Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yessir-Time Trials still hurt!!!

Today is a day when a rider says "I had good legs.". But before we get to the good stuff, lets go back to last night. I got home late from a day function and didnt hit the sack till 10pm. I set the alarm for 4am and although I didnt toss and turn, I didnt exactly sleep solid either. So getting up, eat some ceral, pack the last few things and were on the road. Watching the sunrise (driving east) is a treat I have not had in quite some time!! I arrived early to Presque Isle (PI)State Park in Erie, PA, the location (and what a gorgeous place to have a race to boot) of todays torture test. A 12.5 mile race against the clock, nowhere to hide baby! Either lay it down or..what do you do if you dont lay it down, Lay down?? Heck, I dont know. After some wardrobe malfunctions and bathroom breaks (never fun when dressed in a skin suit (OK-maybe lets not go there)) I finally went to recon the c-c-cold course as I am a PI virgin and made it about 5 miles out when i noticed time was ticking for the first rider to go so I headed back to my car and put my bike in the trainer and took off some layers, gloves, etc. I continued to warm up till about 10 minutes before my start. I collected my thoughts, reminded myself of my goals and to not blow out of the start gate like a bat out of hell!! Number 130 GO!! I am next. I go up to the line, the guys hold my bike I clip in, 5,4,3,2,1 131 GO!! I am off and I slowly spring up to speed. I look down 26mph-good stuff!! I sit down, hit aero bars and start to ramp it up. I get to 28 to 29 mph and take stock of other data I have available to me. I notice I am at the wattage Brent said I could do theoretically!! My Heart Rate is spot on Threshold and I am not breathing too hard and legs ache, but they are just fine. My 15 and 30 second guys come and go (both on full out TT rigs no less and looking good). My 15 second guy is motivated and we switch positions all race long (but never drafting). But since I caught him, I have the upper hand, all he needs to be is within sight because at 26 mph, 15 to 20 feet isnt much. But I spend as much time in front as behind (especially as we start into the headwind home). What goes through my mind on the tailwind section is tough!! I dont actually know what I can hold wattage wise for 28 to 30 minutes and I know I fear cannot go too hard now or chance blowing up into the headwind (a disaster). So I am constantly asking myself if I can push 300 watts with the tailwind and be at 30 to 31mph or should I pace myself?? I chose to pace myself!! But this is what makes bicycle racing so amazing!! A 100 decisions over the course of a 28 minute race!! Kewl!! Well we finally hit the headwind full on and I am glad I played it conservative because the miles arent clicking by like they were and its starting to hurt and doubt is starting to hint. Doubt isnt in control mind you-but its there somewhere deep back and repressed!! So I see 23mph now and my 15 second man (Brian from Lake Effect) isnt coming around now and I am not looking back, I am hammering. I force it back up to 25 and thats about it till I see 3 miles to go. When I see the magic 3 miles to go banner, I only up the effort a bit and Brian is back by. When I see the 2.5 miles to go I am on the gas. But unlike a sprint or attack in a roadrace, all out at the end of a TT is more like a painful Grunting or mashing of the pedals. I now see 26 to 26.5 and I am holding it. Brian has the same plan and I am chasing him and its working out because i need a Rabbit right about now. We cross the line close, but with him still ahead. A great effort and he thanks me for pushing him and I say likewise!! I cool down, drink a recovery drink, BS with a guy with a sweet Felt B2 TT bike and I am off to ride the course again to spin the legs out. I am amazed as I may be the only one doing this. So for a day with a 12.5 mile race, I ride a total of 45 miles! The shorter the effort, the longer the wam up they say.

Two things strike me on the cooldown lap. First-theres a gorgeous lake you ride ride next to (never saw it) and second, the wind is strong!! I am amazed what adrenaline combined with aerodynamic body gear can do to squelch this wind.

As I roll into the parking lot Scott Thor stops me and congratulates me on a good job. Only 15 seconds behind him and in 5th OVERALL (193 starters)!! At the awards ceremony I am also awarded a nice plaque for First in the 40-44 age group!! My first win of 2007 and yeah-they still hurt like just like I remember them hurting!!

Late breaking news....LOL I am drinking beer and eating all the barbecue I can stuff in tonight!! YUM!!

1 comment:

Rick said...

fantastic job, ray!