This past weekend Barb my cycling coach had all the girls go out to Fort Langley for a 12km Time Trial race to use as a benchmark.
I was nervous and excited - I have never “raced” my bike in a time trial let alone against a bunch of roadies. I know I race but I don’t see triathlon riding the same as road racing on bikes. Anyways I was anxious.
So when I finally got there - I left a lot of time but got a little turned around when I actually got to Fort Langley and stopping to ask the locals was not helping fortunately I noticed a car zip by with a road bike and TT bars on so I pulled a u-turn and followed the car figuring that he was going where I was, which he was. I got there and found Barb and the girls and noticed they were all warming up on trainers – where is your trainer? UH?!? Sometimes I think they forget that I really am a novice at this stuff – so note to self – next time bring trainer. Anyways no big deal – I did my warm up on the road.
Warm up was going good and I was coming up to some train tracks – figured I would cross and turn around – you see the writing on the wall. I have crossed a gazillion tracks and never gone down, I ride over tracks every second day on my way to work. Stupid tracks – yep I went down, crap – bounced back up – mostly embarrassed – did a quick assessment – bike seemed okay and besides a small knick on my hand and my elbow and hip smarting a bit I felt okay. Riding back I noticed front tire rubbing a bit and Barb shouted “SHAUN” get all the junk off your bike – okay. So back to the car to remove tool pack and bento box, Fix tire, Pin number on – Shaun you are up in 30 seconds – CRAP!
So I get up to the line and guy is like holding the bike – 15 sec – clip in – what no, no, no sorry I will clip in after I start. . GO!! – So I take off and mess about for about 15 seconds trying to clip-in. FAIL – next time I will not be such a scaredy-cat and let them hold my bike while I clip in….
The time trial was good – I was the last of the 5 of us from my team to start, with the exception of Barb – coach. Once I got clipped in and settled down it was great – I could see Cindy ahead of me and I thought catch her! So I was beetling along and then whoosh – Barb goes flying by me – there is a reason why she is the coach…. When I got to the turnaround I had gained on Cindy and Judith and thought okay girl dig you can catch them both. No pain – no gain. I thought about what an old running coach/friend said to me – racing hurts – you make up your mind– decide that you want it and then accept for that period of time it will hurt. I had decided that 20 minutes would be the time I would shoot for – glancing at the clock I felt like I was on target but more importantly the girls were not far ahead and if I just sucked it up I would catch them. So I reached deeper - My legs and lungs were burning I could see the finish tent and I could see a green jersey – pretty sure it was Judith and I thought go, Go, GO!!! I went zipping by Judith with maybe 200 possibly 300 metres to go – YES! I did not catch Cindy – shoot but it was over and I could stop feeling like I was going to throw up. Afterwards Judith was like I knew you were going to try and catch me – you are a racer – that is one of the nicest things anyone has said to me – I am a racer – really? I guess I am. Cindy was like I knew you were gunning for me and no way was I letting you catch me! Later on I looked at the overall results and 20min 30 seconds was my final time. And by the clock I did catch Cindy her time 20 min 32 seconds.
So what did I learn – leave earlier, bring trainer, start clipped in and no water bottle…. (I forgot the water bottle when I was removing everything). Later that evening I got up from the couch and noticed my right hip was pretty sore, I have nice bruises on hip and elbow as well as my left groin is very sore – I guess I pulled it. Not too worried though as I was still able to go out and knock out an 18km run in the rain on Sunday with my half clinic – albeit I was pretty sore near the end.
Next Time Trial is supposedly in Squamish and is 40km – should be good – nothing personal but Cindy you are going down…..