race: Shenandoah 100
course description: giant climbs followed by fun decent separated by road and fire roads
weather: raining on and off (mostly on and very heavy at times)
this was my first 100 mile race. i was in about 10-15th place when i flatted on a decent at about the 20 mile piont. i fixed it and tried to keep riding hard. it is a long race so i figured that 6 min it took me to fix the flat wouldn't be that big of a deal in the larger scheam of the race. i was wrong. loosing that 6 minutes meant i missed the opportunity to get in a train of the top riders in the fire road/ road sections between the actual mountain biking sections. team mates Jeff Dickey was right in front of me and Aaron Snyder was right behind me when i had the flat. we could have worked together on the fireroad at the bottom of that decent.
i felt ok up till about mile 60 or so. then some of the people i had passed started passing me. i tried to focus on eating more and i felt a bit better but my pace was definitely slower. at mile 90 or so i broke my chain. it took me a long time to fix because i didn't have the right parts so i had to reuse a chain pin. i tried a power link but i guess power links don't work with shimano chains. it took me at least 20 min to line up the old pin to screw it in to place. just after fixing it teammate Jeff Dickey rode up. he had bonked early and often and was just cruising in. i had lost my motivation to push hard too so we cruised in the last ten miles together. my chain broke again while we were riding those last ten miles. Jeff was patient and helpful as he waited for me to fix my chain again. we came in in about 9.5 hours. Aaron came in 5th!
it wasn't a fun race for me . not that there was anything wrong with the course or the way the race was organized it's just that by about mile 60 my body was feeling uncomfortable enough that having fun was no longer a possibility and the suffering i put myself through for the last 40 made me forget about any fun points in the first 60. if the weather was better and i had put in some longer riders leading up the the race to prepare myself better i feel confident i would have enjoyed myself more.
PS the volunteers at aid stations were great!