This past Saturday, Matt, Anne, Zack, and I all made the trip to the booming metropolis of St Peters, IN for one of the hardest races in the Ohio Spring Series. It featured a monster climb, tons of headwind, and a smaller, yet somehow rather painful second climb. By and far the best Hungry outcome was Zack getting a strong 8th place in the 4s race. The course is an absolute monster, so Zack’s place is definitely is his best of the year. Matt finished not too far behind Alex and Anne nearly pulled off a monster placing in the women’s 1/2/3 race .
I rode the cat 3 race and the field was super strong. Lots of mountain goats (climbers) showed up for the race, there were about 10 people in that race that could have won it. Every race you learn something, and boy this one was a whopper of a lesson. I was feeling great up over the first time up the monster hill (we did it 5 times) in our 64 mile race, yet somewhere around mile 10 (14 mile loop race), I felt play in my rear wheel and realized I was losing air and fast. I then stood up for the next three miles (by the way, not a good idea to stand and ride for that long, saps your legs) until I found someone with a pump. I realized what was loose (http://www.zipp.com/accessories/detail.php?ID=120) on my wheel. It look about 4-5 minutes to diagnose and re-inflate the tire. However, by then the field was long gone. So I then decided, well, I’m here, awake and sober, I might as well do a stupidly hard 50 mile time trial. I did catch a few guys who got popped off the back and according to a few friends, gained a ton of time on the field. However, the 5 miles of headwind on every lap after the climb really took their toll. I really had no time to coast or recover, making it that more difficult. It’s amazing the level of pain we can self-inflict on ourselves, and as I write this the next day I felt like I got hit by a truck. The mind is a fascinating thing, normal pain receptors are shut off when you’re competing, yet if you’re on a training ride, they’re there all the time giving you feedback. The podium wasn’t happening for me today, and all I was going for was to try to catch the back of the group and avoid the “DNF” awarded to those who drop out of races. Yet for some reason I kept a punishing pace for a very long, lonely 2 hours and 20 minutes. It builds character? Maybe I’ll act within 10 years of my age? Here’s the Garmin output data for my race: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/84113588
A bad day on the bike is better than any good day at the office.