Well, there is no longer a “return” to racing! I’m back in it baby! While not the end result I wanted, knowing I could have pushed harder, I think it was a very notable return to racing. And I’m smitten! Hockey.. what’s that (oh, my old team is 0-6 this session)
Overall, I’m pleased. It’s been ten years since my last time trial, nine years since my last race. I wish I had logs I could go back to so I could compare my last TT, but I think this was my best effort. And considering the road I have traveled to get here, and the fact that I really could have prepared better, I really can’t complain.
I finished in 1:06 and change, averaging 21.36. I am disappointed that I did not meet my goal. More on that latter. I know I wasn’t going to medal, so I didn’t stick around for the results.
I rested very well last night, in bed by 9PM! I was nervous, but excited and anxious as well.
Up at 6AM, a couple of slices of toast, an espresso and I was on my way.
I’m glad I got there early because I was able to get my number and setup for my warm up with no pressure, which is good, because by the time I got the bike on the trainer, I was big time nervous to the point where I felt like I could throw up!
The weather…perfect. Clear, calm, low 60’s.
I didn’t push hard on the trainer, but work up a light sweet. Thirty minutes before my start I got if off the trainer, and made sure I was hydrated. I felt good, I felt ready!
I felt I got off to a good start. I now wish I had ridden the course. It was not a real tough course, but I was surprised at the hills, especially the first half. I went in thinking I would hold something in reserve for the last half, but after taking on those rollers (I NEED HILL WORK…note to myself. Mistake one: I found myself off the bars and off the saddle too much.), I started getting concerned that I had put out too much, and that mental attitude probably was the difference in the end. I was concerned that I would blow up. If had I had ridden the course, I would have known what to expect (Mistake number two…ride the course)
I did take me 15 minutes to pass my minute man (60-64 age group), who was the only one I passed (one way I measure my success or failure is the number of started after me that pass me, today, it was four).
The last half was easier, and there was a slight tailwind. And I felt good, but I go back the mentality that I was going to blow up (my saving grace was probably the cooler weather) and know knowing the course. Unfortunately I did turn on the afterburner until the last turn on Robinson Rd, with less than 2 miles to go.
Finish was strong, and I do feel if there had not been the mental blockage, I could have met my goal.
I never did get into my 53×11. I tried, actually, but the chain was skipping(Mistake Three: test the things before race day).
I did feel very comfortable on the bike fit. I think it was a good as I could have gotten.
My big disappointment was not finish totally exhausted. I should have had nothing left in me. Again, mental. There were times during the race that I felt I was pushing as hard as I could. now that I look back, how wrong I was. I guess it comes down to know realizing, or not trusting, what the Hammer products had done for me.
Some observations: This was not the usual cycling crowd. A lot of good triathletes was there. Most don’t have USA Cycling licenses so they were in Cat 5 by default. I understand the 4 and 5’s was unusually competitive. (Makes me glad I’m a geezer). The top times in Cat 5 were as fast as Cat 1/2/3.
Also, it was reassuring to my ego that I was not the only one with a 3000 bucks + bike!
Race Day Boost: I feel it made the difference! I feel quite certain it shaved time, and the possibility of cramping. In fact, I woke up this morning feeling like I was a race horse ready to deliver. And I did, maybe not in the way I really wanted to, but I’m not walking away with my head down.
Next week is the Tour of Grandview. Crits are not my favorite, but I have entered for Saturday’s race/