For those of you uninitiated to the Dubbel Header, the concept is simple; race the Waffle ride on Saturday and turn around and race the Wafer on Sunday. Easy enough? Ha! The Waffle ride was 135+ miles long, sure to be my longest ride of the year and the Wafer was 75 miles, yet still a hard and respectable distance. I knew from the moment I signed up for the Dubbel Header, I was in for a rough weekend. It’s been about two weeks post BWR and I am finally catching my breath and able to recollect my thoughts about the hellish ride.
I’ve done plenty of hard days on the bike, many stage races, lots of off-road riding, but the agony and anguish felt post BWR was astronomical! I felt like I had been hit by a train, and I was hoping the train would loop back by and finish the job. Not only were my leg muscles sorer than I can remember, but my back and arms felt lifeless as well. After the elation of finishing BWR wore off, the only looming thought was “wow, is this Ground Hog’s Day” as the realization of history repeating itself was becoming more and more evident. I tried to brush it off, I tried to act casual, “I’ll be fine” I lied to myself over and over again, but the truth was I was extremely exhausted and I was not sure I would even be able to turn the pedals over the following day.
Knowing I was in for a world of hurt, I tried to consume all the calories. Post BWR, I ate and drank as much as possible, knowing that proper fueling is half the battle. That night, I ate an extravagate chicken katsu curry dish, flush with all the vegetables and an abundance of rice because replenishing carbohydrate stores was the name of the game. Even though I was full to my heart’s content and exhausted from the efforts of the day, sleep did not come easy. I felt wired, my body was in a sympathetic death spiral and the flood of cortisol coursing through my veins was surely set to deny my body of the quality of rest I dearly craved for. My 4:30am alarm jolted me awake Sunday morning, “had I slept at all” I thought as I felt the aches just as present and intense as the day before. I checked my Whoop score after rolling out of bed...fatal mistake. 1% recovery, I wanted to take my Whoop off my wrist and jam it down the garage disposal.
Driving back up to San Marcos felt as if I was readmitting myself back into the prison I had just escaped from. “Maybe my legs will feel good” I tried to convince to myself, “perhaps I will just ride slow and enjoy the ride” I bargained. No dice, as I got a call up to the start line, I found myself sitting in 4th place in the Dubbel Header overall competition. Welp, I guess I am racing. I’ll spare the gritty details of the Wafer ride, but it was an extremely hard day. I could tell I was only equipped with 70% of the power that I possessed the previous day. I had to ride within my means and keep telling myself to not think about quitting, to ride smart, save energy, keep eating and try to have fun. Alas, 3 hours in, somehow my legs that had been evading me up until that point, had finally returned. I finished strong and secured my position in 4th place overall in the inaugural Dubbel Header. “I never want to do that again,” I thought to myself...” until next year.”
Once homebound, I finally started to relax. I felt a wave of gratitude and euphoria as I reflected back on my accomplishment. Some real grade A type 2 fun if you ask me. MMX is both a genius and the devil for devising something so sinister. For four days straight after the Dubbel Header all I could think about was food and sleep. I enjoyed my slumber and prioritized recovery. After that week, there was a thought that kept creeping into my head...I can’t wait for BWR Asheville! I must be a glutton for pain.
About the Author: Taylor Warren has raced at the elite level since 2014 and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Sports Medicine from Colorado State University in 2015. Taylor combines his vast knowledge and experience of the sport with his schooling to deliver the best possible coaching. Keeping up to date on the latest research, Taylor strives to continue his education and treat each athlete as a unique individual.