Monday, 3 August 2009

Success is in the details

I admit, this blog just set a new record for cracking me. No sooner did I create it than I lost all interest in following through with its maintenance. BUT, here goes my second wind!

I'm not going to waste time catching up on the season, instead we'll intrepidly plow ahead starting with Cascade and Nationals. The synopsis: silver medal! The long story is below.



So there we were in Bend racing the Cascade Classic, which went about as well as pushing shit up a hill with a sharp stick. The first two days I felt stellar, so stellar in fact that I decided to not do anything and save it all for the TT, which I then COMPLETELY butchered like I have butchered no TT ever before. It took me the next two days to recover from that, then I actually felt pretty good on the final day and finished in the front group of about 30.

That left me pretty confident in my fitness going into the nats time trial. I spent the four days between doing lots of important things like floating the Deschutes on inner tubes with chicks, having potlucks, and playing with our host puppy. I also pulled it together for a few days and motorpaced the bottom lollipop of the course to learn all the turns, figured out the numerous punchy climbs, and in general, schemed. Much of that was for naught as they roped off some of my super secret lines the day of the race, but whatever, it made me feel like a champ. I also ate a prophetic fortune cookie just two days before the race which read "success is in the details," and it had some lucky numbers on the back which I could add up to make my race number, both of which of course boosted my confidence (I would later tape that fortune to my stem to remind myself during the race of the cosmic importance of my inevitable success).

My only strategy during the race was to keep my body temp low and go into the final 10km lollipop pretty fresh. It was really effing hot since I started just before 3pm, and I raced with a few pounds of ice in my skinsuit--enough that I still had solid ice cubes at the end of the ~45min race. I still don't know how my pacing turned out, I felt like I could have ridden the climb a little faster but at the same time I was already dragging by the bottom circuit and was totally wrecked at the finish. I could maybe have gone 10-15 seconds faster, but definitely not the 40+ seconds faster I would have needed to win.

At the end of the day, it was far from my best TT ever. But, I think it was the best I could do that day, on that course. I definitely don't feel like I'm riding as well as I was a little earlier in the season; but the nice thing about a longer time trial is you can still get by with the kind of diesel power that never really fades unless you're totally cracked.

Up next on the travel calendar is the Green Mountain stage race and the Univest Grand Prix. Which means I have the whole month of August to raise rabble in Seattle! NOW what the hell am I going to do?

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