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  1. #1
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    Shasta Lemurian Race Report:ouch!

    My goal for this race was to have the write up titled “No Excuses”. My first few races of this year have been plagued with bad health, mud and the return of big time cramping problems. When I did the Lemuariam last year, I had a nasty crash in the beginning of the race, and that caused mechanical issues for the rest of the race. Here is a pic from last years finish. Notice the tear marks



    So my plan was to be healthy, have no crashes and no mechanical issues this year. Given these lofty objective I thought I had a good chance of winning my age group. As long as none of the fast guys showed up :}
    As the race approached I knew my first objective of staying healthy was not going to happen. The bug has been swarming my house and hit Ms Merlin bad. I was able to fight off the worst of it , but did not feel anything close to 100%.
    This course is a little over 25 miles long with over 4k of climbing. But if felt more like 8k of climbing because the climbs are SO steep and they never end!

    The race started with everyone doing the long course going off together.




    Once we hit the first steep climb, my legs already felt heavy. I knew I was not 100% but my plan was not to go too hard because this was a very long hard race and this was the first of MANY climbs.



    After the first climb we went down a fire road, that had lots of loose rocks and gravel, this is where I had my first crash last year, so I took it easy. 2 guys flew by me like I was standing still, and a minute later when I came around a turn one of them was down and crashed real bad. I heard later that he went to the hospital. Next we were on some flat single-track, then another climb, and then some more flat single-track. This is the spot where I had crash #2 last year and damaged my shifting, so I went hard but careful. Then some more downhill singletrack,



    When I approached the 2nd climb I could not help but think back to how much pain I was in last year compared to this year, especially my lower back, all that Yoga has really paid off! I knew this climb was long…and got real steep at the end so I did my best to hold a good pace but not blow up. About ½ way up my legs felt bad, really bad, and I knew I had to back off or I was going to blow up, cramp up or both! After a while we hit a section that was so steep that everyone in front of me was walking up the trail. This was when the first twinge of a cramping hit, as I pushed the bike up the steep hill with the sun beating down on me. The trail leveled off a bit and I thought this must be the top. NO WAY, more climbing, and more climbing, I was really starting to loose it, just praying for the top so I could “ rest” on the down hill. I climbed some more and finally it was flat, for like 30 seconds! Then MORE CLIMBING…till finally the steep technical downhill started. I’m pretty sure this section is called the couch and it is a blast! Real steep and rutted out but very rideable. After this awesome descent I was SO ready to just glide downhill and finish, but no, after a getting off the bike to go through a stream there was another climb. It was at this moment that my legs cramped up, all I could do was walk the bike up the fire road till the cramp subsided. I thought I was going to make it with out cramping this time, but no such luck. I finally got back on the bike and cruised down some more single track and was SOOO ready to be done. I came out on a road and they told me “just another short climb”...dam it! I tried to spin easy up the road, but the cramping hit again big time. I knew I was just minutes to the finish and I could not turn the pedals over it hurt so bad. Finally I could get back on the bike and every pedal stroke caused excruciating pain, I was screaming as I pedaled, the spectators must have thought I was crazy. Finally a downhill that was paved, I just held my pedals level till the last 100 yard climb. I knew the only way to make it up was standing so I locked out the front fork, stood up crested the hill, and glided to the finish line, completely shelled and in pain. As I crossed the line I heard “ way to go Merlin” Thanks Ron! They took my number and asked me to move for the next rider, so I asked for a push so I could glide to the car.
    I went and rinsed off in the lake and my teammate came buy with the news that he won his class 35-39 and I won my class 45-54! My teammate Chuck and I posing for a pic for the local paper





    Dang, I was surprised! I lost a good 5-10 minutes out there! Merlin getting the bling from the Lemurian Guy




    Sure it felt great to win, but it really bothers that after trying everything, I can’t solve my cramping issues. So, I drowned my sorrows in an after race Burrito that they provided at the race





    Then on the drive home In & Out Burger!



    I'm off to N.Y. for a fraternity reunion and a week of rest!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  2. #2
    "Its All Good"
    Reputation: Whafe's Avatar
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    Merlin, great write up, great pictures............. Great win...............
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Merlin, great write up, great pictures............. Great win...............
    Thanks Whafe!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  4. #4
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    Good job! WaaaaHHHhoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fahking - A - All Right Man!!!!

    Big win at a big race - for both you and Chuck. Damn. I ought to come out your way for a two-week training camp or something, SOON! I get the feeling that if/when I line up with Chuck again, he's gonna drop me in a flash.

    So what the hell is up with the cramping...? Not enough base? Not enough electrolyte replenishment? Using any supplements (sport legs, etc...)? Seems like you'd stomp the fellas in your group yet worse if you could avoid the pesky cramp situation.

    Still, wish I could win an expert race when I felt that crappy! Pretty cool.

    Chuck and you sound like you're marked men at the races now!

    (how cool is THAT?)

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    Fahking - A - All Right Man!!!!

    Big win at a big race - for both you and Chuck. Damn. I ought to come out your way for a two-week training camp or something, SOON! I get the feeling that if/when I line up with Chuck again, he's gonna drop me in a flash.

    So what the hell is up with the cramping...? Not enough base? Not enough electrolyte replenishment? Using any supplements (sport legs, etc...)? Seems like you'd stomp the fellas in your group yet worse if you could avoid the pesky cramp situation.

    Still, wish I could win an expert race when I felt that crappy! Pretty cool.

    Chuck and you sound like you're marked men at the races now!

    (how cool is THAT?)

    Thanks Glen...If you go to Mammoth you can line up against the Chuckster...good luck
    Cramping??? Honestly, I think some people are gifted like Lance, and I just love to ride, but have no genetic disposition at all. I have not tried sport legs but I will. For this race I di major hydrating the day before and put 5 Endurolites in my 50 oz Camelback and downed a flask of Hammergel. You are right I could have finished 5- 10 minutes faster if I had not cramped up. VERY FRUSTRATING!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  6. #6
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    Merlin

    What was your time?? Good write up. I cramped at the same spot you did. Had to walk that whole freaking hill!

  7. #7
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    2:52, 7 minutes slower then last year
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    ...If you go to Mammoth you can line up against the Chuckster...good luck
    That'd be cool, but I thought Mammoth was D.O.A.!!!

    There's a thread over in XC R+T about it - something about 30 feet of extra snow you all got up here in them Sierras!
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin



    By the way - this is a nice shot! Who took it?
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    By the way - this is a nice shot! Who took it?
    I took it I got it from the organizer " Lemurian Guy"
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  11. #11
    Savvy?
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    Good write up, Merlin...and a big congratulations on the finish.
    That which does not kill me, postpones the inevitable.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Sean!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  13. #13
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    are you on a Blur XC?

    I thought you got one this winter. If yes, how have you been enjoying it? If not, sorry.

  14. #14
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    Blur Xc

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy
    I thought you got one this winter. If yes, how have you been enjoying it? If not, sorry.
    I lOVE the BLUR XC!!!!!! Just put a Reba World Cup with a remote pop lock on it
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  15. #15
    i worship Mr T
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    congrats merlin!!! you rock! nice job kicking butt even with the cramps. i feel your pain....though, for the first time in ages not in my race this past weekend! i've got my race report written - just waiting for some pics before i post.

    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    So my plan was to be healthy, have no crashes and no mechanical issues this year. Given these lofty objective I thought I had a good chance of winning my age group. As long as none of the fast guys showed up :}
    LOL. sounds a lot like my goals.

    have fun at your reunion!

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="2"]*rt*'s fabulous blog[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="2"]mm blogging[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  16. #16
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    Way to fight the pain and pull out a win . Niccce .

    I'm wearing a ' 05 Lemurian T-shirt right now . Thanks Ron .

    I got to make it there next year . Heard no word of it til now. 0 :
    Yeah I gotta question. You got any excuses tonight Roy ? -Antonio Tarver

    There is room for it all, just ride what you like to on what you like to...that's freeriding. -rbn14



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    congrats merlin!!! you rock! nice job kicking butt even with the cramps. i feel your pain....though, for the first time in ages not in my race this past weekend! i've got my race report written - just waiting for some pics before i post.



    LOL. sounds a lot like my goals.

    have fun at your reunion!

    rt
    thanks *RT! I guess I'll give Sports Legs a try to see if iti helps
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  18. #18
    2012 Race: April 28th!
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    Congratulations Merlin!

    You really did have a great ride! Maybe you didn't have any choice, but walking up that steep hill is much, much easier than pedaling and almost as fast. I'd heard that lots of guys cramped up on that climb after the creek, maybe it was the heat?

    Maybe I can get In & Out Burger to do the meal next next year, that looks tasty!

    Eric, you gonna make to Oakridge for MBO this year?
    www.shastalemurian.com!!

  19. #19
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    50 oz and almost 3 hours of riding, What did you put into the refills?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemurianGuy

    Eric, you gonna make to Oakridge for MBO this year?

    Sorry Ron ,but it may not be in the cards for me. I had a backpack trip planned and reserved for the week prior to MBO on Jan 1st . I am guide on that one . No changing those plans . I will do my best to get there , I love that place and riding with you guys .
    Yeah I gotta question. You got any excuses tonight Roy ? -Antonio Tarver

    There is room for it all, just ride what you like to on what you like to...that's freeriding. -rbn14



  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LemurianGuy
    Maybe I can get In & Out Burger to do the meal next next year, that looks tasty!
    It was yummy! But I don't think I could stomach it until a few hours after the race Ron, [SIZE="4"]Awesome job again on a great race!!![/SIZE] I was cursing you the last 20 minutes with all those extra little climbs, but this really is the most challenging MTB race in NORCAL!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    50 oz and almost 3 hours of riding, What did you put into the refills?
    What refills?
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  23. #23
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    Maybe he's saying you might need to drink more during your ride? Here's one write up on hydration and exercise http://www.gssiweb.com/reflib/refs/2...062.cfm?pid=38
    It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe

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