10 May, 2012

Not Feeling It

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.

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