01 September 2008

believe it.

caption: ow.

Part of me wanted to think that the Saveageman bike course was ... a little bit of hype. Of course, I KNEW it was a tough course, but I thought - maybe - that some triathletes were puffing our their chests. Maybe it was a wee bit exagerated? They weren't, and it wasn't.

Believe. The. Hype.

This morning at 6:00 a.m., three triathletes left Catonsville for Deep Creek Lake. We were on the course at 9:20. The first 18 miles are rolling hills... certainly not easy, but doable. Oh, and gorgeous... the beauty of this course is unbelieveable -- lakes, blasted out mountains, creeks, tall trees. Amazing. So the first 18 miles were okay. I felt okay. The decent was a BLAST - I hit 40 mph... oh, and I swallowed a fly.

And then we hit the town of Westernport, home of the famed Westernport Wall.

The climb up TO the wall was brutal -- so much so that I had to hop off my bike ... and getting back on it was no picnic. I didn't make it up the wall - I bit it about 3/4 of the way up - but I'm not worried about it. The wall is so short -- if I make it, great, and if I don't, well, there's another 36 miles of climbing where I can prove myself. Haha.

The next part of the course was a climb up a gravel road -- the dust was really bothering my eyes. There were some more sharp decents, and then more climbing -- there are Seven Big Hills (excluding, of course, the smaller hills on the rolling hills).

I did pretty well with nutrition and hydration - I had a Gu, Luna Moons, or Sport Beans every 45 minutes, and alteranted Accelerade, Gatorade, and water. We stopped at a little store and I got salted peanuts. Good call on my part -- they were just what I needed.

And then, after hill number... 4? 5? I was separated from my group. They had been really great about stopping and waiting for my slow ass, but when I reached a fork in the road, they weren't there. I rode around for a while, called around them ... but no such luck. Finally, I knocked on someone's door and called my mom, who checked my email and gave me the phone numbers of my riding buddies. I got a hold of them and finally caught up.

What did I learn from this?

1. Bring my OWN cue sheet!
2. Carry my cell phone!

The hills were KILLER ... I was in my granny gear and huffing and puffing all the way up them... I had to stop and walk a couple of times. Total climb: 5940 feet.

Final stats:
4h 45m 44s
58.60 miles
12.31 Mi/hr

The average MPH is really funny (and, um, really slow), because I was going 4-7 mph on the hills and 20-30 mph on the decents. Only 2 people last year went over 20 mph on the course. It's seee-low.

We stopped at an Unos and all four of us had a giant burger and fries and beer. Mmm. Beer.


  1. Mmmm...fries and beer!

    I had a good ride today too, but JEEZ - Look that that elevation chart that you had a ride! Nice job even getting 3/4 of the way up!

  2. I think I would have needed a few beers just to attempt those hills. But great job by you. You will do great at the race.

  3. Nice job Trish! You will rock the race. How scary to be lost, that happened to me the first time I attempted a group ride. My chain dropped and I got dropped from the group while fixing it. Thankfully 2 gals came back for me!

  4. thats some big time elevation you handled...great job...okay so you'll have your cellie with you next time.... no biggie....

    I want some fries ...a non alchohol beer and a huge burger!!

  5. I am sitting here giggling...you knocked on someone's door and called your mom - that is AWESOME! I love it! This is a fantastic training post! You will forever remember this moment...and then someday you will be with the lead pack going "where the h are they?" very awesome...I remember the first time I was dropped and lost from a group - I thought I was going to either start crying or have a panic attack...the worst part is that I know everytime I start to ride with stronger riders...that it is more than likely going to happen to me again, and again, and again...and you swallowed a fly...you are really going to do well on this course because you are giving it your entire heart!