Heading into next weekend's 6 hour challenge at Bonebender, I thought it would be good to get some hours in on the Paragon at an endurance pace and also to check out my new hydration drink I'm testing out. After failure at last years Dirty Du, with the Hammer nutrition stuff, I decided to try something different. Basically, the Hammer drink was making me bloated and gassy as I'd drink it during the race and still was too sweet as it left me wanting plain water after only a bottle of their product. I think it may have also played a part in my bonk last year at Almanzo so it's time for something new.
My goal was for 5-6 hours at the Center trails/Denmans doing loops where I could compare lap times. I wanted to check out the hydration and also work on some long term fueling to see what I could stomach other than just gels. I took along a PB&J to try out and other than I stopped to eat it, it went down really easy so I'll be taking those this weekend as well. I'm thinking I may try cutting them into quarters rather than just halves and see if I can eat while riding.
I hit the trails bright an early heading out from Ashworth pool at 7 for the first loop. I headed off through Rollercoaster including the hill climb from the Dirty Du as part of the loop before dropping into the main trail. After that, the rest of the loop was paved trail to a little portion of J-11, then over the bridge to Denmans, Dirty connector to Squirrels, Rhythm, and then the trestle bridge to Hillside before dropping back to the parking lot. All in all I could only squeeze 11.5 miles out of my loops. I'm not sure if I'm taking a shorter version of Hillside or if it is a combination of things like using the paved trail in lieu of Dirty connector in my loops. In any case, 60-61 minutes were my loops with 11.5 miles and 500' of climbing per loop. A good start for the 11 mile 1200' per lap I'll be hitting next weekend.
First loop was perfect and I wore my windbreaker as a precaution against the temps. Less than halfway through I was sweating my butt off so it came off after the first loop. I grabbed a gel at the end of the first loop, but didn't eat it until after Denmans. On the 2nd loop I switched bottles to a new one and stopped to wolf down a half a PB&J. I was also stretching as I stopped which garnered some comments from a couple walking by about how I must be training hard since I was eating and stretching simultaneously. I'd really found the flow through Denman's by the 3rd loop and was hammering along while still on cruise control as far as the overall effort I was putting in. I was just starting to feel my legs as 3 hours were rolling closer and I was up on Hillside.
Just like that, my day was over. I was crossing the angled log on the way down Hillside almost done with loop #3 and misjudged the timing as I was working on increasing my speed crossing it. I didn't get the back end up in time and it hit hard enough to buck up the rear end of the bike and I flew over the bars. I hit with both hands outstretched in Superman form and then bounced my chest off the ground as well as I slid to a stop. Spitting out dirt and leaves, I rolled over and assessed the damage. No broken bones, but I knew I would be feeling the hit soon enough so I called it quits before I even stood up. I eased my way back down, stopping to talk with Teri for a moment and then decided I may as well finish the last half mile of my loop and then head home. I eased through it and still gained almost 30 seconds over my previous lap so I must have been cruising pretty well before I hit.
Here I am at the end of the loop with the "I ate sh!t and didn't like the taste" look on my face. Nothing seems to be damaged other than some bumps and bruises so at least I should still be good to go for next weekend.