As the 3rd race of my weekend, and 25th race of the year, I came into the Hamel Time Trial on Sunday exhausted!!! Yep, 25 races already this year....Yikes! So that's where my paychecks went.
Anyways - after Saturday's 25 mile 'team time trial' of sorts, and Northfield's steamin' hot crit action, by legs wanted nothing to do with my bike. I sat on my trainer for 20 minutes before my race and pedaled with little effort or ambition. Everything hurt, my legs felt thick with fatigue, and all I wanted was a nap.
Nevertheless, I suited up and rode to the start line (on time!). The first 7 miles were agony - my left arm was cramping, my hip flexors were screaming profanities at me, and I could swear my lungs were on strike. I pedaled and pedaled as sweat dripped from the rim of my helmet and made my aero bars hard to hold onto. Each hill was painful - and just plain mean - as I found myself popping out of the saddle 3 times in any attempt to get up the hill faster than 10 mph.
I pushed as hard and I could, and was overjoyed to see Jay cheering for me with a quarter mile to go. I grabbed onto the bull horns in my last ditch effort to 'sprint' to the finish and rolled across the line at more than 27 mph! Not 100 yds after the finish, though, I was off my bike, covered in goose bumps, and dry-heaving in a ditch. The mid-upper 80's temps wrecked me, and I tried desperately to keep my stomach contents in. Jay, the super goof that he is, was cheering for me as my stomach lurched - proud that I'd finally ridden myself to that extreme.
The pain and nausea subsided as we soft-pedaled back to the car to change and wait for results. Little did I know that it wasn't just the weekend's races that made the TT hurt so bad...it was how hard I was actually riding! When the results were finally posted, I saw that I got 3rd place with a time of 35:04!!! Two minutes & two seconds faster than last year, and only 1:05 behind Patti Koehler in 1st! Holy crap - you could not have found a happier, more exhausted, stinky person that day. I owe a lot of that improvement to the State TT - where I finally rode out of my mind for the first time! Ever since, I've been able to reach a fabulous new level of racing. As for the rest.....sure, my fitness might actually be coming on (especially since I never did endurance/cardio activities until a little over a year ago), but the rest is the great advice I get every day from Jay. Thanks babe for helping me learn how to be a better cyclist! You're the best!
Lovin' and ridin'