Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Excuse To Shave My Legs: Racing Against A World Champion

Mongo didn't want to be too hasty in the assessment of my first Time Trial. I needed to let it all simmer like a good creole gumbo in order for the true flavor to rise to the top. A day removed from the heat of competition, I am able to give an honest recap. As the primary author of this blog, except when my cat, Snacks McGee* decides he has something to say, I will start by talking about me.

Mongo predicted (Here) that my time would be 33:29. That was a realistic, yet aggressive, number based on where I thought I was from a fitness standpoint. Well...My time ended up being 32:26. Not too shabby. I averaged a tad over 22 mph for the almost 12 mile course. Compare that to overall winner, and multiple age-group National and World Champion, Michael Olheiser. He averaged over 29 mph...Crazy!...Most people can barely reach that speed in a short sprint.

Mongo finished 34th out of 93 in the highly contested, and crowded, Cat 5 category. Since most triathletes don't "cat-up", Cat 5 is populated by a great deal of single-purpose TT specialists...which makes it more competitive than a road race or a criterium at the same level. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of schmucks like me in there, but I'm actually quite happy and proud of my time. Looking at the numbers...I finished in the top 36% of my category and the top 44% of the entire 280+ field.  On a lighter yet sexist note, Mongo was only beaten by nine of the more than seventy female competitors.

I actually had fun! I didn't think I would. I was prepared, calm, and focused, so all I had to do was ride as hard as I could. When I finished, I knew I had done my best and would be happy with whatever time I posted. Training for this race, especially all the nights spent in the garage on the trainer working on leg speed, has made me a better rider on the road...I gotta be happy about that.

The real studs of the day were teammates, Ian, Clay, Tom, and MC-Lean. All of these guys finished within a minute of each other...which resulted in two Top 10's and a Top 17 in Cat 5, and a fourth from last in Cat 3. (There will be an official announcement next week on the possible revocation of a certain person's Cat 3 license)

A good time was had by all!

(*) Not his real name

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