Well, I was ready for this one. I had a better-borrowed crank, some borrowed wheels, and my mental game was sound. I tortured the kids with hours of driving to Clarksville the day before listening to all kinds of fun tunes from “Dancing Queen” by ABBA where I creatively changed the words to “Time Trial Queen,” and one of my other favorites that they now request. I had checked my list many times and we hit the road in two vehicles since my husband was going to compete as well.
We arrived in Clarksville, TN passing through our old stomping grounds of Nashville. I cannot believe how much the skyline has changed. The sun was setting and there were a lot of changes that have happened to the city of Nashville since 10 years ago. It’s amazing how beautiful the city still is. I saw Jefferson Street exit where I used to work and had the urge to go run by the retail pharmacy to see if any old employees were still there. Nostalgia! Memories!
The next morning, we set out for Dover, TN to race.
Note not a lot in elevation change, but definitely fast on the way back, at least I thought.
The promoter had separated Jeff and me as much as possible since we were bringing the kids and had someone there to watch them on the little bit of overlap. We were very grateful for that. Jeff started off first and then me a little bit later, the last of the cat 4s. Luckily, a friend of mine was lined up as a cat 3 behind me, and I was able to chit-chat with her about everything. I miss her! Last time I saw her was at Snake Creek Gap because I missed her at Masters Nationals.
One of the ladies ahead of me fell over at the start while the guy was holding her up. I was sending her good vibes to go and keep going. I’m pretty sure she’s the lady that ended up 3rd on our podium. Finally, when it was my turn, I hit the pedals and started the around one-hour suffer fest. I was ready. I had all kinds of things swirling in my head and the power was looking OK. I was managing what I was doing to save for coming back. I noticed immediately we had a cross tailwind on the way out which meant cross headwind on the way back.
The mental things are what are fun. Challenging. The brain will tell you to stop it, you are going too hard. I purposefully hid my heart rate so I couldn’t see how hard I was working. It is my governor, and I’m removing its power from now on. Ironically enough on the harder rides, since I stopped watching, I am going harder and the heart rate is back up to where it was last year when I was pushing hard. Go figure. Perhaps in a race, I need to remove power as well. I have become a slave to the numbers. But, I can now almost tell you the watts I’m putting out based on my perception. Almost. If I’m fatigued, it is drastically reduced, and I don’t notice. I was surprised to see watts well below what I thought toward the end of the race. My legs were saying otherwise. I heard some quotes in my head that were quite positive (some with the British accent — long story). A couple of songs played over and over in my head. I just like analyzing that part after a race too. Where did you go this time, you know that special place to ignore the pain?
The fun parts. Watching the kids build a fort in the back of the SUV while I warmed up. I didn’t pick the best spot to warm up, and I wouldn’t say it was a high-quality warm-up due to the kids and their kid things, but I am a mom, and that role comes first. I wanted the state jersey bad, but to know I was beaten by someone 20 years younger and a pro-triathlete (by 12 seconds) was OK. I missed the cherry on the cake initially which was getting the 3rd overall female out of all the females in the 40 km TT beating all the cat 3s. I was so focused on the jersey that I didn’t really notice until later. 90mm was interesting. I love a disc wheel. Now, I have to find a set of my own.
I’m looking forward to repeating this one. I have a goal in mind that I want to achieve for 2018. How much time can I shave off for next year?