By the end of February, I am DYING for some sun and warmth. I swear it is like we are in the Twilight Zone here in the midwest. One more day in dark, snowy and 20F degrees (if that!) Thank goodness (I say in jest), that we have INDOOR Bike Time Trials to occupy ourselves with in the winter out here. I know, when you can’t ride your bikes outside — might as well race them inside…
We have swim meets, indoor triathlons and bike TTs all winter. It has been at least 10 years since I have done an indoor Triathlon – I am done with those…for lots of reasons, so the next best opportunity to suffer is on a computrainer with hundreds of your closest and sweaty friends — In a elementary school gym while Elvis and polka music blares over the loud speaker.
Last month I did this TT and it was a 10k flat course. I worked my a$$ off and while I did not feel great, I had a fine TT. Top 3 OA get $$…so a little extra cash is always nice. This past weekend was a rolling 10k TT course…and lip smacking, sh*t talking little Elizabeth. We could not race next to each other because she registered much later than I did, but truth be told, she was afraid of me. (Oh, cripe, I am only kidding!).
No matter how many workouts I win by myself in my basement, nothing hurts more than an indoor TT of 6.2 miles. I mean, I am riding my bike for this distance AND not running it? WHAT? Anyway, I had a long warm up and listened to Elizabeth talk MORE sh*t because she was DONE. I literally walked in to the school and had a text “where are you?” Clearly she was ON FIRE and caffeinated.
No matter how much I like Elizabeth, we are both there to win. To show these CAT 1/2 Pro Girls that we CAN TT with them. Never mind we are all running off these TT races – minor detail. Elizabeth affirmed her great race and blurted out her time. NICE! It is 13″ faster than I went last year when I was 2nd OA. I thought, “damn that is fast for a little person.” See, indoor TTs – take away the heat and real hills and weight does HELP. I have 20 lbs on her AND 5 years…..I think the handicap was even.
Anyway, Elizabeth graciously left – after setting the bar – and I went to race. The race has 12 computrainer banks rolling every 30 minutes from 8am until past 2pm. Busy busy day! Todd, one of my athletes, who is also the race announcer texted me that morning and said he had the flu and was out for the day. Too bad because he is the best cheerleader and LOUD & trash talks the ENTIRE time you are racing.
We calibrated my CT and we started the race. I told myself “do NOT blow up too soon…” I tend to go out super fast – in everything I do – so I was trying to behave just for a few seconds. THEN, I turned up my music so loud I could not hear ONE thing. In fact, I closed my eyes and only opened them a few times. I could not even hear myself think. I just worked my tail off. I over-rode the downhills, smashed the uphills and stood for the last .4 miles in my biggest combination 52×12..I was giving it my all. I had no idea if I would beat the standing time, but I knew it would be close.
I was just hoping I would not pee myself.
In fact, at that time, the top 3 females on the day were .6 tenths of a second apart. YES that close. That is ridiculous and rare.
I could not have gone any harder. I was completely done. I finally opened up my eyes and saw the same time and could not figure out the tenths because I was so trashed. I was breathing like I was in labor and if I was not mounted into a computrainer, I would have fallen off my bike. It took me over 1 hour to feel normal again and get my face color back to pasty white.
I loved it. It is so hard. SO painful…and something we almost cannot do outside – even when I race TT outside because we have to focus also on being safe. And, while I can really work by myself in the basement, I just cannot work this hard. Having that little carrot out there is really motivating and mixes up the winter monotony.
Regardless of the tenths that I did not end up on top, I won. I set a new power PR number at the age of 42. Every year I say, “I am just trying to manage the slowing down, ” and honestly, that is the truth…I swear! But, when I have days like this, I am happy and grateful. And, excited.