Knowing this was a "flat" course was helpful in my decision to make another trek across the state. Up early Sunday morning I headed towards Martin to meet Mark. Then we headed to Kalamazoo to meet up with Jay and Byrne. From there, it was a long haul to Addison Oaks in Lenoard, MI. This trip I was a passenger as Jay offered to drive.
After nearly 3 hours we arrived. We headed to registration and started our prep. Greg and his family drove over as well. We had a solid club presence for a race on the East Side. After checking out the finish area we headed out for a warm up. Temps were in the 70's and the day was just beautiful. Then it was time to go.
I lined up and watched Byrne, Greg, and Jay take off before waiting for the Clyde class to line up. Looked like another solid group of 8 guys. 3, 2, 1....gone. I was 7th going across the start area and into the singletrack. Then the trail ticks upward with the first climb of the day. As I rounded the first bend the leaders were gone. I could still see 4th thru 7th as I rounded another bend. By the 3rd bend I was alone. By the top of the climb the fat bike class was bearing down on me already. All I could do was just let them by and not hinder their races.
The miles ticked by. I love Addison. The trail is flowy. It has some rock gardens, bridges, roots, gnarly downhills and a few punchy climbs. The first lap I was doing alright. My heartrate was through the roof so I had no choice but to back off and just ride my pace. Second lap I was suffering. I was pretty confident that my plan of a solo attack of the back was working because I had not seen another ride in miles. I reached the pavement section in the middle and started to feel a bit better. But I reached the climb called "The Wall" and wasn't able to clear it. There were some guys cheering there and one looked at me and asks "OH CRAMPS?? CRAMPS??" To which I just smiled and said "nope, just a fat slow guy". We laughed, then I cried a little. But moving on....
The last part of the lap after The Wall is pretty fast and fun. I started feeling really good at that point and was able to close down the gap on a guy that started ahead of me. Sure he was in the 70+ age group but he was stomping my ass into the ground. I took a gel on the paved section and we pushed the pace towards the finish. I finished and was happy it was over. 8th place. Behind the leaders by a solid 30 minutes. Slow. Oh well. I tried and it was a fun course.
A closer look at my lap times led to this:
Lap 1 41:02
Lap 2 44:12
Lap 3 42:10
(winning times were in the low 30's....)
Overall, I classify that as a win. For one, consistent lap times are what I strive for. Minus the sluggish second lap I felt pretty good the other laps. But taking over 2 minutes out of my second lap during the third lap is my shining moment. It was just a fun course and I was comfortable the last lap, clearing all of the climbs and finishing strong. Gives me momentum and confidence for my next race.
After the race I drank something new. As I use Infinte during the races I thought I would try a recovery drink when I made my last order. This one below you can add to water, milk, or any other liquid I guess. I just added it to water...and it was delicious. No funky aftertaste and it tasted like Chocolate milk...which is my normal go to after a long ride or race. I can tell you that today I feel fantastic. So give this a try...it isn't cheap....but it works.