Sunday, August 14, 2016

Maah Daah Hey 2016

I feel like I'm in a time warp these days. The last year has gone by so fast and I'm finding it hard to believe that I've been awake for it. For instance, I'm not sure how the MDH 100 snuck up so quickly, but it seems like last year's edition was actually last month.

Now, I'm usually really good about preparing and showing up to the start line completely ready to go, but since time has gone by so fast, I was doubting my preparation for being in the best possible shape - especially for a 100 miler like this one. Granted, there are just a few new things going on in my life! I've been racing cross country races just fine, even without my usual volume of training (and I contribute that to years of long rides paying me back a little...), but racing a 100 miles is a whole different ball game.

Going into the race, I knew I wasn't in 'course record' form, so I decided I'd do something I have been unable to do in all my bike racing years, and that was to start slow. It doesn't seem like rocket science to most people as starting slow helps save your bullets for the end, but I've always been a fast starter and honestly, you're rarely if ever as fast at the end than you are in the beginning so I like to take advantage of that by building a nice fast base in the first part of the race. And generally, it's worked out. A little side note: I actually broke a toe by stubbing it on my boys' pack and play the morning before the race. Luckily, it was one of the smaller toes!

As always my incredible family was there for support and that entailed waking up at 3AM to make it to the start of the race. I'm humbled and always motivated by the support they give me and my cousin Ryan has become the main force in my support for some of the biggest races I do. In the car ride to the start, he reminded me that, "Finishing is the first goal. Anything beyond that is extra." Those words are very true for anyone who races the MDH 100. Whether a seasoned pro going for a record time, or a first timer attempting this beast.

A quick rundown of the plan for the day:

- Start slow.
- Eat a delicious rice cake every hour and a half that my wife made the night before.
- Drink so much fluid that you're forcing it down. (this is due to the heat that is generally high during the later part of the race.
- Drink some more.
- Eat any extra food that I can in between the rice cakes. (usually some gummies, etc)
- Drink a mountain dew between each aid station (I had a bottle on my bike that had soda in it)
- Don't forget to pace yourself.
- Finish

Everything went according to plan. I definitely started slow and was 15 minutes behind my time from last year to the first aid station. Luckily, I didn't stress at all about that. In fact, I was excited to see how this experiment would play out. I kept pacing the next 50 miles and then I thought about upping the pace on the last 25 mile section. There were times it worked and times my body said, "Nope." At the end I actually felt better than I ever have at the finish line, but I also was careful not to kill myself to break a record during the race. Every time I started to tighten the screws, I could feel my body push back a little so I played it safe. I feel like I still came in with a good time, but I believe I can better my time from two years ago. Maybe next year? It's a tough expectation because so many things have to go right out there. From the weather, to luck with mechanicals, to getting nutrition right, to having the legs on the given day. However, those things do align and you just have to take advantage when they do.

Lastly, I want to say thanks to everyone who was involved with the race. From Nick and Lindsey (who started this adventure), to the volunteers, to the other racers who always said encouraging things to me out there, thank you so much. It's a great sport we're involved in, and the people are the ones responsible for that.

And thanks Uncle Pat for all the great photos!


Matt Evans said...

great ride kelly!!

David Westrum said...

Great job Kelly... Glad to hear all Well with you & your family. Keep up the Great Effort .....

Mom said...

So proud of you, Kelly! You have such amazing talent on and off the bike. Your respect you show the other riders is a testament of your character.