I have the memory of a corner-back. Perhaps age has something to do with it, but I prefer to think not. Shortly after scribing that my organized cycling was over for the year and I would be "cherry-picking my days" to ride, something came over me and I got a wild hair (I don't think it's hare) to do the Gruene Time Trial.
Actually, I have wanted to do the two man TT for a couple of years now. So I emailed my gold medal USAC teammates to see if they knew of anyone looking for a partner. Tom and Tom had teamed up last year and were again this year. Then, AFTER sending the email, I began to look at the details of the race. That gave me pause for thought. It was all I could do to drag my body 40km in July, with three other people, and truthfully, needed Tom to pace me the last mile. What was I thinking, asking someone to team with me for a similar distance.
So, as their suggestions came back, I replied that I had changed my mind and would be doing the individual time trial instead. This is ONLY 17 miles. I really think I can do that distance, or as I prefer to measure it, 50 minutes or so. I'd like it to be 45 minutes, but that is extremely optimistic. I have no clue as to the profile of the road, other than it goes UP to Canyon Lake. Next week I plan to preview the course.
Now for the good news. After signing up for the race, I dusted off the tt bike and went out to my course to see what kind of shape I'm in. For starters, I just did a 5k warm up, 5k fast pace, then a 10k fast pace. Believe me, I know that 10k is only the beginning. But all went well, my pace was good and I felt like I had a lot left in the tank when I finished.
This morning I returned for round two. 5k warm up, 5k fast pace, then a 20k fast pace. I would love to tell you my stats, but inadvertently hit the "stop" button instead of the "lap" button, thus my times are skewed. However, the first lap was very fast, and the other three not much slower, and again I finished with more in the tank. It was during this practice that it finally occurred to me that 17 miles is less than 30 kilometers. All this time I had 40k in my head! So my confidence has returned and with a preview ride under my belt, I'm sure I'll do well.
One other confidence booster: I'm finally beginning to feel good. As other posts will attest, I have been somewhere between 80-90%, unable to really get the most out of my muscles. With more miles in the legs, especially the Blue Ridge and Six Gap rides, I appear to be hitting on all cylinders. We'll know as the next few weeks unfold.