Races #16 and 17 were kind of mid-year fillers.
I did not intend originally on doing the 5000m at the track meet on Thursday, but Kris was going to do it and far be it from me to not show up and support. And then I always figure if I show up I may as well race. I had swam in the morning, and then just finished a 32 mile ride at an honest level of effort, so I was kind of tired. I didn't warm up, just put on my flats and went.
There were a bunch of kids in the front at the start, and they were crawling. I'm talking probably close to 25sec through the first 100m. I move to the front and hear the remarks, "there goes the rabbit!" Clearly that was not my intention, but I was hoping to get Kris into a better position to run fast. By the 400m I had a huge gap. I shut it down, moved to lane 3, which apparently confused the lads. They finally caught me and I slowed down, just clicking off 89's. Came through the 1600m in 5:46, 3200m in 11:44 (5:57) and then decided I'd like to run under 18, but in order to do that had some work to do. My last 1600m splits were 85-84-81-81 (5:31) and that got me just under. I was pretty pleased with being able to put in that kind of effort. I didn't cool down, not sure what place I finished, but I do know that it was not the venue to run fast.
Saturday I headed out to Cambridge, MD, home also to Eagleman, for a 40k individual time trial. This was the first time I was racing my bike in a time trial fashion without having to run after or swim before, so I was looking to crank. I figured averaging between 26.5 and 27mph was within reason, as I had gone through 25.5 miles in an hour on the course back in June. My start time was 11:52:30, so I left the house around 8:20. It took 2 hours to get there, getting stuck in a little traffic, and then I warmed up down from the high school to the start.
It was neat to get a hold for the start, and since it seemed as if we had a little push from the wind in the start direction, I was able to start in a pretty big gear. The person that was supposed to start :30 in front of me didn't show, so I started 1:00 behind someone. I got after it from the go and within a few miles had started picking off some of the slower riders in front of me. After about 14 minutes we turned right into the wind. This became a challenge. I was more concerned with keeping my cadence high than trying to push a big gear, I just didn't seem to have the legs to do it.
Not that it's a technical course, but I was glad that I was familiar with the course from Eagleman. I remembered the bumpy road that destroys your "nether region" as Dean put it. I was trying to push a larger gear through this section so I wasn't bouncing in my seat. I had hit 20k (halfway) at 29:30, which was considerably slower than I was expecting. I was expecting a tailwind for the last 8 miles, so I was hoping to negative split the ride.
Finally, after what seemed like an impossible amount of time, we turned to head out of the Blackwater Refuge and onto a smooth, wind-aided road. I noticed the 10k to go line on the road and a quick look at the watch and I was concerned I wouldn't break an hour. I put as much as I could into the last 6 miles, especially with a mile to go. I stopped the clock in 58:57, which was an average speed of 25.2mph. Not exactly what I was expecting, this race was a lot harder than I anticipated. Of course, less than a minute after the race I seemingly had completely recovered. I rode back to the high school, very slowly, with a couple of guys I know, and at this point the day had turned pretty warm. The sun was strong.
I managed to pull a 2nd place out of 33 in the Cat 5 race, almost 2 minutes back from 1st but 1 minute ahead of 3rd. I did manage to finish faster than a couple of Cat 4 and Cat 3 folks, but there were some really impressive performances, especially by some old guys. And I mean legitimately old, like in the mid 50s. The guy that won Cat 5 was over 50. Couldn't believe it. So I clearly have some work to do.
I should have brought a water bottle, I really underestimated how thirsty I got. Other than that I didn't think I did anything wrong, but I was disappointed that I was only marginally faster than two weeks ago in the triathlon. On my way out I stopped at Wendy's in Easton, which was tasty, but then it took me forever to get home thanks to traffic on the Bay Bridge - 3 hours to get back. Ridiculous!