Sunday, September 16, 2007

Presque Isle-Me Dumb Dumb

Bring me some gum, gum.

So it all starts like this...let me take you back a few months to the Presque Isle event from the Spring. Like this one a cool day (but not as cold as today i think). Its my first test and I come out happy as can be. 5th overall and 1st in the 40-44 age group. Fast forward to the last month or so and I am focusing my end of the season on the fall edition of PI by doing 6 time trials.

Now FF again to today. I get up at 4am and am in the car at 5. I arrive at PI at 7am, dress, get my race pack and am on the course about 7:15 and do a full lap of warm up and roll inot the lot at 7:54. Cutting it a bit tight. I hit the bathroom and head to the line for my 8:01:15 start and lo and behold they are already way pacst my number, but the official timer still says 8:01.

SO OH crap-I am asking an official for help and I say I am number 12, when do I start. he looks quickly at his paperwork and says if your late-go now so I sprint away and notice number 51 next in line to go. I literally rocket away, but luckily I got a great warm-up in and I settle onot my bars, reset my computer and start the race.

The first thought that goes through my head when I get rolling is to just sit up, why bother. Luckily for me I hate quitting and have never quit a TT so I buckle down, but for sure in the back of my mind I am wondering if I am pushing as hard as I should because the speed isnt too fast. I am only going between 26 and 28 when I can and my HR isnt very high. But this is all about perceived exertion and my legs and breathing are telling me I am putting it all into the pedals. Measured out in 12 miles worth of effort and no more.

3 miles goes by and I am already passed 4 guys and gals (I was suupposed to start 6th, but who knows where I really started). After 4miles I notice I am clocking a mile in about 2:10. I do the math and thats a 26 minute run if I keep it up!! I am not super sure of my math, but for the time it keeps me going. I reference the speed I am going now vs what I expect in vs what i did on the out and the speeds I did last time. Its all a big mumbo jumbo of thoughts. OH yeah-I am concentrating on the speed I am going now too. Its easy-keep the pain-o-meter pretty well pinned-just push till it hurts all the time to turn the cranks.

Regardless I still look down and see 26 and push it to 27 and then when I see 27 I push for 27.4 or whatever I can get. I make the turnaround and hope that theres more tail wind then the way out and there isnt. If anything its more cross and harder so now I am fighting for 26 to 27 mph. I see 8, 9, 10 miles and then I start to push for home.

Its very important to note that the other thought I cannot get out of my head is what an IDIOT I am for coming to the line late after devoting two months towards this one event!! But I counter this with the fact that in the end my real time is what matters and I can still compare it to Ciocco, Hodos, Thor, Weeks, Diffenbacher and the rest!! I also am confident my time will be fast even with the delay compared to the spring.

10 miles in I am really pushing for the line, but I am so whipped that its more about maintaining speed then going faster. In fact its really about not slowing down. I have now passed every rider I could see and Brent also told me to leave it all on the road, save nothing. So thats a mission accomplished.

I come across the line and of course forget to check my computer. I finally look at it awhile after coasting and it reads 27:35..... SO more quick math and I started it late, looked at it later, my mind is telling me its around 27:00 to 27:25. In the spring I went 28:05 and Hodos won with 27:04 I think. And I am certain today was not a fast day. It was in fact a brutal day with what felt like riding into a headwind in and out. In reality I think the wind was blowing from the north east and wasnt an aid in either direction. I dont know the wind speed, but at times the leaves on the trees were flipped backwards and branches and long weeds were swaying on the side of the road.

Matt Weeks and I cool down and for almost a lap and as we roll in I go to see timing and ask if they wrote what time I took off and they did not. So its a done deal-my start time will be my original start time. When results come out I am listed as 28:33. Not shabby for being late. I do some more investigation and I am fairly certain I started between 1:00 and 1:15 seconds late. Wow-how did I do that?? Cutting it too damn close thats how. Bloody 41 year old bladder is my excuse!!

I'll be darned, even with a 28:33 I am 9th out of 129 starters. Take away a 1 and I have a theoretical 27:33 and that puts me 4th after Jay Joslyn from NY, Chris Cioccio,Eric Hodos and just ahead of Matt Weeks and Scott Thor!!! When I got home I looked at my HR data and from the time it goes up dramatically sprinting away form the line to when it starts to fade as I stop pedaling over the finish line it reads out as 27:24!! But I lose first in the 40-44 age group because 2nd (first??) got a real 28:26!! Still a nice plaque and it will go in my daughters room. Great thing about your kids!!

So whats what?? I have to laugh, Ive had a great year and I had a solid TT to close the road season. It sucks my mistake cost me 1st overall in my age group and 4th overall, but theres just too darn much good shit to be happy about. In the spring I was behind Hodos by a minute and Cioccio by50 seconds. Now I have cut those defecits to seconds. I trained hard for this and left it all on the road as they say (even though my heart wasnt really into it 100%).

Ive made a lot of friends this year and meeting more all of the time. I'm so shy you know!! But it was great to hang out with all my TT crazy brethren at PI. I have a feeling I will be going back every year for a long time.

What a great year!! An extra thanks again to Rudy Sroka and Bike Authority for the loan of the amazing Zipp Disc and to Brent for getting me here. But number one thanks to my family for allowing the time to train and to travel to these races.

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