Wednesday, May 31, 2006

24 Hours Round the Clock—Spokane, WA

by Shannon Holden

This past weekend was the 24 hours Round the Clock race in Spokane, Wa. Not knowing what I was getting myself into I signed up to do it solo. I raced the course Wednesday night on my Kula Lisa and realized this was not a course for hard tail. I hadn't recieved my Queen Supreme yet so I called up my bike shop and asked what they could do for me. Well to get to the point, Scott from Kona was coming over to race on a two man team and brought me a bike and somehow managed to get mine to Spokane by friday morning. I had 2 full suspensions to race on, Scott and Kona saved my rear!!!!

I started off really well with some great lap times, keeping my heart rate in a good zone, taking plenty of fluids, and trying to eat as much as possible. Eating is the hard thing for me I tend to get really sick and food doesn't like to stay down. So of course I wasn't getting enough. My husband and Dad calculated that I needed 600 calories for each lap. I was maybe gettin 300-400. So around 7 laps or 8pm I was getting nauseas and my stomach was trying to cramp. I came into the tent had some chicken noodle soup, some fruit, and some Enlive. Enlive is kind
of like a juice form of Ensure with 300 calories. It was amazing, half way through the next lap I was feeling so much better which was a good thing because I was heading into night. This is were the mental battle started for me. Not only was I tired but it was dark and raining. My lap times stayed pretty good it was the breaks that were killing me. I couldn't eat while I rode because I would gag whenever I tried, so I had to stop at the camp and down whatever I could. The hardest was getting back on the bike in the cold and rain. This is where Rebecca Rusch made her move and put some time on me. Rebecca is this amazing superstar adventure racer and my toughest competition.

My second lap in the dark I headed into the mud pit and came out with something clicking on my bike, I asked the guy behind me if he could shine is light on my wheel. I had a thorne in my tire that had a branch attached to it. Not thinking and being half out of it I pulled the branch out and of course air came with it. I put my finger over the hole to block it and started to freak a little. I really didn't want to change a tire in the middle of the night and in a mud pit. I think I actually started praying and the stragned thing happened, when I took my finger off of the hole the air wasn't leaking anymore. I thought to myself... ok my husband must have put Stanz in. I rode about 1/2 a mile and there was my husband so I asked him, he said no he didn't put Stanz in. I rode 6 miles on this tire, air leaked slowly, but I made it back to camp. I still don't know what happened or how I didn't flat out on the course.

About 1am my knees started to really hurt, my rear end was taking a beating, and I was starting to have nerve pain shoot up my hands. I knew I had to be mentally tough, so I just started telling myself morning was coming. My husband was awsome and would go to sections of the course to see how I was doing and how I looked forward to seeing him. My dad was great he would rub my legs and knees while I ate Chicken noodle soup and coffee. Yes coffee it was keeping my blood pressure up because I was getting a little dizzy at times, oh ya and it was warm!!!!! My support crew was something else. Morning came and I was hurting but excited for the light. I had accomplished goal number 1 riding through the night. The only bad part was that my breaks were longer than my competition and she had put a bit of time on me.

Morning came I was gaging down the Enlive with each lap and trying to put some solids in. I was feeling better. Riding hard though the night was really starting to wear on Rebecca so my husband was pushing me to go for it. I put on the MP3 and got a grove on for awhile and was
starting to make up some time. At 9 am Rebecca had gone through the start/finish about 10 minutes in front of me, my husband told me he would think I was awsome if I could go and pass her. So what do you know I went out for a hard lap, 12 minutes faster than any lap I had done in the last 8 hours. I blew by her at the top of a hill. I was so excited, but she still had 2 laps on me which unless she stopped it was impossible for me to make it up. On the other hand I had now accomplished goal number 2 finishing 15 laps. I still had 1 1/2 hours to go so I went out on another lap and boy was I ready to see 12 noon. It was a lap but I finished with 16 laps and in 2nd place. So my first 24 hours was awsome and painful. I could barely walk Sunday night and I couldn't bend my knees at all. I think the hardest part of the weekend was Monday morning at 3am when Noah (my baby) woke up and then again at 7am. Reality hit that eventhough I was tired and sore I had to get up, be a mom and then go to work in the afternoon. So I did it 24 hours solo....240miles.


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