, probably went out too hard for the conditions (but apparently wasn't exactly alone in that one).
Started out near front of field and wanted to stay there until the selection took place. I know I'm not as strong as the top guys, but figured if I hung on for 20 or 30 miles that they'd probably slow down to a pace I could keep up with and didn't think I could miss out on the opportunity to work with them. Was keeping up as planned for the first hr or so. There was a crash at mile 20??? and I stopped for a minute there and then flatted soon thereafter which spelled the end of being truly at the front for me. Little did I know that the 'main group' never existed. From talking to others it was apparently every man for themselves by mile 35 or so with most in groups of 1 or 2. Regardless, as I fixed my flat (for about 7 minutes- yeah, I suck) I was passed by literally 40 or 50 people. I spent the remaining 23 miles to the 1st checkpoint passing most of them back. Got a very large group about 2 miles before the checkpoint as if they were barely moving and had another racer jump from that group to ride with me. It was clear that we would ride together some and we discussed how much time we would take at the cp. Came in and was told I crossed somewhere in the low 20s place wise in 3:50??? (really don't know). Swapped bottles, drank a slimfast and threw the 'real' pump on my tire. Was surprised to find out that I only had 16-18 psi! Pumped her back up to 55 and got on the road.
Leaving cp1 quickly ran into Ryan H. and Ben D. so we had a group of 4. However, my legs didn't like the pace that Ben was putting down in the paceline so I had to let them go. Settled in and drank some more perpetuem and then some carbo rocket and had a spell of nausea and felt dizzy (this would become a theme). Stupidly decided that meant I needed to drink more and forced a bunch more down which quickly made it worse. I had probably greatly over estimated the number of liquid calories I could absorb per hr in such hot temperatures and should have been drinking more pure water + maybe eating solid foods that absorbed slower... regardless at this point I now felt like hell and only 5 hrs into my ride and before the temperatures had really started to soar. I was also stupidly thinking that what I needed was more liquid and more calories. Regardless of all those issues I just kept riding. At some point here I stopped in the shade and urinated. After another hr or so I began to feel pretty good and rode strong into cp2. I was feeling great and had no ridden about 103 miles in 6:30. Made a fast turnaround there at cp2 and got on the road after drinking another 20 oz/300 calories or so. At that point there were still roughly 15 people ahead of me and they were showing no signs of slowing. I thought that I would have to keep up a pretty solid pace and was hoping to finish in another 8-8.5 hrs tops. That also felt very possible at that point in time- I felt very strong. Certainly better than I had expected to over 100 miles and certainly better than I had felt the week before at mile 100 (in Lacrosse).
25 minutes after cp2 I got dizzy/sick once again (probably from the calories I pounded back that the cp, doh!). This time jumped off my bike and walked a bit, but quickly overcame the bad feelings and got back on the bike. Focused on drinking more. The next 2 hrs just went to hell. It was ridiculously hot and the roads were hard, but I couldn't figure out why I felt so bad. I felt tho the worst I've ever felt on my bike. It was very frustrating because I thought I was prepared for the situation. I was gagging on everything I tried to drink, but thought I needed to force myself to drink more (both energy drink and water). At some point here people started passing me like I wasn't moving. I could only ride 9 or 10 miles per hr. I called my dad. I walked a while and rode a little more. I was weaving back and forth across the road. I was still trying to force myself to drink more. I called my dad again and told him I was done. Still felt good enough that I told him I would ride down the paved road toward him. Got back on my bike and fell.
I found a nice place to sit and wait. Well, as nice a place as you can find beside a road in the middle of no where in 99? degree heat with no shade. I was at mile 130 and the clock was now somewhere around 10 hrs. Saw that Ryan H. had also quit and spoke to him briefly as he was being 'sagged' away (remember nothing else from that conversation). Finally my dad showed up and helped me find a cold/wet towel. At this point I physically couldn't drink anymore without becoming extremely sick and so I just stopped trying. Had to have him stop the car 2 or 3 times on the way back to the hotel so that I could fight through waves of nausea. Made it back to the hotel, up the stairs and into the bed (still in full kit). Didn't move for about an hr because any movement made me nauseous. By 2 hrs of laying there watching tv I felt almost normal, I drank a few sips of soda and didn't get sick. I urinated again. After 2.5 hrs I was ready to go find some dinner (Applebees) and then hit up the awards ceremony plus watch the finish. No clue why I recovered so fast if the 'problem' hadn't been just too many calories for what I could handle- it doesn't seem to have been a pure heat response. Not very happy that I screwed myself up the way I did and wasn't smart enough to recognize what was going on after my 'recovery' (which occured over an hr after I stopped forcing myself to drink/eat) after my first bout between cp1 and cp2. Perhaps that what I get for doing things differently at the race than in training... last week I drank 40 oz perpetuem, 120 oz water, 70 oz gas station brand gatorade, 60 oz of diet coke at mcdonalds and 12 oz regular coke in 14 hrs. This week I drank 130+ oz of perpetuem, 60 oz carborocket, 100 oz water and 24 oz slimfast in 10 hrs. The temperaures were just a touch hotter this weekend, but not by all that much. I do not know what I was thinking. I do hope that this experience didn't ruin the flavor of perpetuem for me forever.
Leaving that aside- virtually everyone in the race slowed down drastically at some point over the 70 miles of the course that I had not made. It's shocking the effect the day's temperature must have had on a lot of guys that I have a ton of respect for. You'll have to check the main dirty kanza website for results, but if you consider that there were 15 or so people who completed 100 miles in less than 6:30 (some of them well ahead of that too) and only 3 finishers under 15 hrs you can get an idea of the suffering that must have taken place out there. Suffering that I don't think I was truly ready to endure.
I hope to be back next year and to be able to apply what I learned in an intelligent manner. Congratulations to all the finishers!
Next up for me is going to be a getting out for some mountain bike rides on my new 2010 Mamasita!!! Plus a nice 110-120 mile loop up to Faribault later in the week on the vaya to pick up my brake levers. Then it will be 8 days of pure r&r.
Results - Thanks to all who came out to make the 2017 Dirt Bag another good day for the gravel community. The previous days rain made the course a little soft and put...
21 hours ago