by Deborah Hoag
ACTC had a showing for Devil Mountain Double 2009, which included eleven riders; Art Cruz, Barry Schwartz, Barely Forsword, Peter MerillI, Jeff Urnes, Ken Emerson, Steve Saeedi, Udi Yuhjman, Man Fai Tam, Paul Ries, and Deborah Hoag, and four supporters Ben Waters, Ken Holloway, Rick McCaw, Brian Chun.
DMD is the first leg of the Stage Race (three hardest 200 milers) for 2009. DMD route starts in San Ramon and heads up Mt Diablo North, up Mt Diablo Summit and then descends down Mt Diablo South to Morgan Territory. From there the route heads up Patterson Pass, up Mines Rd, up the Back of Mt Hamilton, down Mt Hamilton, up Sierra Rd, up Calaveras, up Palomares and finally up Norris Canyon for 18,500 of climbing and 206 miles. We rolled at 5A with about 190 riders with cool temperatures and clear skies. I had a great Devil Mountain Double and had met the two cut offs (Mines Rd and the junction) with time to spare.
I had been the rabbit for Art all the way to the Junction. I reached the top of Mt Hamilton at 5:50P with my best time out of the three times on DMD. I was looking at 12:30 to 1A completing the ride. I usually love the Mt Hamilton descend on this part of the ride, because I know I am there. However, descending Mt Hamilton my lower back started spasming and I had a deep pain in my right shoulder from an injury in Feb. My lower back spams were from not spending enough time training on climbing for the last six months. My shoulder was an injury from loading 3 1/2 yards of dirty into a rise bed in Feb. I reached the Crothers rest stop and laid on my back and stretched for 20 minutes. I knew going into the ride that I had not spent enough time climbing. I had struggled with my training since November,
In January, I assigned up for DMD to force myself to train, but I struggled on all Long Distance Training Rides. In Sept of 2008, I had joined San Jose Bike Race Club to do their Winter Series to increase my speed on the flats and climbing. I had a great time and I was faster than I had ever been climbing. However, in November my biggest joy in my life was gone. What I thought was important was not important anymore. I had gain fifteen pounds, which I have not dropped. I thought I was not working hard on the training rides, so in January, I started wearing my heart rate monitor, and found out I was working hard. But, my times were slower. What I learned is there is different types of injuries. I had an injury, but it was not visible. Once I realized this and started wearing my heart rate monitor, which helped me to focus on my training and not be so frustrated. However, by February it was a little too late to start training for DMD. I went into DMD, knowing that I would finish, but my time would suffer.
After the Crothers rest stop, my back spams were gone, then I was on to Sierra. At mile 150, Sierra was a hard climb. By the time I reached the top of Sierra it was dark, but I was still looking at 1A finish time. So, it was on to Calaveras in the dark to the Sunol rest stop. Art and I left the rest stop together at 11:15P down Niles Canyon, and I could not hold a straight line. When we reached the Palomares turn off, I was so out of it that I geared up, instead of down. I climbed Palomares as if I was drunk. I was all over the road and could not think straight.
By the time I hit the Palomares descent, I thought of DNF, but I had already paid for the Central Coast Double and Mt Tam Double. And finally I saw the stop sign to get off of Palomares. And I was okay and I could hold a straight line again. After all of this climbing, then there is Norris Canyon to climb. The last 25 miles were a big struggle for me, and first 130 miles I had a great ride. I reached the finish a little after 2A. My recovery on this ride was surprising. My body felt pretty good the next day, but my mind was gone for the next few days. A week a later I was able to climb Mt Hamilton at a good pace. So, on to Central Coast Double. By Mt Tam, I thinking I should be in the same shape I was in 2008. I plan on doing the Winter Series in 2009.
All pictures are on top of Sierra.