Saturday, April 19, 2008

Steve Close & Sea Otter's 55+

2008 Sea Otter Road Race ReportResults:

25 very fit looking 55+ lined up at 11:50 AM April 17, 2008. Weather was near perfect, if slightly warm. 60+ category was eliminated for 2008,placing all in the 55+.

There were 8 over 60 and one 72 year old. 16riders were under 60. The winner was 60 year old Kenny Fuller in a time of 2:24:07 for 5 laps.

he first 14 riders completed 5 laps, the next 11 didonly 4. The race was neutral to the first left turn leading into a steep climb.It’s a harsh way to begin a race: very little warm up before a fairly brutal, all out climb. At the top of this first climb the field had shed perhaps 10 riders. Though tired I was among the first cull survivors.

Going up the hill to the feed zone I was well positioned mid pack, when bam,I went into A fib. Or so it seemed. Demoralized, all I could do was sit and drift off the back. A Fib is like adding 40# to bike weight, and it is worse climbing hills. Symptoms: short of breath and massive lactic acid build ups as circulation drops to 60% (estimate) of normal and heart rate varies between normal and 200+ without pushing much blood. There is occasional discomfort/pressure in upper chest and belly.

I thought about quitting race, but absent a heart monitor, I wasn’t 100% convinced I was in a fib. I wanted to complete the race. Soon a lagging rider passed me at a good clip and I decided to try to follow. We picked upanother 2-3 riders making a chase of 5. I was of no use on the front, so sucked wheel most all the way. I was with the other 3 at the bottom of thef inal hill, but my usual hill climbing strength was gone, so they rode away.

Ultimately I finished 21 with an average speed of 17.1 mph; estimate 2 mph slower than my previous efforts. The 72 year old finished a place or two in front of me. At the finish a pulse check confirmed I had completed ride while in A fib.

I converted to normal about 330 PM on the drive home. Asusual, no negative after effects. The good news is, absent A fib I believe I may have completed race near the back with the 5 lap crowd of 15, comparable to past performances and allowing for increased competition from 55’s.

The bad news is, I have to deal with a fib which is an unpredictable situation. More good news, it’s not a serious health issue, more of a nuisance when it comes to hard bikeriding. It has gone into remission in the past and may do so again.

Meanwhile I will respect my limitations. BTW, I saw Brandon after his road race. He had gauze around his left elbowand knee. He crashed leading group out on lap 2. Probably happened on that sharp, gravelly left turn. He also mentioned he broke his collar bone 4 weeks ago, only getting OK to ride 2 days before Sea Otter. He landed on broken CB side, but everything held. I scratched out of Circuit Race.

Hope to do Saturday ride, either the 7 or 8.


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