Or, What!! Was I thinking?!!!
I'm thinking I'll place the blame on old age; but truthfully, I'd have signed up for it anyway. It is a case of biting off more than you can chew. I'm referring to the Heads or Tails 40k Time Trial in Beaumont this coming weekend.
Shortly after Txbra posted the events calendar, I scrolled through specifically looking for the date of the State TT Championships. The two previous years we were out of state for them and I wanted to be sure not to have a scheduling conflict this year. Low and behold, there was the listing for an actual time trial in Beaumont. They even had an event flyer giving all the salient facts. I looked at the date, and it was perfect, two weeks after Brazos Valley and three weeks before Senior Games State Championships (qualifying for Nationals next year). I was a bit taken aback by the length of the race: 40km. But I recalled I had done the USAC 40k race a few years ago and came in second. So I signed up, and if I remember correctly, I was the second person to on the list.
In previous years, my first tt was in late March, so having Brazos Valley in February kinda crimped my training. As a matter of fact, I was only able to get in two practice times on my tt bike before race day, and those didn't exceed 5k reps. Sadly undertrained or not, I managed two first-place finishes in the 5k and 10k. My plan was to get in two or three tt practices in the intervening weeks, each with at least a 10k or maybe a 15k practice round.
The crappy weather seriously curtailed those plans, to the extent that I haven't ridden my tt bike since Brazos Valley (there were other extenuating circumstances, but I prefer to blame the weather). I won't be on it before driving to Beaumont. Meanwhile, I've had time to contemplate the original thought-processes in the decision, and have found a serious flaw.
Not only is Beaumont 4 1/2 hours of driving, through Houston on a Friday, my recollection of the USAC race was sadly skewed. For one, it was in July, after several months of good, warm weather training.Yes, I did earn silver in the time trial, but it was the Individual Time Trial of 20k. I received gold for the 40k Team Time Trial (along with Dean, Tom Cole, Tom Hall, and ?, can't remember his name) and more or less limped in the last 5k. Now, why did I think with two days of practice and one race day in my legs, I could race 40k? Currently, the forecasted rain might hold off until Saturday afternoon.
Can I cycle 40k? Sure, no problem; racing the whole way is a different story. Can I hold my position the whole time? I'll probably come up for a breather a few times, but for the most part, yes. My tt bike has never been wet (in 5 years). I've never even had to wash it, just run a wet cloth to get the dust off. Will I race in the rain? You bet. I don't practice in bad weather, but if that is what is happening on race day, that is what I'll be racing in. I have bad-weather gear if it really is pouring, and I wear it for training rides, but for the race I plan to just get soaked. Maybe I'll get lucky and miss the rain. Check back next week to see how things played out.