onsdag den 9. oktober 2013

Kongesporet 2013 and Narrow/Wide chainring follow up.

Today is Tuesday. My bottom only hurts a little now.
Sunday evening it was a bit worse. Crossing the finish line Sunday afternoon it didn't really feel that bad. The pain came creeping in after I'd relaxed for a couple of hours.

Sunday morning 9 a.m. I was ready on the start line of the inaugural version of Kongesporet (Kings trail) 2013.
For the last two months I've been training to start racing again, planning to debut in the Slushcup in November. Despite that plan I was ready on the start line of Kongesporet this Sunday. Thinking it might be a good opportunity to test my fitness and finally do some racing again. I'd signed up for the marathon distance of 105 km, as the shorter distances of 42 and 21 km are for kids and rookies.
I've ridden marathon races before, but it's been a couple of years, so I didn't really know what pace to set. But I had a plan.

2nd or 3rd loop in Boserup.
Photo: Mikkel M Beisner, Grip Grap

What to do? Back in 07-08 when I last raced, I was usually able to follow the fastest women. So spotting Annika Langvad and Lisette Rosenbech (gold and bronze at the recent danish XCM championships) on the start list, a plan formed in my head. This was a brilliant plan, that would also try and fix one of my weaknesses of the past: Starting too slow, and feeling I could have given more, when I finished. The plan was to follow the girls as long as I could, and see where that could bring me. (Given the fact that Annika is also a former world champion in XCM, the plan maybe was a bit ambitious).

 KM 47: I spotted Lisette at km 21 and 27. Both places about a minute ahead of me. I've been racing as a maniac the last 20 km's in an effort to close the gap, but I can't keep up the pace. I have to let go, and concentrate on completing the remaining 58 km's. My legs doesn't really hurt, but I can't keep the pace. In the first 40 km's of the race my average heart rate has been around 180, now I can't keep it much higher that 160. I accept the fact and find a pace that feels like I can ride forever.

KM 70: My back hurts a little. The exit section of the Himmelev trail is gruesome and bumpy in a meaningless way. The Boserup trail on the other hand is fun and flowy, but as a fellow racer put it: It's a full body workout. My 26" wheeled bike with a rigid carbon fork doesn't make it better. The are very few sections of trail where I can sit down and relax a little, I have to ride it standing, absorbing bumps, drops, rocks and roots all the time. The trail is full of built corners, really enjoyable berms and small drops and jumps.

Enjoyng the excellent trail of Boserup forrest.
Photo: Martin Paldan, Grip Grap.

KM 90: Second last loop into the city centre of Roskilde. One particular climb in one of the parks feels insanely slow and exhausting. Long steady incline covered in wood chips. Completely suck all momentum and speed out the wheels. Every effort the accelerate is denied.
I have no idea about my position in the race. Ride alone most of the time. Some times a rider passes me, some times I pass a slower rider.

KM100: I've been riding along with another racer for a while now. I tell him my GPS just clicked 100,00 km. The race's supposed to be 105 km's, but we both know we have way more that 5km to the finish line. We're probably halfway through our third and final lap in Boserup. After that we have a fair distance back to the city and another lap in the city parks.
Nevertheless, knowing it will soon be over, provides new energy and I'm able to increase my speed a bit. I really enjoy the next couple of km's in Boserup. But soon after it once again feels like the never ending story. My GPS now says 108 and I'm still in the forrest. How long can this race be?

One of the fun obstacles in the city parks.
Photo: Gormfoto.dk

Last lap in the city parks. I'm pedaling the hardest I can, I know the finish is close. I fell a cramp is coming in my right thigh, so I have to back down a notch. Still able to keep a good pace though and pull a manual across the finish line. I win a pair of gloves for styling it up.
I just have to lay down. Have my girlfriend collect my bag and some food.
I certanly doesn't feel like I could have ridden harder, lying on the street in sunny Roskilde.

Lisette and Anika finished 2nd and 1st in the women's ranks.
Looking at the split times after the race I can see that I was 5 minutes after up till km 47. At 69 I was 13 mins down and it only wen't down from there. Finishing in 5 hours 55 mins. 43 mins after Lisette.
At the time of writing this I feel like I should have given a bit more in the middle/end of the race. Could I? We'll see next time.

After the race my GPS said 113 km, and a lot of people talked about 110 km. But nevertheless it was fun racing again. I really look forward to the next race - and to be able to train again, cause my bottom still hurts a bit from a small pressure sore, I didn't notice during the race. But it's there - trust me.

I interested in the tails and the racecourse, find my GPS logs on Garmin Connect here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/386501726

And the narrow/wide chainring? We'll; I've ridden little less the 300 km on it by now, Including the 105 very bumpy km's at Kongesporet, and I haven't dropped the chain once. Like I wrote in my previous post, the next 2-300 km's will be the real test, but so far - so good.

Chain still held solidly in place by the Race Face Single Ring Narrow/Wide

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