So, as the week led up to the Pontiac TT, I just wasn't feeling "it." We all know what "it" is, it is the feeling in your legs when you know you are going to have a good race, and you typically know during the warm-up how the day is going to open up.
The days before the race went like this:
Tuesday - My weekly group ride on the road. I felt I was working quite hard, but wasn't going fast at all. The numbers agreed somewhat. I just chalked it up to the wind.
Wednesday - Weight training. This was supposed to be Monday, but I didn't feel like working out then. Did some 1RM testing, and my result showed no change or a decline in 5 of the 8 exercised measured.
Thursday - Some intervals at Anderson. Wiped out on a corner, put some scratches on my new frame. At least is isn't new anymore, so I don't have to worry.
Saturday Night: It was getting late, didn't know what to have for dinner, so we ordered a pizza.
Sunday, we got to the park with plenty of time. Registration was much faster than last year. Chatted with my boy Pongo, idle chatter, not much else. I went to warm up, and I felt like there was a constriction in my chest. My breathing just wasn't right. I didn't feel ill, but who knows.
I did some more spinning around, and went to recon the last section of the course, the reroute on the climb, and the descent. There were a couple spots that seemed quite loose for this early in the season. Better take note of that.
As I lined up for the start, I was finally caught by JTP. If I could pick one thing that ruined my race, that encounter may be it. [As an aside, he looks a lot better in the grainy Facebook photos]
It was time to go, and the rider next to me took off at about the same pace as I. We were side-by-side, so I pushed it a bit further to get ahead before the singletrack. I soon found out that this was a futile effort, as soon enough he went (politely) by, and I never saw him again.
This pretty much became the theme of the day. Rider catches me, passes me, then disappears. I was fading fast. My riding was sloppy, skidding off the course, into blind turns, etc. Hell, there was on spot I had to brake going uphill because I was out of control.
I looked at my HR, and it said zone 6.0! I hadn't realized that when I cleared my Garmin earlier int he week (trying to remedy the S-L-O-W upload feature) I hadn't reset my zones. I think this broke my spirit. There I was, feeling off, looking at what I though was an exploding heart, riding sloppy, and all in all feeling like a wreck.
Remember that loose corner I hinted at earlier? Yup, I wiped out there. Came through a bit hot, the back slid out and I was down. I got up quickly, but still lost time. My first lap was slower than my SS lap last season. So much for a fast race bike and a winter of training. [My second lap was even slower]
I spent the most of the second lap, feeling sorry for myself, trying to figure out where I went wrong, and in-all having a miserable time. I am talking "hang up the race shoes" kind of thoughts. In the end, I muttered through and finished. Apparently I looked strong there, but little consolation that was.
I hung around a bit to wait for results. Diesel from the Motor Club received his first outright sport win, and Kahuna posted his first sub-1 hour lap, so the day wasn't a total loss. The good news is, that with my earlier starts, and back of the pack finishes, I get home at a much more reasonable hour.
It was time to figure things out, I had my first 'A' race of the season approaching the next weekend.