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The Taste of Victory Is…Meaty-The Dirty Dozen Race Report

February 9, 2009

If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride-and never quit-you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards. –Paul “Bear” Bryant

imgp0623If Flat Rock Creek is the course that has always been mean to me, Warda is the one that has almost always been nice. I’m now 4 out 5 for 1st place finishes there. 1st in Collegiate A, TMBRA expert 19-29 , Dirty Dozen 2 man team, and finally, this weekend’s win at the Dirty Dozen solo expert category.

A solo win is rarely solo at all, so appreciation for my “team” is the first order of business. Thanks to all those who supported me in the feedzone-Amy Hall, Shauna Metcalf, and my little cupcake (she did the 6 hour race and helped me for the last 6 hours-good job on your first 6 hour!). Thanks to Brandon Lucas for wrenching on my bikes and making sure they were race ready. Thanks to Ian Hall for sitting in the feed zone and downing Miller High Life’s, and occasionally checking up on my position. Part of a successful strategy for races like this is minimal time in the pits and maximum time on the trail. I’m proud to say, with the help of my pit crew, I didn’t spend more than a minute in any of the pit stops, except for one late in the race to stretch out an ailing knee. Thanks to my supplement sponsor, Puresport, who provided the workout mix that pretty much fueled me the entire race. I ate 1 ½ Odwalla peanut bars, some pickles, some bison jerky, and drank some Odwalla smoothies with a lot of vitamin B, but really a bottle of Puresport workout each lap was what sustained me the entire time. Thanks to my therapist, Performance wellness who I will be seeing a lot of in the next few days. Thanks to Sean Ahmadi who gave me a training plan to prepare for this race. And as always, thanks to everyone on Team NRC/Pedalmasher who was there to cheer me on.

I will sum up the race very quickly bullet style.

  • Proud Mary (the hardtail) handled the first 9 laps very efficiently and pulled me up from the middle ranks to 1st position.
  • The new Stan’s arch 29er wheelset and Raven tires held up great with a tubeless setup and were smoking fast. See the tech corner for review.
  • Big Tex (the full suspension) took over on lap 10 so Proud Mary could get a little work done on her. After two laps I decided to stay with this bike since it is more stable and I was getting more and more fatigued.
  • I completed 17 laps, somewhere around 130 miles, in 12 hours flat. It was a much quicker pace than the 24 hour Rocky Hill race where I did 17 laps and 175 miles in 24 hours
  • Having done a faster pace and just as many laps made the race feel longer than 12 hours and just as painful as the 24
  • I was pushing the pace really high the first 7 laps, pretty high the next 6, and chill the last 4 when I learned I was more than an hour up on 2nd place. By the way, Brandon Melott from up north of the Red River held on for that second place on a singlespeed. A very hard fought and well deserved finish for him. I’ve raced Brandon before in other events and he always puts up a hell of fight
  • I could’ve gone 18 laps, but didn’t need to when I heard Brandon had already completed his 16th lap 15 mins before the cutoff, making it an impossibility for him to catch me
  • I did not have one single mechanical the entire race
  • I was very well hydrated for the majority of the race. Not wanting to give up time for “nature breaks”, I mastered the art of said breaks while on the bike about 7 times throughout the race. Email me if you want to know the details of this skill. I’m not sharing publicly.
  • The Paleo Diet which I am now 90% subscribing to, appears to have no detrimental effect on athletic performance. I expect as I get closer to 100% and better adapted to it, performance will actually increase. Instead of carbo loading the night before, I ate a raw steak and a salad with lots of veggies, seeds, and nuts, much like the meals I had for the entire week before. For breakfast, I had 2 raw jumbo eggs, an orange, and some mixed nuts
  • Much like my primal eating habits, I elected to go more “au natural” and forego the use of chamois butter, a bike computer, and/or a heart rate monitor/powermeter. Technology is nice, but there is no substitute for instinct and mental toughness.
  • If I do this race next year, I think I will attempt it singlespeed rigid. With my P90X strength training and arsenal of ergonomic handlebars, I didn’t really have issues with my wrists, shoulders, arms, or back hurting at all. SS rigid would be a fun way to up the ante
  • I freaked a lot of people out at the awards ceremony by taking a raw steak I was eating for dinner up to the podium to accept my award. Thanks to the ranch owner, Damon Nolan for providing the awesome longhorn t-bone. Check the Bluff Creek website if you are interested in purchasing quality free range Texas Longhorn beef

Much like the 24 hour win in 2007, this one came with a price. The last 4 laps, I had to fight through some really excruciating pain on the lateral side of my left knee. I’ve been having issues with this knee since that 24 hour race, but never in this location. It appears to be IT band tightness and hopefully nothing a little therapy and proper recovery can’t fix. Having the mental toughness to overcome that pain and bring home the W was honestly one of the more meaningful achievements in my racing career and I will cherish this win for a long time. Racing Terlingua this upcoming weekend looks out of the picture, but who knows? The body is a resilient thing. Long live long rides! Happy Monday,

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 9, 2009 7:51 pm

    Congrats to you Greg!


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