| Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 03:20 am||
|I feel like a kid who just opened the cookie jar.
You know, that feeling of, "screw it, just do it!" I know I'm gonna like it. Why, I'm not sure. It's just pure pain, and how long can you really suffer?
Of course, I'm referring to Time trialing, short, long, and everything in between. I've been doing my fun Wednesday night workouts at the velodrome for 3 years now. By no means seasoned, but certainly not the rookie in class. The workout is great, and you can be sure of jelly legs at the end of a 2 hour workout.
I told myself that I was just going to have fun this year. Take a time out from being serious, and just learn to enjoy whatever I'm doing. So, when fellow trackies suckered me into racing my first 40K (24 miles) time trial, I said sure. So whatever if it's the state championships. Nothing like jumping in head first.
I've done plenty of 40K time trials. It just happened to be wedged between a swim and a run. My fastest time was at Nationals a couple of years ago on a fast course with a 1:06, respectable for a triathlon. For a time trial.... uh, I might be asked if I stopped to smell the flowers. So the question was, how fast could I really go? The goal was to break an hour.
So the end of May I drove the 3 hours out to BFE (really, it was) to a micro universe called Lake Los Angeles. No, there is no actual lake. No, it's not near Los Angeles. Where is it.... 20 minutes east of Palmdale, up the high desert ~ 4000', where all they have is dirt, weeds... and wind. Yep, severe wind. Gusts to 55 mph and a severe weather alert issued. Apparently that's just the way the tumbleweed rolls up here. I'll just tell you now, I thought I was doing to die on the cross winds. Death grip on the bullhorns. Aero, hell no. Water, hell no. Survival. I felt myself loosing time. "Just relax" I finally told myself. I'll say I could do with a little more confidence riding a disk in heavy cross winds. (As Kirstin Armstrong said, "Always run a disk. <em>Always</em>.") The good news, the first & last segments of the 23.5 mile course was downwind, so the rolling was fast. I crossed the finish line, looked at my watch... and tried not to fall off, 56:49. A respectable PR. Ended up placing me 3rd in the Masters 35-39. Had I raced Cat 4, I would have won. It would have placed 2nd in the Cat 3, and 4th in the Cat 1-2. There are some amazing athletes out there... and it was awesome to see them ride like the wind.
So then I come to today. It's Sunday. Yesterday, I got an email, "you racing the TT at the velodrome on Sunday?" Uh, what TT? So somehow, I manage to pull together the spare race wheels (Dave was racing this morning and was sporting the Zipp set), and get 'ol Roo Girl ready for her first track experience. Normally you can't ride a geared bike at the track, but today for the TT, it was an exception. I've always dreamed of letting Roo Girl rip on the track, and now was my chance.
So, off I went with what I considered to be an inordinate amount of stuff: 2 bikes, wind trainer, clothes for all seasons, water, some food.... First I nearly forgot my shoes. Then the trainer. Good lordy, would I ever make it out of the door this morning??!? Skipped breakfast and settled for Powerbar Bites in the car.
I arrive and check in. "What races would you like to enter?" I'm asked. "Uh, I've never actually raced at the track so I have no clue what I should enter," I reply. "Well then, I'll sign you up for all of them since it doesn't cost you any more," the official replies. My, twenty bucks gets you a looooong way on the track!
"Uh, kay...." I reply.
So first the Flying 200. For all you non-trackies, this is a sprint. You get a rolling start and get to wind yourself up to full speed by the time you start. 4 blinks of an eye and zero oxygen later, you're done. 200 meters is a hiccup of pure pain on the track bike. 14.8 seconds. Ouch.
Next up, the 500 meter TT. Again, short, sprint, pain with a standing start. I break out Roo Girl for this one, I'll actually have time to get into aero. 5-4-3-2-1, go. Now "go" does not mean attempt to pedal and weave aimlessly around the track until you get going. But, alas, need to work on those starts! Once up to speed the fun set in. 43.8. Not bad for a ridiculous start.
A break while the guys duke it out over the kilo (1000 meters). I'm next for the 2K. This time I manage to start in the right direction... forward. 3 laps in, I'm done, thinking I'm about to blow up. Just keep going.... halfway.... finally, 6 laps done. 3:00, not so bad! But how in the heck am I going to do a 3000 meter race when I could barely finish my 2k???
No time to think, I'm second up for the 3K (still hacking up a lung from the 2K). Settle, settle, just count Ks, not laps (total of 9 laps). 1k done. 2k done. I actually feel ok. I crank it up and by the last lap I'm on overdrive at 113 rpm. 4:38. Holy frijoles! That was fun!! I ended up winning every race... but alas there were only 3 of us so it doesn't really count...
So, soon I'll have some photos.. and will post to prove I actually was there....
In the meantime, thanks to my trackie friends for showing me a whole new kind of fun! If you haven't tried riding on a track... it's a must!
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