Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A short, painful race report. Berry Peddler TT

I'm happy to have a race report back on the books.

I admit, I was back and forth on whether or not I was ready to return to racing... not from the physical sense (I know I'm not back in "form" or anywhere close yet.) but mentally. I had doubts as to whether or not I was ready to get back in the racing mindset, and whether or not I could push myself to finish as well as I could when I knew it wouldn't be anywhere near where I was last year.

Eventually I realized I needed to HTFU and get my butt back in the game. So I came up with a compromise. I would race the Berry Peddler TT, but not the road race. This was a practical move, since the Cat5 road race was 30something miles, and I've yet to ride 30 miles yet. I figured the first time probably shouldn't be in a race setting. A 6 mile TT though... I could do that, and if I fudged it up, my embarrassment wouldn't involve a lonely ride off the back... it would be a lonely ride the whole time!

I'll just say... knocking off some of the cobwebs will take some work. You could take my preparation routine and classify it in the "ways not to warm up and execute a time trial race." By warm up I mean I got slicked into my new Knoxvelo skinsuit, fastened my Specialized TT helmet and spun down the road for a few minutes... honestly it's the first time I've been on the "road" since before November, so I was a little rusty. I didn't pre-ride the course, stopped my warmup about 10 minutes before my start time, didn't drink enough water before hand... you know, basically all of the things you read not to do.

Me all "alien" and Jenny trying not to be embarrassed about it.
Heading out after finally managing to clip in.

Then it was go time. Unfortunately there was no handler, so it was a foot down start, and I showed my unfamiliarity with clipping in by very nearly missing on takeoff.  Once I'm in and down in aero a thought hits me... man this is uncomfortable... how the hell did I ride like this for 50+ miles.  Around the first sweeping bend I get another unpleasant surprise, the wind whips rather hard and somehow knocks one of my contact lenses out of my eye! I've never had that happen before! I very nearly call it a day right then and there, as I already hurt and I'm half blind (literally) and squinting just to see what's in the road ahead of me.  I also am a giant dummy who didn't adjust my TT helmet, despite it having an easy dial sizing, so every minute or so I was pushing the tip of the helmet back down. Nice.

Hurting... so much hurting

The kit actually matches my bike/helmet/gloves/covers almost perfect...coincidence ftw!

Finish Strong!

Here you get a good look at extra hair and extra pounds I've gained in my off months.

As the halfway point (180° turn) comes into "sight" I take some pride in not wiping out and maiming myself and/or the volunteer. I feel absolutely terrible. I've gone out entirely too optimistic hard and I've got to limp back for three miles seemingly endless incline. My neck begs for relief but I try to make one moral stand and that's that I stay as aero as possible. Eventually though the incline gets the best of me and I get out of aero (and the saddle) to do some grinding... at one time in the small chainring. (gasp!) With signs telling me the end is nigh I tap into the last bit of energy I have and try to finish strong. As soon as I cross the line I can barely hold it together... it was a bit of a physical and emotional roller coaster. I cool down a bit and find Jenny, Jimmy, Sharon and my mom.

Jimmy snagged 4th in the Cat4 road race and 2nd in the TT... on someone else's bike!

Sharon, Jimmy and myself trying to cheese after the TT

Somehow, due to some very, very good luck (along with only a few of us being under 40) I managed to sneak onto the podium in 3rd place!

Knoxvelo/Hicks Orthodontics team

The Cobb Mobb crew, Allison, myself, Jimmy and Sharon.
So, despite it being a rough six miles, I got to take one step closer to coming back to my old self. It's a harder process than I expected... honestly I've been surprised at just how much power and endurance I've lost... but it'll all come back soon with enough blood sweat and tears. (I hope)

As always, thanks for checking out the blog! Challenge Knoxville is this weekend and although I won't be racing I should be running around taking pictures. I'll be wearing my Cobb Mobb gear, so if you see me, say hi!

- Christopher Morelock

1 comment:

  1. a podium is a podium! Nice job of hanging in there!