Well, it was fun while it lasted. With tongue firmly implanted in my cheek, I've proclaimed myself "the fastest man in Texas" for a number of years. While a true statement, it took a bit of spinning to see how I arrived at that "honor." But, without spin, I can unequivocally say that in state competition, the last time I was off the podium for a time trial was 2008. At Senior Games Nationals I was 13th in the 10k and 18th in the 5k, but the fastest from Texas. All of that came to an end this weekend.
It wasn't unexpected. My training has been spotty, my practice times slow. Plus, faster guys entered the race (yes, some of my ill-gotten results are because the fast guys didn't show up). I was pretty sure I'd be racing for third place. And I repeat what I've said before: I'm in it for fun and conditioning. All the same, I'm sad to see the string end (I was fourth by a half-second, that hurts a bit).
But about the races themselves. Hempstead was hot and ultra humid. For the ITT, I had a
Saturday 7:36 a.m. start. It was an out-and-back course, slightly downhill and flat outbound, slightly uphill and flat on the way back. Truly, I characterize it as flat. I think I only used three gears, maybe four. I started last as defending champion. The main stats I use speak for themselves: average heart-rate of 148 (89% of max and about 3 beats short of AT) and average cadence of 88, but most of that was really at 90. The most important stat was mph: 21.7 average and 25.8 max. (last year I was 22.1 average and 28.5 max). I was a gear or two short but whenever I tried moving, I couldn't push it.
Besides lack of strength compared to last year, I'm also packing an additional ten pounds, so my strength-to-weight ratio has also suffered. I'll see if I can remedy that.