One week out and I'm still messing around with gear...uh oh. Hopefully it won't backfire on me but I don't have much choice. This weekend ended up being a shakedown of sorts both for my fitness and for my setup. There have been pluses and minuses with both but I think I'm probably the best prepared I have been for this race in the the 3 years I've done it.
Ive gotten in a really good chunk of miles starting from the last week in July, about 200 in 2 weeks at one point. This weekend I felt good on the bike but my mix of fitness is different than it was 4-5 weeks ago. I've lost a bit of my top end and explosiveness and my acceleration feels pretty sluggish on singletrack. Luckily I don't really need much of that for the 100. Leg strength feels good and my recovery rate is probably the best its ever been. This weekend I have been trying to sit and muscle climbs at a slower cadence. Went better than expected because I prefer to do the opposite. Being able to stay seated will help on the loose stuff we'll be on and it also helps me stay aerobic. With my slow twitch fitness I have right now I feel like if I keep my heart regulated and try to just tempo ride I should be able to go for a pretty long time at a constant (hopefully decent) pace. Climbing like that hurts but my legs have been clearing lactic acid really well lately so I'm going to try and go that route. It feels slower but in the long run I think it will pay off.
Unfortunately I think I'm going to have to ditch my Ergon grips for this race. I've been having issues keeping them from slipping on my new carbon bars. I have tightened them down as hard as I am comfortable doing with carbon (and hard enough to blow some threads out of one of the lock rings) and they are still slipping under harder loads. Can't risk that on those fast washed out descents. Not excited about changing grips 7 days out after being on them all season but I'll be able to deal with any blisters or hot spots, I might not be able to deal with whatever happens if they spin and I crash. Not sure what I'm gonna go with, probably at the mercy of local shops inventory because I won't have time to get something shipped.
Gonna drop the rear wheel off this week to get tightened up. It's still true but a lot of the spokes feel flexy and I don't want to risk taking a hard shot and having several spokes fail all at once. Other than that the bike is working well. BB is smooth, brakes are dialed. Only thing left to figure out is the nutrition plan for this year. Been having thoughts about racing without the camelbak this year. I think I can do it, its just a matter of figuring out what to drop at which feed station. I'd really like to keep that weight off my back if possible. I've also been trying to think of a way to manage and easily distribute my 'no-cramp' pills during the course of the race. It came to me on today's ride...
I pill per slot taken once an hour with maybe a few extras in the last slot in case things get ridiculous. Should stow relatively nice in a jersey pocket. D-Bone you want me to pick you one up as well? I got plenty of pills to go around...PILLS ARE GOOOOOOD.