Just happened to wander over to the NORBA Nationals website this evening. I forgot the last race was in early August. Final results are posted here.
Lets give it up for my good friend Douglas Phillips out of Maine. He finished 4th overall in the Expert 45-49 y/o class!!
I finished 15th overall in the Expert 25-29 y/o class.
Looking back on the race it turned out to be a fairly good day. During the race I was in bad knee & lower back pains, splitting headache, f'd up saddle and seriously considered DNFing at the next aid station. My determination pulled me through (partway because I started feeling some extra strength around mile 40) and I finished the race.
It all began when I got home from work on Friday. Maybe I should say it all began about a week ago when I crashed. Thanks to that crash my ankles were sore and my right side was all bruised with very sore muscles regardless of how much I rested. I noticed some muscle fatigue early into my ride this past wednesday night but shrugged it off. Friday after work my left knee was bothering me (think it was the tendons on the back of my knee that felt tight). Saturday morning my knee still didn't feel 100%.
Got a lazy start to the day Saturday after a great night's sleep and eventually arrived at Ascutney resort around 5pm. Picked up my number. Said hi to Troy Michaud and his friends (rode w/ them at Kingdom trails a few weeks earlier). Shortly thereafter Bryan Budd arrived (my camp-mate and good friend from Maine). Pondered the course profile for a bit. Got the campsite set-up and then realized there was something wrong with my bike.
Thursday I switched the rear cog on my SS over to a 17tooth from the 16tooth. Somehow I got it to work w/ the current chain length. Had to realign the rear disc brake (red flag I somehow ignored). Well, Saturday evening I came to the realization that the chain was too short for the 32x17 gear ratio and my rear wheel was not centered in the drop-outs. Had to add 1 link to the chain the ghetto way (ghetto = reusing the pre-existing link rather than a master link). This resulted in a high probability of chain failure during the race. Then I realigned the rear disc brake. Got that all squared away right before it got dark and crossed my fingers the chain would hold up.
Weather was unusually warm and humid (lower 60s at night and probably mid 70s during the day). I'm used to getting up at 4am the day of this race in mid 30deg temperatures. I figured the warm air was a sign of good things to come, even with the forcast of rain. Little did I realize the high levels of humidity would contribute to my headache during the race (the water vapor was approaching the saturation rate aka: on the verge of rain).
2am Sunday. Stupid m-fr in the tent about 50ft away from us was snoring louder than Jason in his armchair in his W. Hartford days. I seriously had no idea how this guy was breathing for he was so loud and congested. I wanted to kick down his tent in an effort to wake him up. Even after I put my earplugs in it took me nearly another hour to fall back asleep.
4:30am Sunday. Rise and shine. Had some oatmeal and an apple. Arrived at the start shortly after 5am with plenty of time to change and ride around for a bit to warm up. I lathered up my knees and lower back with warm-up creme in hopes to help loosen the muscles up. Also did some stretching and eased into a warm-up ride back and forth on the road. Felt pretty good.
6am. line-up at the start for the 6:15 start. 6:15... gun goes off and we're on our way. I had a good start and was way up front drafting the geared riders and pedaling my brains out just to keep pace on the first couple of flat miles. A few short miles into the race I was singled out alongside two other SSrs. One of which was Independent Fabrication's own Thom Parsons (hmm. didn't realize he was here. chit. he's a fast rider. I've got no chance against him). Had a few words with Tom while we were pondering where the first climb was so we can get back into the group.
The first climb I was with Thom for a bit but he quickly dropped me. I was left to suffer on my own. This is where things started going downhill (unfortunately not literally). Those sore muscles on my right side were sapping every bit of strength out of me as I struggled up the hill. I also realized the climbs, being shorter in length than the ones in the 100milers, were much steeper. Now my choice of a 32x17 was coming back to haunt me. Where's that 18tooth gear?
I regained some position on the descent thanks to my daredevil descending skills (aka: laying on the toptube in a super aero tuck holding on for dear life in the turns as my fingers were no where near my brake levers). Then the next climb... fell off the back yet again. Hmm. I see a reaccuring theme here.
Probably around mile 15 I had enough and got off the bike to assess my saddle position. Every muscle in both legs hurt which was a sign of saddle position error. Damn. This thing is nose up again. WTF? I just replaced the saddle clamps within the seatpost. A quick readjustment and it was level again and I was off. Wow. Much better. I had strength again and could climb decently. Somewhere in here Troy passed me like I was standing still. I originally wanted to keep him in my sights but quickly realized I couldn't keep his pace.
Got to the top of Garvin Hill at mile 20 and was feeling okay. Realized I'm 2hours in. Hmm. Right on track for finishing in 5hours. This continued on to mile 30 where I was then 3hours in. Mentally I'm feeling pretty good but that is slowly degrading seeing as my lower back was acting up and my legs were just lacking pure strength to turn the SS cranks. I kept eating more beef jerky and held up on the energy gels but rather favored more accelerade and electrolyte pills. Remarkably my stomach felt fine.
The weather was on/off foggy and very humid. There were parts where I saw the sun peek out but for the most part it was a muggy autumn day.
From mile 30 to 40 it was all up and down but on some awesome singletrack. I tore it up with my technical skills and wound up catching quite a few people. Meanwhile my legs were on the verge of cramping and actually did one or two times while dismounting to run around a tight switchback. Got to the aid station at mile 39 and refilled my two waterbottles with more heed (camelbag was full of accelerade) and ate some backed potato slices. I was now around 4hours 20mins into the race. Uh oh. I'm falling off pace but there is nothing I can do about it. I kept an eye on the clock but rode within my ability given how my body felt.
Meanwhile, the past 10 miles of singletrack involved me inadvertantly duking it out with this other SSr I've seen at the 100mile races. He was on a rigid Ti Independent Fabrications and would drop me on the climbs but I'd catch back up to him on the singletrack and/or descents (he wasn't the greatest in the tight, wet, rooty singletrack). This lasted all through mile 45ish. The downhill there was awesome and even included some really big banked turns (bigger than the one at Case we ride all the time). It spit us out at onto the road only to ride through someone's backyard (we rode through over 90 privately owned properties) enroute to a grueling 3 to 4 mile climb partway up Mt. Ascutney. This climb is where that guy on the IF disappeared for I was very slow going up.
Once up the mountain the trail started traversing. I gave it everything I had left on that climb even with my legs cramping and the traverse was an amazing thing to see. That meant I had an insane downhill on what was probably a blue ski slope to the finish. Lost my waterbottles on that descent but kept on going. Flew over this roller catching quite a bit of air and then rolled into the finish line.
Awesome! I finished. I can't believe I actually finished. I felt like such chit for the vast majority of the race I was enthusiastic to finish. Upon finishing I felt this huge relief. Predominately because it was over. Caught up to that guy on the ti IF as I was waiting in line to wash the bike. Turns out he was running a 32x19 (I was on a 32x17) hence why he was able to power away from me on the climbs. It was, effectively, easier for him to climb for his cadence was up wheras I was turning over the pedals at a cadence one would think is stop-motion photography. Mental note for next year: try an easier gear for you'll only get dropped in the beginning but can make it up on the climbs later on in the race.
Stopped to talk with Thom on my way back to the car. He wound up finishing 2nd SS around 4hr 53mins (1st SSr was 3rd overall at 4hrs 40mins). He said he was feeling pretty good the whole time. Said he rode with Troy for a bit but Troy would lose him on the technical sections (mental note: Thom is strong but not the best technical rider... as he also pointed out when explaining the times he was following Tim Dougherty in the Mohican 100 in Ohio). Troy wound up finishing 5th SS in a little over 5hours (heard he's nursing broken ribs from earlier in the season).
On the way back to my car the rain came. The wind picked up and the rain came down in buckets. Bryan had 3 miles to go at this point. He came in around 30mins behind me. Said he felt good for the most part but crashed on some wet leaves in a turn. It bent his der. hanger so he had to stop and replace it (Yeah, he was carrying an extra hanger in his camelbag. Talk about being prepared.).
Looking back, and knowing the results, it turns out I did fairly well despite how chitty I felt the entire time. Finished in 5hours 50mins. 15th SS and 148th overall (out of close to 800 total riders). The kicker is in the time splits relative to the other SSrs. 10mins faster would have netted me around 9th SS. Thats how close the finishes were back where I was. The top 5 SS finishers were spread across 30mins (which I guess isn't that big). Official results are up on the website Vermont 50.
Hmm. Better training and preparation (ie: no crashes leading up to the race) should result in a top 10 SS finish next year.
getting ready for VT50
My unorthodox training style doesn't seem to be working right now. It appears to be fatiguing my body even more than two back-to-back weekends of SS riding...
I spent last week feverishly working panic tasks in the office while daydreaming a way to fix the oil problem with my Audi. Fixed the car (narrowly missing a partial engine rebuild), finished the panic tasks at work (and have successfully warded off the 10+ times everyone stops by my desk asking if things are done), nursing a sore back (rather taking a lot of muscle relaxers) and even managed to get a SS ride in with my sore left knee. Halfway through my bike ride last week my knee started feeling better and just like that everything got worse.... Yup. Faceplant coming through a slow turn.
I thought easy rides were supposed to be easy? My fall was minature tree-stump induced. I was going through a very tight, very slow right turn. While looking at the exit of the turn my front tire caught said root and I went down hard. Cut open my right kneecap, bruised my bum and managed to semi-twist my left ankle. 6days later... I'm feeling better and my knee is healing up well. Overall though I'm still tired and need rest.
Maybe this week I'll get back on the SS in preparation for the vermont 50. In the meantime you can find me commuting across Hartford on my fixed gear (and not falling).
Spent the weekend in northern Vermont with the French-Canadians (Okay, actually rode with a bunch from Southern Maine. The French Canadians were there but we didn't get to ride with them). Our posse included Sean (NJ), Brian (ME), Bryan (ME) and Bruce (CT) along with myself and Omega (he was the campsite terror / adorable Husky). We went up to the Northeast Kingdom to ride the trail network commonly known as 'Kingdom Trails'. Took Sean and I just over 3hours to get up there Saturday morning from Hartford.
What can I say? This place definitely lives up to its reputation. Its all nice cross country singletrack that ranges from mellow to tight and pretty technical. Lots of roots in sections but I didn't see many rocks or trees to hop over. As with all areas of Vermont.. Good climbing! The trails are also very well maintained. There are some supposedly good 'freeride' trails but we never graced them with our appearance. Where is this place you ask? Right in East Burke VT at the base of Burke Mountain ski resort. Waay up I91 very close to the Canadian border (and not that far away from Jay Peak ski resort. mmm. Jay. I miss the fresh powder there). There's a nice campsite about 1/4 up Burke Mtn that we stayed at (it was full of French Canadians). The catch with the campsite is you've got an uphill climb for 2miles from the center of town. Its a bit far for day trips (then again I've driven the 3hours to ride Killington for the day) but great for a nice weekend trip. Get up there Friday night. Camp and Ride for two days.
Saturday afternoon we got a nice ride in with Brian, Bruce Sean and I. Bryan had family obligations to attend to while we did more climbing than descending. Sean and I were rocking the singlespeeds whereas everyone else had geared bikes. Omega was hanging out keeping watch of the campsite while we rode (more like sleeping in my car). We managed to pick the wrong combination of trails and did more climbing than descending which made for a somewhat upsetting afternoon. Then to top it all off we had a 2mile climb back to the campsite. Halfway to the campsite the rain swept in. It poured hard the whole ride back. Then we got to stand underneath Brian's 30year old tarp that was stretched over the picnic table while we watched the rain come down (and while I froze).
Shortly thereafter the rain subsided and it was business as usual. Bruce had to take off. Brian Sean and I had some good burgers at probably 1 of 2 only restaurants in town. Then went back to camp to build a nice bonfire with the Eagle Scout skills Sean and I contain. yeah, we got a fire going with wet wood. It was fun and cold (probably dipped into the lower 40s at night).
Sunday: awoke to 49ish degree weather and clear skies. Had some oatmeal and good pancakes courtesy of Brian Phillips (I think he's trying to compete against Tara). I ran to the bike shop to miracously (sp?) find a set of Hayes El Camino disc brake pads for my rear brake. Then we met up with some other Southern Maine bikers the two Brians know (Greg, Steve, Clem, Gail?, Troy Michaud and the Northeast Gary Fisher rep). Troy and the Fisher rep were rocking Fisher's 29" Rig SS with some awesome Bontrager carbon rigid forks. Got a nice couple of hours ride in with them. The weather was beautiful (high 50s / low 60s and blue skies). We also found all the best trails. Nice rolling terrain and some awesome technical downhills where Bruce would have had a blast (maybe next time, Bruce). This was the highlight of the weekend.
Right before we broke for lunch I stood up to ride this relatively easy climb and then, bam! I tweaked a muscle and nerve in my lower back. It was pretty amazing even though I basically f'd myself for who knows how long. Out of nowhere you go from feeling great to this sharp pain running through your lower back. It f'n hurts but I managed to climb back to the campsite.
Lunchtime. Rode back up the mountain to the campsite to eat and find my pain killers for my back. The rest of the Southern Maine crew arrived shortly thereafter and we did a relatively short loop up Burke Mtn on the ski resort. It was a nice windy, rooty singletrack that climbed up to 3/4 from the top (and wasn't that hard to ride on the SS). Then we did some traversing and eventually came down this awesome singletrack downhill that put us out at the base lodge. Back to camp and it was time to pack up and head home.
All in all, a great weekend and my legs felt great the whole time albeit they're a bit sore right now. A good precursor for the Vermont 50. We'll see how I do against Troy. He won it the other year on a SS (4hrs and 30something mins). Here's a photo I snapped while we were driving home on I91. Its so beautiful way up north of route 89.
shenandoah mtn 100 (part 2)
My weekend began with a quick drive down to NJ Thursday evening. Met up with my brother and his new girlfriend and then went to sleep. 4am... alarm clock goes off. 10mins later I'm on the road solo (left Omega in NJ for the weekend w/ my brother and sister). I78 was packed with truckers at 4:30am and, likewise, was difficult getting out to I81 but I still made pretty good time. Going into the panhandle of West Virginia I encountered the rain from Tropical Storm Ernesto. It wasn't bad, just a light rain and continued like that through the rest of my trip. Hit some traffic in Winchester Virginia and then things cleared up. Couple hundred miles later (and after passing Harrisonburg VA where the race is) I'm on I64 heading west. The rain picked up as I went over the mountains into West Virginia. Into WV the rain disappeared and so did what little traffic was on the road. Flying now. I love how my car handles at 100mph.
Got into Beckley WV just before noon. Spent the next day with Tara, her family & friends. [sidenote: I recommend going to see Little Miss Sunshine. It was a great movie.] Saturday afternoon we, or rather Tara (gotta give credit were credit is due) made a huge dish of homemade Ziti. Mmmm. She knows how to make sure I've eaten properly before an important race.(Thanks!) But before that I got to take a tour of what my future garage will look like... chock full of project cars and all the right tools a mechanic can think of to get the job done right. Actually, it was her neighbor's garage, but it did feel like it could be home.
Ziti..mmm. Filled me up and then I had to hit the road again to head back to the Harrisonburg VA area. The campsite and start/finish of the race was actually in Stokesville VA (about 8 miles south of Harrisonburg and 30mins west of I81). Arrived shortly after dark and as the racer's meeting was about halfway done. Picked up my registration packet and found Tim. After the racer's meeting Tim and I got our drop bags together (spare tube, CO2, food, Ensure, etc) and then Tim went to sleep. I rummaged through my stuff and then sat in my collapsable camping chair eating more Ziti. Around this time Ray showed up too (I sold him my old Cannondale singlespeed). Bedtime was just before 10pm. I slept like a rock in my sleeping bag and thermarest (a godsend when camping). The nighttime air was super cool and Tim's tent kept the dew away. Just the right conditions for a good night's sleep.
5am. Sunday. The gong is going off to wake everyone up. I slept in 'till 5:45 and then finally got up and got rolling. Probably not a good idea to sleep in that long for the race started at 6:30am and I didn't really get to eat a good breakfast (dabbled between fresh fruit, ziti and cold oatmeal.. okay. didn't really eat much oatmeal. probably a spoonful).
The race went off promptly at 6:30. I heard there were well over 300 racers with quite a few fixed gears (and you thought I was crazy on a singlespeed). As soon as I got to the starting line nature was calling..Son-of-A.. No time to go now. Got a race starting. First climb was gradual up to mile 7 or 8 and then it kicked up (a notch). It was mostly doubletrack and I lost my chain coming around one turn. Doh! I hope this was not going to be a reoccuring theme. After getting the chain un-stuck from between the crankarm and frame I was on my merry way (meanwhile I kept thinking of that one clip from Chain Reaction I where the downhill racer at Platekill NY got his chain stuck on his chainguide..). My right knee was bothering me a bit and I had a minor stomach ache. Not good.
Around mile 15 or so I caught up to Ray and we rode together. WTF? Why is Tim Dougherty on the side of the trail? As we rode by he was asking for spare spokes. Aparently someone put their foot through his front wheel while going around a turn and he broke 3 or 4 spokes. Enough to make his front wheel rub on the Lefty fork. Damn it. He's now out and pissed. I was fairly confident he would take top 3 SS today.
Ray and I mustered up the 2nd climb around mile 20. It was fairly steep, rocky singletrack that had quite a few switchbacks. Yeah, we (about everyone around us) walked/ran a bit of it. From there was a gnarly singletrack downhill. At the top we saw Elk and I let him go infront of us. He said he wasn't feeling well and his water bottle cage broke. Ray and I eventually passed him for his rigid fork was forcing him to descent a bit slower than us. Shortly thereafter Ray went over the bars but landed on his feet and eventually caught back up to me. We rolled into aid station 2 at mile 31. The first real aid station with food and extra water/etc.... I refilled my one waterbottle with more Heed. Nature was calling. A few minutes later I was back in the game and felt much better.
From here we started climbing up some paved road that led to a hardpack jeep trail. I can't remember where Ray pulled away from me but I was eventually left to fight on my own. This climb to mile 40 sucked. It was just steep enough so that you can ride it but your cadence with 1 gear was very low. In other words, lots of 'the worm' as Tim and I refer to our SS climbing style. Little did I realize we would revisit 3/4 of this climb at mile 95.
Dropped down onto an awesome off-camber singletrack downhill. I was in a group of about 10-15 people just flying on these trails that were so narrow and off-camber you'd mentally start thinking you're not upright and naturally start leaning towards the mountain. Not a good idea 'cause then your f'd. Esp in a caravan like we had. About 4 guys infront of me was a fixed gear rider who pedaled the whole way down. I couldn't believe he did that.. and to do it so fluently.
Aid station 3.. 45miles in. Refilled my camelbag and waterbottle. Dropped my arm & knee warmers off in my drop bag. Drank an Ensure, ate some bananas & orange slices. Then hit the road eating more beef jerky. We had about 5+ miles of paved road to ride. I eventually settled in with 3 other SSrs and a bunch of geared riders as we pacelined it up the road. Turn off into some campsite (forgot the name) and then we encountered the "one high flowing stream crossing" that we had to wade across. This thing was up to my knees and flowing very rapidly. One false move and you're down. Across the creek came a 50ft hike-a-bike climb. That hike then became tight singletrack that meandered up the mountain. I walked/ran most of this climb for it was pretty brutal on a SS. The downhill was pretty badass. More rocky singletrack descending. whoa hoo!
Aid station 4 at 57miles. I rolled in and saw Elk getting directions from a volunteer. This certainly didn't look good. Refilled my waterbottle, ate some bananas and orange slices. Then hit the trail with Elk. He threw in the towel at aid station 4 because he felt like schit. I figured something was wrong since he's riding back with me and not up at the top 3 SSrs where he usually is. He had a shortcut back to camp and briefed me on the 20mile climb I was riding into: "mellow for a while and then it gets steep towards the summit". I wished him the best of luck and pulled away on my own.
This climb sucked. It just wore on for what seemed like an eternity. I rode all of the mellow part (mile 57-65ish). Then we crossed over some construction zone before it got steeper. The dirt was so soft in the construction zone that I didn't have the energy to pedal so I ran through it. Then did a little walk/ride/walk up the steep stuff. Rode quite a bit more than I thought I could. Guess for I kept telling myself aid station 5 is at the top of this climb.
Finally, aid station 5 at mile 75. It took me the better part of 2.5hours to climb. I showed up around 4:30pm. Just before the mandatory headlights required time. I refilled my camelbag and grabbed my dropbag. Pulled the one waterbottle out of my bag (mmm. Accelerade, definetely a needed change from all the Heed I was drinking) and drank an Ensure from my bag. Stuffed some more energy gels into my jersey pocket and then I realized I was starting to freeze (sop and wet jersey and fairly breezy air = cold rider). Lots of guys were sitting down resting. I figured I should hit the trail since they were SSrs and I thought I'd be slower than them. I also thought I was at the top and just had to descent to the next aid station.. No No. Lots more climbing. The ridgeline trail was a jeep's width doubletrack and it was rolling. Up and down.. I'd get to a clearing and think I'm at the top. Nope. Down a bit and then back up again. Mentally I was falling apart because I just wanted to get off this damn mountain. From the looks of the profile I think we did almost another 1,000ft of climbing after aid station 5 before descending off the mountain.
The descent was insane. I was so fatigued I almost couldn't hold onto the handlebars and brakes. It was steep and you were over the rear tire behind the saddle to keep weight balanced. This one SSr passed me. Where did he come from? damn. I'm riding slow. I opened it up a bit to catch back up with him but didn't catch him until we got to aid station 6 around mile 88 (same as aid station 2). I refilled both my water bottles, ate a few bananas and then carried on with the SSr who passed me on the descent from station 5 (forgot his name). He dropped me on the short climb right out of station 6. I descended like a demon and caught up to him near the bottom of the last climb of the day. We were slowly pulling away from other SSrs that left aid station 6 shortly behind us.
Ride some. Walk about 20ft. Ride some more. That was how we got up this last climb. He told me it was only 3/4 of what we rode before (yeah, the 3rd climb at mile 35 that was a tease to pedal on a SS... we're back!). It hurt to turn the pedals. My arms were sore and my legs were worse. This one SSr passed us and I was in shock. He was flying! Guess that's how it goes when you're 100lbs. Good power to weight ratio. The two of us just mustered on ignoring that guy who just flew past us. The guy I was with eventually started walking but for some reason I kept on pedaling (albeit very, very slowly). Before I knew it I had a good gap on him. Okay, now the game is to not let him or anyone behind me catch me. Once at the top its a descent to the finish.
I caught a few geared riders on the climb and then did a daredevil descent on some singletrack that opened up to doubletrack jeep trail. Took another energy gel for my arms were starting to cramp. Next thing I know I'm in the back of the Stokesville campsite. Finish at last! The course dumped you into the open field of the campsite. Two little rollers were at the top of the field. I popped over the first one and then heard Elk yelling "big air Doug" so I pulled a little handlebar turn-down off the second one. and flew across the finish line. Sweet. I'm finally done.
My time: 10hours 48min 20sec (roughly 10mins slower than the 101. Not bad for using a harder gear ratio this time 2:1 ratio)
My finish: 118th overall out of 400 total riders --> 18th singlespeed out of 52
Jeremiah Bishop (pro Trek rider) won the race in 7hours and 15minutes. Dan Jenson won the SS class in 8hours 37mins. FAST!
Joey Riddle (my Vicious teammate) took 24th overall, just under 9hours. His wife (Mandi) came in 4th female in just over 11hours. A good day for Vicious Cycles!
What is cool is that there was an influx of about 4 SSrs within 5minutes ahead of me. Then me. Then another 3minutes and another big group of SSrs. Maybe next time I can beat the guys that finished just infront of me. The race hurt a lot. It was very difficult even though conditions were reasonably dry. Offical results are posted here. Props to Chris Scott and Shenandoah Mountain Touring for putting on such a great set of races (they also did the 101). Tim took off around 10am to head back to NJ (no surprise to me for his season hasn't been well. I wish there is something I can do.). I slept in the tent Sunday night and left early in the morning to head back to NJ and eventually CT.
Next up. This weekend we're (Sean, Bryan, Brian, Bruce and myself) riding at Kingdom Trails in northern Vermont. A few weeks from now is the Vermont 50. Probably going to do that 2:1 and just push myself really hard. After all, its half the distance of what I just did. At the rate I'm doing these 100milers if I finish the VT50 in 5hours I'll be top 10SS easily.
shenandoah mtn 100 (part1)
Just got back from a weekend down in Virginia and West Virginia (now I know why I went to school down there). It started with visiting the best girlfriend ever and ended with a 100mile mountain bike race through the Shenandoah Mountains (on a singlespeed).
To sum up the race: difficult. Probably more difficult than the Wilderness 101 due to a larger portion of the course being rocky, off-camber singletrack. Or maybe because I chose a harder gear ratio (2:1 ratio versus 1.78:1)? Physically I was okay but did suffer pain in my right knee early on in the race (eventually went away) and mentally fell apart around mile 75-80 but regained composure with 15miles to go. Dropped my chain around mile 15 and was afraid it would be a re-occuring theme. Lucky for me the chain never fell off again.
I finished in under 11hours and not that far off from my Wilderness 101 time. My body is sore and every muscle (including ones you never thought you have) are achy (the 7+ hour drive home didn't help much).
I'll write more tomorrow.