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A Tale of Two Time Trials
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VB Team Member

Joined: Fri Jan 5th, 2007
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan USA
Posts: 482
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Jun 25th, 2011 03:29 pm


Spring in Michigan means the onset of a very brief time trial season.  How brief?  A very few races in April & May followed by the State Championship race in late June.  I was able to participate in two of those TTs this year & the results and my experiences couldn't have been more different! 

The first was a brand new event, hosted by new race management company  Short and sweet, the inaugural Memorial Day Time Trial  in Grant Rapids, Michigan, featured a nice out and back course with rolling hills and a punishing headwind for the first 1/2 of the race.  My expectations for myself were low, since I was just back from a wonderful week of riding in the North Georgia mountains, but tired or not, I really wanted to support this new local race.  Thanks to alphabetical seeding, I had a perfect start position -- the last of three cat 3 ladies -- which allowed me to use the other girls as 'rabbits'.  The rollers on the course made the whole ride seem like a fun roller coaster ride; sure there were little climbs, but then there were downhill WHEEs :)  By the end of the race I had passed Kathy Everts and was very focused on keeping Kim Thomas in my sights ... in my sights and *hopefully* with less than 30 seconds separating us.  For this race, it all worked out well & I was surprised to find myself on top of the podium and 2nd fastest female overall.  More importantly, the event was a huge success, well-organized with lots of helpful volunteers, and I'll be back for more next year! Results link:

The second was an established event -- the Michigan State Championship TT, but held at a new venue, the Duck Lake Time Trial near Muskegon Michigan.  Neither short nor (for me) sweet, this 40k course was surprisingly challenging.  From the elevation profile, the route should have been pretty forgiving, but a steady wind from the east was a factor to be reckoned with.  Prior to the race, the registration site had some problems, and I was grateful that the promoter worked with the participants (including me!) who had been locked out of the system, allowing us to enter the race.  That registration glitch put me in a strange starting position: after the cat 3 men, well out of sight of the cat 3 women, and just in front of the elite men & women.  On paper, it seemed that the odd start position might be an advantage.  In practice, it turned out to be an extreme mental challenge, as there was a steady stream of elite men, as well as Michigan TT goddess Kathy Kirk (cat 2), passing me throughout lap 1 of the 2 lap race.  I was surprised about my reaction to this.  Whether in triathlon or TT, I had always thought that I was really good at racing my own race, not letting what was happening around me affect me.  This time?  Not so much.  Now I know what I need to work on for next time!  I rode hard, the whole thing FELT hard (usually any TT just feels fun!), and frankly, I really did not enjoy not seeing another rider during lap 2.  I even seriously considered stopping after lap 1, and that is NOT like me.  At the end of the race, I didn't have a clue how I had placed, but I was very happy to be done.  I was also glad that I stuck with it & didn't stop after the first lap (though still pissed off at myself for even considering quitting).  Waiting to check results, Kathy Everts was behind me & said "oh good!  at least I wasn't last!" ... and then I saw the results, laughed out loud, and replied "no -- that would be me!"  Well, I knew the race didn't feel good, but I can't pretend that I wasn't initially disappointed to be last.  Very disappointed.  After my drive home, though, I took a good look at my time & my heart rate graph.  Both show that I had the best race I could have & that I was able to maintain a higher intensity than I had been able to before.  Dang there are some fast girls in Michigan.  And that's great news, because together we'll all challenge each other and be stronger for it :)

Monica Tory
  • Memorial Day TT, women's cat 3, 1st of 3
  • Mi State Championship TT, women's cat 3, 5th of 5

Last edited on Sat Jun 25th, 2011 03:32 pm by kzoo_swmmr


Joined: Mon Jan 1st, 2007
Posts: 673
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 12:02 am


oh duh, thanks!! i think i read it on my email and it wasn't so clearly highlighted as it is here on the boards!!


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