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Breckenridge Firecracker 50

Posted Oct 27 2009 4:30pm
On Friday the 3rd of July, I drove accross town (3-5min drive depending on traffic) and put Anne and the kids on a plane for Denver and then Madison WI. She had left me for a week with them so I think felt guilty (even though Grandma Sue and grandpa Bill came up to help out) so I was given a huge hall pass for a week and a half. The Breck firecracker is a good training race for the Leadville 100 as there is a good amount of climbing (4-5000 ft depending on how you draw the map for each lap) in two 25mi laps. So I signed up and then started bugging my good bud Gary who's family has a house in breckenridge. I didn't think I could stay there but at the last minute Gary got me a place to stay. So after I dropped Anne off at the airport I packed up my stuff and headed for Breckenridge. It seemed as everyone from the front range had come to Gunnison for the fourth as traffic was crazy. As I pulled into Breck I reallized that the Gunni traffic was nothing compared to this. Breck is just off I70 and was soooo crowded for the weekend. I went and got my number and all that and then went back to find the house. It was built probably in the 70s or early 80s and close to downtown. I got my stuff unloaded and went on a short ride up the start of the course to get the legs loosed up after the 2.5-3 hrs in the car. I also rode around downtown. Just a note: this is probably the blow up slide capital of the world. There were blow up slides and rooms where kids can bounce all over the place...

The weather was calling for 50% chance of rain. The streets were still wet when I got there from a thunder storm. I was a little concerned that we may get cold and wet at as the race goes above 11000 ft for a good portion of it. So then I went back to the house and threw my sleeping bag on a bed and went to sleep.

The race the next day was to start at 10:55 for the Pro men and then my Maveric class started after several waves at 11:05. The maveric class was for people who didn't want to get a year racing license but were still pretty fast... So I had time to watch some of the start of the TDF and get my bike all set up. I dropped a bag with extra rain jacket and insulin etc at the start of the second lap and checked my sugar about an hour before the race. It was pretty high~300-350 so I took some insulin. The race started on mainstreet as the start of the 4th of July parade. Kind of cool with tons of little kids wanting high fives as we rode down the street in a neutral start.

The race starts with a good climb up Boreas pass--paved and then eventually get to a dirt road and then some single track after a couple thousand feet of climbing. As I began to climb I got a distressing pain in my upper stomach. I slowed down a bit and after a few it went away. As I climbed I just didn't feel great. After about 45-50 min I began eating a gu or something every 35-40 min. This seems to work as I have done it in other races. The race then drops a bit and has one more big climb and a few more climbs before it descends back to town. The descent has some very rough sections.. I wished I had my full suspension....

I made the first lap in just over two hours and even though I wasn't feeling great I blew threw the aid where my bag was. The second lap I kept feeling worse. My legs just felt soooo slow. I began to get passed by people that I didn't think looked all that fast. My stomach began to churn if I tried to push too hard. I began to realize that my sugar was probably high. The problem with high sugar is that if it get too high (80 is normal, above 250 you have problems bringing it down with out extra insulin.) your body starts to try and use fat for energy and you have a hard time using the sugar in your blood so it just goes higher. So I just struggled to the top and back down. Going along feeling very weak and an odd aching sensation caused by the high sugar. So I got to the finish and checked it. Sure enough my sugar was 410 (auggg)! So I took a shot and got cleaned up and grabbed some beer and food that was provided. Riding with such high sugar caused my muscles to continue to feel weak and achy...

total time 4:52. I was 30 in my class. 70 or so finished... 97 had signed up. So I was a bit frustrated...I felt I could have done top 10. I finished just ahead of a pro girl that I had beat by more than an hour in the Growler........ and back a ways from other people that a had finished near in other races. Always a learning experience with a disabled pancreas!

So what caused my highs?? Most races I do start more like 6:30-7 in the morning. My long acting insulin is much more intense at this time of day so it can eat up sugar better. (I had high issues in a ski race that started at midnight) I also wasn't feeling great the week before and may have had a little something. I also may have not brought my sugar down enough before the race. If my sugar is too high it may not come back down.... So I should have waited longer before my first energy gu and then not eated quite as often......

Now I'm in Leadville as I decided to break the trip up and ride here a bit between rain storms... and back to Gunni tomorrow...
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