Sunday, June 3, 2012

eRock 2012 is in the books

Hey, guys. Here's the final blog post about eRock. Saturday afternoon got a bit crazy as some big thunderstorm cells wandered through the area around Palmer Divide. The race got called because of weather at about 3:30 pm - multiple lightning strikes in the area and some heavy wind. We were all happy they stopped racing when the lightning started but we were a bit disappointed that they decided to abandon and not wait for the weather to clear up. Here's a quick summary of some thoughts about the race:

  • On my last lap I was fortunate enough to see a guy in front of me that was just slightly slower than me. For 3 1/2 miles I slowly closed the gap between him and me and finally caught him on the level jeep road. I could see him look behind to watch me close on him and he tried to stay away but his back was bothering him and he had trouble climbing. At one point I said to myself "hey, if you don't catch him, it's ok. Think about all the stuff you've been through the last two years. You should just be happy to be out here and if you can't fight through the pain to push up the hill, it's ok." And then it hit me. I am NOT SICK anymore. So I shouldn't use that as an excuse anymore. So yeah, I've been through a lot. And yeah, I'm not sure what my body is capable of now or in the future. But I shouldn't hide behind that. If I want to go faster and get stronger, than I should - here's the big surprise! - go faster and get stronger. Wow. Pretty simple stuff. Stop making excuses and turn your damned legs on the bike! So I caught him, asked him how he was doing and he said "I'm tired". Well, 20 hours into a race, with probably little sleep the night before is a pretty good time to be tired. So I said "Yup, it's that time of day" and I put the (little, tiny) hammer down and pushed to the finish line. I put about 2 minutes on him in the last 2 miles. Ah, the joys of competition! It may seem small and petty and unimportant to care about such things. But when you're trying to rebuild  your body, you have to take joy in the little victories and this was certainly a victory.
  • It's great doing something like this with engineers and project managers. Not only is everyone super prepared, but everyone is anxious to out-prepare everyone else. (Did I mention that this group is a bit competitive?) So if you ask for sunblock, everyone dives into their bags to see who has the best sunblock that is most easily accessible. And after a meal, people instantly do the dishes without being asked. 
  • It's been a month since my last chemo, and this weekend it was great to have my legs hurt and not feel so totally gassed from lack of oxygen transport. Yeah, it hurts when you ask your legs to do more than they want to, especially three times over an 18 hour period. But to be able to get enough oxygen to your legs to have them work hard enough to generate metabolic waste products is really good news for me. I hope that my o2 transport continues to improve so I can work my muscles more so they in turn will get stronger. That's the strange perspective you get when you've been really ill. Someone else will complain about their painful legs. I'm really happy to have my legs hurt because of what it means about my overall health.
And a few pictures from Saturday's racing (thx Tony for filling in for Glenn as team photographer!)

Me charging down the final straight after passing my competition (note that you can't see anyone behind me. In rowing terms, this is known as "horizoning" someone, as in they are so far behind you that they're beneath the horizon:

Gary charging off into the storm (note the big rain clouds behind him):

Waiting for Gary to finish so we can complete the tear down of our campsite. In classic Colorado fashion, we've all got rain gear on our tops and shorts on. From left to right, me, Ed and Carlin.

If you want to look at race results, we're the BikesOrBeers team in the 8 person coed division.

And to give you a sense for how slow I am compared to folks that are somewhat serious about riding their bikes, check out the Strava segment for the course (I am currently 18/20th. Ed (6), Tony (7) and Gary (10) are also on our team). For me, definitely room to get better!


Ari Newman
Ari NewmanJun 01, 201217.5mi/h166bpm240W Powermeter-27:25
2Chris GravesJun 03, 201116.3mi/h171bpm--29:31
3David B.Jun 01, 201216.0mi/h-262W-30:01
4Dave ChorenJun 01, 201215.8mi/h-154W-30:25
5matthew clineJun 01, 201215.6mi/h-242W-30:46
6Ed BaldufJun 01, 201215.3mi/h170bpm187W-31:21
7Tony ApuzzoJun 03, 201115.3mi/h145bpm249W-31:29
8Craig KellerJun 01, 201215.2mi/h-115W-31:35
9Kent SmithJun 03, 201114.7mi/h148bpm139W-32:41
10Gary BonnerJun 02, 201214.0mi/h-136W-34:18
11Paul GoldbergJun 01, 201213.7mi/h155bpm218W-35:03
12Kim NordquistJun 03, 201113.6mi/h---35:21
13mark truelsenJun 02, 201213.4mi/h-132W-35:55
14Mike BeanJun 01, 201213.1mi/h-149W-36:38
15Christopher FosterJun 03, 201112.9mi/h160bpm--37:10
16Jeff WheelockMay 09, 201212.8mi/h---37:31
17Jon ElliottApr 28, 201211.9mi/h---40:15
18George FlorentineJun 02, 201211.9mi/h153bpm107W-40:28
19Rob GaffneyJun 03, 201211.6mi/h135bpm--41:23
20Justin GritzmacherSep 04, 20118.3mi/h---57:44

1 comment:

  1. I alternately giggled outloud and teared up reading this. Here here to having someone to chase to take our minds off the pain, and to good friends who do the dishes and are there for us through disease and rainstorms! Love!