Special thanks to my beautiful wife who joined me and chronicled the day with some great digital celluloid.
It's amazing how your body knows when you are going to race. You wake up feeling different on race days. It as if you body "prepares" itself for the ensuing adrenaline and pain.
I woke up early (4:40 am) as the adrenaline started pumping. Slowly at first but threatening to overtake me. It requires focus not to peak and crash before you arrive at the race. The ritualistic preparation ensues after we arrive in Castroville about 7.
After I had taped and pinned up my race number and prepped the tubies to 140 psi; the mind and body screamed to be unleashed so my wife and I rode the two miles from the registration to the start.
The start Willis had created was unique in that it was a steep ramp that was quite difficult to walk up in cycling shoes.
Riders went off every 30 seconds so from the time the rider in front goes off, you have 30 seconds to climb the ramp, mount your bike, and clip in both shoes. Apparently I wasn't quick enough because by the time I was on the platform the race referee told me I had 15 seconds. I quickly jumped on the bike and tried to clip in my right foot. Missed on the first two tries..... "10 seconds" states the referee. I clip in the right foot and try to get the left foot in as the referee counts down from 5.
You can see in the photo the referee is at 3 seconds and I'm still trying to get my left foot in.
I get clipped in just as she says "go" and power off without even starting my Garmin.
No distance, time, or average speed info to use for pacing. My legs felt good but lacked that extra spark that makes great performances. About 2/3s on the way out I feel the wind pick up at my back. This means the return portion of the TT is going to be extra painful. I turn around and head back in and began the struggle against the wind and the pain. With about 3 miles to go my legs are absolutely screaming at me and everything in my body wants to stop fighting and get out of the aero tuck. My teammate Kurt who is a TT master (and current 45-49 State Champ!!) says that if by the end of the TT you don't hate the bike so much you want get off and hurl it across the road you haven't gone hard enough. I was there but I made it to the finish using everything I had in me. Its rewarding just to know you couldn't have given it any more.
I don't know if pictures can accurately depict the relief and exhaustion you feel after you cross the line. The ride was good enough for a 59:16 which was 5th on the day. 1 goal met, 1 goal missed. Something to aim for next year. Time to start training.
Sunday TTT report to follow.