Wednesday, April 30, 2008


It's been ages since my last post, so I figure I'm due for at least a quick one. (For what it's worth, I have several 'saved up'...I have a bad habit of getting them mostly done but not having the pics uploaded, and that sort of thing. Look for some magical pre-dated posts to appear as soon as I wrangle some time to catch up, hopefully this weekend!)

Tonight was the 4th of the seven races in the Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial Series held at Cherry Creek State Park by the ACA. This is my third year racing the series. It's a little inconvenient for me to drive down for the races since they're on Wednesday evenings and rush hour traffic turns it into anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours of stop 'n' go, but it's really nice to see the rest of the Ride Against the Machine crew each week and race each other into shape. The course is a mere 10.5 miles long, mostly flat out-and-back with only one hill of significance.

I considered missing tonight's race. I haven't been on the bike since Thursday, which was the day of my PRK surgery (posts to come, promise!). I was off the bike for a couple of days due to the surgery, but then I caught some sort of stomach bug that made me so miserable I didn't even want to ride the trainer. On the bright side, I lost about 4lbs. this weekend because I couldn't really eat or drink for a few days. The weight loss was probably all water or muscle, the worst way to lose weight, but I'm trying to stay positive here.

Anyhow, my sleep habits went WAY south--as in 5 hours laying in bed trying to fall asleep Monday night, feeling absolutely miserable and exhausted, finally crashing for a few hours in the morning before dragging myself into consciousness to get to work on Tuesday and be productive. Last night I was able to extend the "sleep" period to about 4.5 hours.

Prep for today's race? Let's see...lack of sleep, check. Poor nutrition (instant ramen and a Monster energy drink), check. Dehydration, check. Oh what the heck, I haven't missed a race yet, including the blizzard-like conditions two weeks ago.

I got to the course WAY early for a change, and actually had to waste some time before starting my warmup. Marni borrowed the fluid trainer to warm up, so I brought along my ancient Minoura wind trainer for the warmup. I did a long (for me) 50min warmup, and timed my wrap-up the same as last week since I made it to the starting line in perfect timing. That would have worked great...except I didn't account for the fact that it takes longer to tear down the wind trainer. D'oh! So I missed my official start by just over a minute, as I had to wait for the minus-one-minute-rider to start before I left the line. Oh yeah, the PowerTap head mount broke again on the way to the starting line after hitting an expansion crack despite my quick epoxy fix at lunchtime. Grrrr! You'd think a $1k gizmo would have a better mounting system...

It was windy (ugh!) but nice and warm (almost too warm for my preference--my engine runs hot). Several of the RATM crew missed their starts as well tonight, and one of the side benefits for me was that I had some fast rabbits to pace me on the outbound stretch until they pulled out of my sight. With the PowerTap mount broken like last week, I again rode "blind" and just went by RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion). At the finish line, my unofficial time per my PowerTap file was 27:03, which is only 11 seconds off my PR that I tied last week. For any geeks that care, my normalized power was 204W (201W average), slightly down from last week. Considering the circumstances of the past week and the strong wind tonight, I'm very satisfied. The official time doesn't particularly matter to me because I'm pretty slow, so it's not like I'm fighting for standings or points.

The rest of the RATM crew also rode very strongly, with most people pretty darned close to their PRs considering the wind (in my opinion). The actual TT times are hard to decipher due to the missed starts, but unless I hear otherwise I think we all did pretty well. Quite frankly, this was one of my favorite CCTT nights yet. The missed start didn't really bother me, and the only real downside in my book is that allergy season apparently started for me tonight (but fortunately not until after I finished the TT). A few of us grabbed some grub at Tokyo Joe's, and then I fought heavy winds for the 60 mile ride home! Thankfully the Jeep did most of the work. *cough, cough*

I'm very much looking forward to next week's post-TT RATM BBQ at Scott's place! G'night.