Monday, June 11, 2007

State TT Championships

So, needless to say if you look at the date this is getting posted, I'm a little late in publishing these internet signals for brownies and cinnamon rolls with the neighbors doesn't always equate to a reliable signal.

Last weekend was the State TT Championships in St. Peter, MN. Jay and I were up at the butt-crack of dawn to make the 7:30 registration time. By the time we got there, we were amongst the last dozen or so to register and start. In front of me on the line were nothing but 1's and 2's, so I had no realistic "rabbit" to chase. And, behind me, were people like Hollywood and Doug Swanson, who were, no doubt, going to blow by me within the first 5 minutes of the course. Sure enough - they did.

The course was mostly flat with the only a$$-kicker right away, other than that it was soft rollers and large turns. Traffic was slim and none, but the wicked wind made you doubt yourself when you tried to figure out if the head wind was for the finish or the start. Truth be told, it was mostly just a moderate cross wind that was enough to challenge your momentum, and rarely toss you sideways.

This was my first 40K time trial (24 miles for my American friends - and family like Bob) - my longest prior to this was only 15 miles. The morning air was chilly so Jay let me wear one of his extra long-sleeve skin suits - Yep, that's right, the Black n' White! Little did I know it would cause a butt load of controversy down the line - but that's an entire separate blog entry in itself. I digress..... I rode the course hard and fast - wanting to push myself to another level, yet keeping a good sense of how it all felt and was. I was so intense at times, I would put my left arm to sleep - try being aero with one arm playing your rib cage like piano keys, while the other one is trying to keep you in that great tucked position in your drops! Quite the feat, I must say. And yes, you heard it right, I rode a stock bike. My sweet little Casper. On the 2nd half, I started to struggle, having had EVERYONE PASS ME, except one, that had started after me. I couldn't tell if I rode harder just to be done, or if I fought myself to finish though I wanted to give up. Either way, I had my head down, not to be aero, when Jay started riding back out to find me after his finish.

I don't see how I could ever be unhappy with a man like him supporting me. Jay rode up ahead of me by 20 yards, encouraging me to keep fighting in the last mile or two. I wanted so bad to give up at that point but, when he confirmed where the finish line was, I found my last reserves and rode away. Off in the distance I saw 1/2 a dozen Silver looking back at me, and the finish tent just in front of them. I dropped it into my toughest gear, powering down the last down-hill, and sprinting for the finish with everything I had. Exhausted, I got it up to 25mph over the finish line with a swarm of Black n' White cheering behind me. I felt amazing! I don't know if it's just my relationship with Hwood, but those Silver riders are so supportive and kind to me. I'm pretty sure they're just great people who appreciate other racers, and I am so grateful to have people like that cheering for me! Thanks guys! You know who you are. : )

When the results were tallied, I wound up getting SECOND PLACE in the W Cat 4! I finished in 1:09:30, just under 2 minutes behind the winner who was riding a TT bike! I couldn't believe it, and to see Jay so proud was even more wonderful. Jay did great, too, finishing 5th in the 35+ Master's. It still isn't the finish he's looking for, but we had a late start to the season. Timmer got 3rd in the Pro/1/2's. My medal sits here next to my computer for me to look at and reminiss with.....What an amazing day - an amazing LIFE that I have found. A world I once didn't know existed is now one I love to frollic in.

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