I've taken time off (unpaid) to ride my mountain for a week. Friday I drove to Dalton, GA. Stayed in a cheap motel, pre-reg'd, got my Snake Creek mug (jar) and had dinner. It was a solo kinda day for me. Talked and texted with friends that came down, but never saw anyone.
It was nice being close to the venue. I brought plenty of food. Happy I had a fridge and micro in the room. Sweet potato and hard boiled egg was my pre-race breakfast. It was a cold morning and had snowed overnight. I decided I was going to finish this 17 mile trail. So I took my time. Lack of training/riding certainly showed. I stopped and walked too much, mainly to prevent an asthma attack. I reached the sag and felt good. Tired but good. The remaining part of the ride was new for me. I enjoyed it until the Wall. 34 milers were starting to pass fairly steadily. I watched many others push their bikes up the wall as I did, so I didn't feel too badly about it. Once atop the wall the rock garden begin. I'd heard about them. I was able to ride more than I thought. The pedal strikes were frustrating though. I guess I was just too tired to keep good form. Lots and lots of people started passing, so I pulled over so most wouldn't lose their momentum. It was nice to see a friendly face about a mile and a half before the water tower. Debbie was taking pictures as people rode a rock garden. She was being a kind soul and didn't tag me. I was caught behind a couple of guys riding and I was pushing my bike.
Once we got to the gravel road I was in relief. I kept it slow until the pavement. Once on the highway I got as aero as I could and let it go. I know I had a huge smile as I crossed the finish line. D.O.N.E. Took my bike to the van and walked back to the festivities. The food looked deelish, but nothing I could eat. I walked around a few minutes but caught a big chill, so went back to the van and drove to the hotel room. The wheezing had kicked in and lasted for about 3 hours. I rolled up in the blankets on the bed and tried to get warm. Hot shower felt great.
Here's a pic of where I'm staying.
More to come