Wainui Enduro 25th April 2016
This was my first race of the season. I started ride my bike again in February, it had been a year since I last rode my bike. As I suffered depression for the whole year of the 2015. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression) in August 2014 (I will be posting a blog on my bipolar story once I have seen my long term bipolar psychiatrist.)
What was my preparation for this race?
I had been riding for just over two months before this race, doing average four rides per week. Most of the mountain biking rides I was doing were at the Wainuiomata MTB Park with Dave Hurst. I was definitely familiar with all the tracks before the race.
Doing a MTB Skills Clinic, a couple weeks before the race help a lot with my technique, carrying speed around corners and riding faster and more aggressive over technical tracks, thanks Dave Hurst for the shout.
I suffer from asthma, this hadn’t been a problem for the last couple of months, but on race day it was a nice brisk cold morning. My lungs did not agree with cold, biking up to the top of Freewheel the asthma kick in my heart rate started soaring high and my breathing was rapid. Unfortunately, I couldn’t utilise the underbreathing technique I learnt from my nutritionist Gary Moller to control my breathing.
Screenshoot of my heart rate vs the altitude.
The Wainui Enduro is a timed 3 stage downhill event:
First stage; Freewheel, 4WD, Beeline, Beeline Ext and Pump track.
Second stage; Labyrinth Down, Snails Trail, Option 1 Snails Trail continued (easy), Option 2 Scrims (McMillans), Snails continued, Banker, Pump track.
Third stage; 491, Spoonhill, Nga Tuna, Family Loop, Swamp, Pump track.
Strava link of race ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/556123696/overview
On the first stage I crash on Freewheel trying to overtake a follow ride, I hit my handlebars with hers and I ended up on the ground, I quickly picked my bike and jumped back on. Then on start of Beeline there were two walkers with their small white dog, so I had to slow down ride around them since they decide to stand in the middle of track. I don’t think these walkers got the memo that there was a race on…. Even though the tracks were taped off and there was lots of signage that there was a race on. Beside from the two hiccups it was an ok run down.
The second stage was much better run for me as I had ridden the new Labyrinth Return track quite a few times before race day. I took the easy option line on stage two as I hadn’t ride down the hard line and apparently it quite gnarly, I wasn’t will to risk another crash to save time.
Stage three feel slow than usually down 491 and it was as the week before I set my fastest time down it. Maybe I was feeling the fatigue and battling with asthma. It felt like every run was a battle with asthma, breathing rapidly and my heart racing to try and pump the oxygen through to my muscles. I try slow down my breathing during the races but my lungs weren’t having it….
I placed 2nd in the Senior Women and 4th in the overall Women. I was stoked with 2nd place, after all I have only be back riding for just over 2 months and before that I wasn’t doing any exercise at all.
Photo taken by Dave Hurst
I’m forward to racing Cyclocross (Huttcross) and training for next seasons Enduro and Endurance mountain biking races. I’ll be working on fitness and strength, nutrition and managing my asthma over the winter months.
For those whose are interest in managing their asthma. Here is an in-depth article written by Phil Welch – Successfully Living with Asthma