Race 1 – 2012 Charlotte Speedway Time Trial Series – OUCH!!

Originally Posted 4/11/12

Holy Cow,  Wednesday, April 11 was the first race of the Charlotte Speedway Time Trial Series and one word describes the TT – OUCH. 

Sarah and I left the shop around 4 to get to the race and like always, one thing led to another, we had to pick up something we forgot (wheel and timing chip), put gas in the van (as always), school traffic and managed to get to the track around 5 and lost our customary spot near registration and ended up on the backside of the garage.

I had a feeling it was going to be a rough night.  It was windy and cold.  We set up our ‘pit’ area and I stayed busy volunteering with the race organizers until about 6.  It was hurry up and wait until my start time.  Tracy and Pam started their TT at 6:51 and I told Tracy I would be there for her start.  Of course, I started making sure the Power Tap wheel I was using was paired my Garmin. Next thing I knew, it was 6:46 and I wasn’t close to the starting line.  I made a run to the starting line and no Tracy, she had started early.  So I went out to the track and cheered her on for several laps before running back to warm up for my race.

I got on the trainer at about 7:20 and started a semi-warmup.  I’m not good at warming up.  I tried the ‘trainer thing’ with my road bike and managed to work up a sweat – of course i had on arm and knee warmers so I’m sure that helped.  I rolled out right at 7:49 for my start.

My start felt great.  I came out of the gate strong and entered the track behind of group of about 6 that were chasing Sarah!  I passed the group thinking, man, this feels good…right up until turn 2 when the wind smacked me in the face.  I looked down and my HR was at 175 – waaayyy too early for that.   I knew the wind was bad, but I found myself up-shifting going down the backstretch just praying to get to turn 4 and have tailwind give me a break.  The front stretch felt good and I managed to calm down a bit.

Knowing how hard the backstretch was, I backed off just a little coming out of turn 2.  Mark Peterson had entered the track on his first lap and  that motivated me – we have been training together and holding the almost the same pace in training.  Boy was I wrong.  Mark seemed to just roll away from me.  At the time Mark was crushing my ego, another guy just rolled by me.  This is when racing is tough, when the mind says this sucks, just stop.

I gathered myself and put my head down.  On the third lap I finally started feeling better.  I could feel the legs come around and I could actually power down the backstretch.  On the 4th lap, Mark was the full backstretch in front of me.  I know coming out of turn 4 I was hurting, I could barely focus my eyes.  The tailwind gave me a reprieve and I muscled through the 5th lap.

Starting the 6th lap, I put everything I had into the backstretch, even into several stronger wind gusts.  My HR jumped to 170 but I decided to go till I blew.  Thankfully I managed to get to the front stretch and started the last lap.  For some reason, you can always push harder on the last lap.  I went as hard as I could and almost caught a rider that was almost 3/4 of the way down the backstretch when I hit it.

It took me a while to recover.  Like warming up, I don’t cool down well – I just want to get off my bike. 

The cool thing is that I had the power tap rear wheel so I could get some data.  I managed to average 327 watts for the 22.28 I was on the track.  Like everyone, I was about a 1:15 slower than normal.  But based on the data, I know it was a good ride.  I surpassed my training numbers which means I’m doing something right.  I also overcame the ‘I wanna quit’ demons and had a good ride. 

So now I’m looking forward to the next TT and to try to get back down to some of my faster times.  I definitely want to set a new PR this year.  That’s my goal.

Below is my Garmin download.  Check out the distance.  Just a little hint – I had one of my better rides in that I was able to ride on the white line on the inside of the track and managed to cut the corner coming into Pit Road.

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