This is not a story about succes but about the darker side of ultracycling. I am not looking for tips as such, but rather want to tell about when it sucks.
So, I had this race of 1000 km planned in Germany. The NorthRace Westphalia. 1000 km with approx. 10000m climbing over 10 CP’s. My attempt was to finish and to challenge myself.
I was supernervous at the start after a bad hot night in the sleeping accomodation the organization provided us. I don’t want to blame them, because the pre-race meeting was great with many cyclists and proper pasta. I definitely recommend the race.
After a neutralized start I started strong but after two hours I felt I blew my doors so I had to calm down. Nevertheless I arrived 6th at CP1. At CP2 I ran out of water which was annoying and not very pleasant. My mind however stayed mostly positive. I found water closeby a steep climb in the Eiffel mountains.
The general feeling was 7 or 8 out of 10. Of course moments around 4, but I am used to the little swings and I could handle them well.
To CP3 I felt like going superslow, but found myself back on P4. That gave me a boost.
CP4 was on home ground in NL, and I passed closeby house. That realisation appeared to be the killer. My homesickness kicked in superhard and I lost appetite. I still ate a McDonalds menu.
The fact that night was approaching didn’t help. I called with my parents and texted with friends (and Pav) but the feeling got worse and worse. The voice of homesickness was louder than all the other voices in my head together. Stupid me, emotions are not interested in facts. The facts were I was doing pretty well at the moment though I was tired.
I scratched at CP4, being tired but in a good shape and position.
That was my first ever ultra. Regret about scratching yes, though I would not recommend the feeling to anyone else. I challenged myself, but didn’t really turn it into something positive.
Also realizing it is a process from which I don’t know the destination.
A last quote I stumbled upon back home: Lessons are in the past, chances are in the future.