It wasn't until about a month out did I decide I'd like to do the Tuscobia 150. With the ITI coming up time and money are tight but riding 150 miles in a race setting is some of the best training I can get. I was feeling great with my training and health about 2 weeks out from the start but, yep, I got sick around the holiday. Diagnosed with bronchitis, the flu, and a sinus infection. My last pill was taken the day before the race start. Needless to say I wasn't going into the race with high expectations...I had taken about two weeks off the bike and more time on the couch feeling sorry for myself!
At race start I found my groove at a bit over 10 mph. I was thinking this was great and I'd make great time. Despite feeling great I was passed by several riders. I tried to match their speed but couldn't. My legs and lungs didn't want to compete like that. Even though it was -15 at the start I was almost too warm with the effort I was putting out. Some zips here and there and my body temp was back under control. My body takes about an hour to figure out where it needs to be during these winter events. After that I can zip back up and be on my way.
I'm not sure on the place I came into check point 1, 30 miles, at but was happy with 3 hours. My legs hurt, to the point I thought of just turning around and getting a 60 mile day in. Because they hurt and I was in a bad place mentally I never went into CP 1. I logged in and out from the doorway. CP's can be a black hole. I knew if I went in I'd be there a bit. Onto CP 2, 62 miles.
Up to this point the trail was fast and hard, but as the day heated up and snowmobile traffic increased the trail, for me, started to become soft and slow. My average speed started to dip. As I battled with sore legs and the start of achy knees my mind started to wander. I starting thinking of the ITI and how I should try and get out of it! I battled this for sometime.
At CP 2 I went in but only enough for a glass of coke and a handful of chips. It was pretty crowded form all the 75 mile runners. I'd be back in a bit, like 3+ hours, so off I went to the 75 mile turn around.
I do like the out-n-back races because you are able to get an idea where you are at. Jay Petervary already had a bit over 2 hours on me! He'd finish 6 hours before I would! I think I figured I was in 7th place, maybe 8th. Top 10 sweet. Back at CP 2, now CP 3 I stopped a bit longer. Refilled water, had some soup and more soda. Couldn't get enough soda. I'm guessing I was there about 20 minutes. Funny how fast time flies. The last CP was 35 miles away. That was a real hard stretch for me. I battled all kinds of demons and my average speed kept dipping. My legs and knees were shot but onward I pushed. Finally I was at CP 4. Again I had more soup and anything with salt. I really wanted to put my feet up and rest a bit but also just really wanted to be done and in bed. I left with 2 other riders after another 20-30 minutes.
The adrenaline from the CP and the thought of only 30 miles left made the first few miles fly by. But that was short lived and I was back to dragging myself along the trail. At points my knees and legs hurt so much I'd get off to walk/run to switch it up some. The trail was still pretty chewed up making progress slow and the mile markers even further apart. With 10 miles left I contemplated jumping on the highway back into town. But knowing I'd be pissed at myself I pushed on. I'm glad I did. The trail become fast and at every mile mark I got a burst of energy.
I rolled into the finish sometime around 3 am. Putting me around 21+ hours of ride time. 7th place overall, 6th if I count the dq for lights. By the time I checked in, got a bite to eat, loaded up my bike, drove the hotel, changed and got into bed it was a bit past 4, the time I got up the previous morning.
Ultra races are funny for me, and guessing others too. I hit some dark spots but by pushing on I found new limits for myself and in the long run giving myself more confidence for Alaska. I'm still getting over my cough but all is good.
On Thursday I did a 4.5 hour fat bike ride on the Wobegon (the only spot with snow) for resistance riding and the legs felt great. So I'm back full on into training.