First let me get my bag of excuses and see what I can find. *rustles around inside large Nordstrom bag*
My race season last year, after an encouraging start, was rudely interrupted (see previous posts) by a crash and a broken wrist. I trained in June & July, raced in August & Sept., logged many miles in October (>800, a PR), and started dropping off in Nov. December was busy, and when my business partner went on vacation the last week of December, business picked up to a power of ten. I wasn't prepared to be so busy, so I had no program for the trainer before/after work, or the odd times I'd be engaged with clients. Until the end of February my riding was slacking, my business over-the-top busy, and I felt overwhelmed.
Took small steps to get things under control, and had a roller-coaster spring of challenging rides, not enough training, closing deals, wishing I could train away the stress and pounds. So frustrating, days when I'd read 2 paragraphs of a book and wake up 30 min. later with it resting on my face.
So I finally gave up -- just rode as hard as I could, when I could, let go the idea of group/race team rides, made some time trial practices, and worked hard in between, finding opportunities to power walk the dogs, have a fast tandem ride, do some strength training...you get the idea.
We set our focus on the Dunlap Memorial Time Trial, which was our first tandem TT, and one we've done 3 years now. We tried to sign up and what? No tandem division. They replaced it with the team TT. Boo. We skipped it.
So we waited until Thursday night to register for the Mt. Diablo Hill Climb. I did it 2 years ago. Chris registered as well and since he's in better shape and has been riding more than I, we both thought he'd bring this one home.
So the day dawned with screaming dessicating north winds. We caravaned w/K and her kids and dog, and our daughter came along to be the supervisor of the kids.
By the time I registered and had my bike ready to go I had 20 min. until my start time. Frack. So K rode as my coach (the road was closed to cars but not cyclists, and many locals were taking advantage of the lack of cars to ride). I never drafted, hell, I never caught her wheel even when I was really pushing it.
This even features a start house and a held start. I love that. I can be in a big gear, all clipped in, and when the official says, "Go" I can stand and pull the pedals so hard the front wheel comes off the ground.
I got a solid start. Eventually I found K. My HR was ridiculous so I spent an inordinate amount of time working to keep it in control.
Came around some switchbacks and wham! A face-full of wind. Around another switchback and it's tailwind. K rode this recently and remembered the corners. Her insight was invaluable. It's been a year since I've been on the mountain on my bike and I've forgotten.
She yelled, she encouraged, I dug deep, stayed focused, failed to recognize Diablo Scott (sorry! and thanks for the great pic!) (to be posted soon). Close to the end, at an especially steep switchback, I threw up a little in my mouth. And a day later I'm still coughing up "stuff." Hello, lower lobes of lungs. It's been a while.
After what seemed forever I saw the line, sprinted for it, went well past it before I stopped and hacked and nearly yakked. K & I hugged and exchanged congrats. Jen joined us shortly thereafter. After some discussion they took off to ride to the Junction, down then up the southside, and back to the parking lot.
I took my time riding down so I could cheer on subsequent riders, including Chris and our friend Curtis. I was so proud to see them, as if my influence had anything to do with their racing.
Got to the start and was talking to a tall, young CAT5 rider about to go off and realized it's my www.bikeforums.net and Twitter friend, Ygduf. This was his first race also and he posted a great time. He has potential, that one.
After a change of clothes we checked out our results. Chris finished in 36:37 I finished in 40:27, 7th of 8, and >2 min. slower than 2 years ago. I have some work to do.
All in all, a very trying yet satisfying day. The harder I work, the more adrenaline/endorphins I release, the better I feel.
I predict more racing in my future. And I can't wait.
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