Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spa City Update

This race was SO MUCH fun. The course was a blast, and everyone was super friendly. 

Our entire pre-ride crowd did really well and we all got to get up on the podium together. There was a pretty good group of solo women and it was cool how many different states were being represented. Rebecca took the lead from the beginning, followed by a Sobe Cannondale racer, and then me. I had no clue who the Sobe racer was as she does mostly Norba XC races, but she was fast-that's for sure. 

At one point she was about 5-6 minutes ahead of me, so I tried to stay as smooth as possible in the tight sections ( sometimes I was and sometimes I DEFINITELY was not) and hammered as fast as I could on the flats and climbs. As I rolled into the pit area to go out on my last lap Ted told me that I had made up more time on her and she was only 2 minutes ahead. Aggghhh! I basically had to lay it all on the line to try to catch her. I would see glimpses of orange or red jerseys in the trees, would chase the rider down, and then would find out that it was a guy. And then with 2 miles to go I finally saw her Cannondale kit! 

She had no clue that I was coming and moved over to let me pass when she heard my bike rolling up. Trust me, there was no time to talk :-)  I was really happy that I happened to catch her near the last of the switchback climbs because I was able to drop her and ended up taking 2nd place by a minute! Talk about being close!!!

I ended up doing about 60 miles in a little over 5.5  hours. I was able to finish about 20 minutes early since I wouldn't have been able to get another lap in by the cut-off time. I followed Lynda's top secret nutrition plan and felt really great the entire time. My biggest problem during the race was trying to remain fluid while cornering tight trees. I felt a little rusty riding, but oh well. It was so much fun to be swerving through trees that I constantly found myself smiling even though I was also gasping for air. 

Congrats to Rebecca and Fuzzy for taking the big W! I had a lot of fun hanging out with them this weekend. 

I hope to do more 6 hour races this season. They are great for training because you can push it the entire time. And I actually feel pretty good right now. Tired for sure, and I'm sure my muscles will be feeling it tomorrow...but nothing like after a 12 or 24 hour race!

P.S. I have to send a HUGE thanks out to Ted, mechanic extraordinaire.  He did support for Fuzzy, Rebecca and I and had his hands full feeding us and giving out splits. My bike worked perfectly the entire time and he made all of our races a lot easier. Thanks Ted!!!


Biking Badger said...

Well done, not bad at all for the start of the season. I had a similar experience yesterday, except my race was shorter and I was the one being passed;)

Namrita O'Dea said...


Carey said...

Congrats! I bet you were stoked pulling out a 2nd place with a last lap sprint.

Jason said...


Soupy said...

Great job, Danielle!! And great report... Though at one point I read "My biggest problem during the race was trying to retain fluid while cornering tight trees." and just about spat my breakfast all over my monitor!!! :D Great start to the season!!

Jeff Kerkove said...

Way to ride girl!

Juli A. said...

Awesome!!! What a great finish and I'm glad to hear you had a really good time as well! Can't wait to hear more about it :^)

allan said...

Congrats! Great job.

zenbicyclist said...

I think you raced against Sarah, anyway, it was interesting to read her post about spa back to back with yours:

Richard said...

I have a question regarding nutrition for endurance races. I'm planning to do my very first endurance race this year (50 miles) and I am totally lost on nutrition for this kind of event. There's so much contradictory information out there - take protein, no protein, replace what you burn, high carb., no sugar, ... It's overwhelming! What advice can you give a rookie?

Danielle said...


I'm certainly not a nutrition expert, but for a 50 miler you can probably get by with a hydration drink mix, gels and maybe an energy bar.

My advice to you would be to practice, practice, practice what you are going to eat. For instance you need to know that your nutrition plan will work when you are going race pace or longer distance.

Map out how many calories you need per hour. You may know this already, or you can at least get an idea from most nutrition sites. Make sure you are staying on top of your fuel during the race. Once you bonk it's hard to come back.

Carry some extra endurolyte tabs in case it's really warm and you are sweating more then usual. This will help prevent cramping.

I usually carry a hydrapak with my drink mix, gels, a bottle of water (in case I get sick of drink mix), endurolytes. Sometimes I also mix 200 calorie flasks of sustained energy with a hammergel. These are really easy to consume and digest quickly.

Make sure that your drink mix isn't too sugary, because that can cause stomach problems.

Hope that helps!