Last night was a quite unbelievable Black Dog, with all the planets (and cars) aligning perfectly enough to allow El Gato to lead me to a new PR! The wind was minimal, the air was thick with humidity but not bugs, and the cars were scarce. For the first time this year, I was able to do the entire 7 miles without a car or a rider forcing me to stop in any way, shape, or form....and I capitalized on every inch of it.
Playing around w/ my Garmin, I set it so it would beep at me every time I got below my goal mph to keep myself from stressing about my speed. I flew down the beginning stretch, even w/o being able to find my 30-second guy. HWooD, starting 1 minute behind me, and Ronny at 30-seconds back didn't catch me til the turn around!!! Unbelievable - I've never been able to stay away so long.
With a song blaring in my head and a couple new rabbits to chase, I headed towards the finish into the headwind. Somehow, as I focused on my form and aero-ness, the wind didn't seem to phase me until I hit the factory on the return. After that, I was toast, fighting desperately to keep my speed up and shut the Garmin up in one fair effort.
As I came out of the schicane under the bridge near the finish, I looked at my time for the first time all race and saw 16:56 on the read out..WTF??? I was still under 17 minutes??? I dug as deep as I could as I battled the disbelief and managed to cross the line at 24 mph. When I stopped the clock on my bike, it read 17:17, and wicked fast time that blew my old PR from last year out of the water by more than 30 seconds! Once the results were finally posted, I saw I had cranked out a 17:14!!! (I start the timer 3 seconds early each time).
I couldn't believe it (nor do I really know if I believe it now, either). I hopped back on the trainer when I was done and just relived the race again as I cooled down, trying to figure out when I tapped into that well. But it dawned on me - it was my perfect race. As I went back to my Garmin today to check out the stats, I know it was my first leg that got me there - riding the first 1/2 in only 7:46! Hot damn! But, that also means I was 2+ minutes slower on the return. Now, only if I could figure out how to pull times like that on both sides of the turn around, I'd be set.
When you break it down, though, I've got the racing bug bad. After watching all the amazing women at NVGP, all I want to do is go fast.
Ridin' cloud 9,