The Cheq 40 was a lot harder than I expected. Even discounting the difference in bike handling skills required – which I picked up on the fly – the aerobic conditioning “skills” required to excel at mountain bike racing are quite a bit different than what is required to succeed at Ironman. I realized that I owe MTB folks a great deal more respect than I have given them in the past.
So how’d the race go? I felt great the first 30 miles or so of the race. Even headed up Firetower Hill I was doing pretty good – shortly after that I bonked big time. I started having a really hard time shifting – my arms and hands were exhausted. I had a continuous soundtrack going of Phil Liggett commentating “Bowe is pedaling squares now.”
The amount of suffering I was going through during the last 8 miles or so on the bike has only been matched once or twice before. At one point I couldn’t figure out why the rear derailer wasn’t shifting – after 3 or 4 minutes I realized it was because I was in the smallest cog, and I was pushing the wrong lever.
I hated almost every minute of the race – especially towards the end.
It’s too bad my A race falls 4 weeks after the Cheq 40 next year and I’ll have to miss it. Time to talk Matt into doing it on a tandem in 2012.