Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Planning to Fail

After exceeding my goals in 5 of my first 6 events that make up the combined 17 events of the German Cycling Cup and Zeitfahrcup (Time Trial Cup), I figured I had the fitness to carry me through a 25K TT and put little to no effort into it.  I picked up a new rig (My Black Mini-Skirt), changed my riding position (lower and more aero) just a few days before with boldness and confidence.  I was in my best shape and able to cut a few corners.  My legs could and would sustain my ego.  From time to time I mumbled to myself, “I got this . . .”

Well, not exactly . . .
I believe it was Benjamin Franklin that said:
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
I failed to plan and true to the words of a great American, I failed.  There’s nothing like a swift kick in the jimmy to remind you that if you want to call yourself a bike racer, then you need to train and prepare for battle.  I did neither effectively this time around . . .
Thanks to a very favorable drug deal with my Coach (Dragon Quest Coaching), my equipment was the best it has ever been.  Coach Quest also spent a few good hours fitting me into the new rig.  For the very first time the TURTLE Shell would propel a true light, lean, and lethal TT rig and in a very aero position.  If this did not provide a distinct advantage, nothing would . . . I once again told myself, “I got this . . .”
Yosch not only joined us
but took 3rd in her age group!
So the day before the TT, we assembled and rolled North with our dedicated Evolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster - European Division squad.  We were sitting near the bottom of the Team classification but here was a chance to improve our fighting position.  While we were short one rider due to an injury, we (Jenn Call and Trent Minter) once again picked up our guest rider from US Military Endurance Sports (Dan LT DAN Schumacher) as well as convinced our most recent add to the crew, Yosch Rossmann, to hit the start line in EVO colors.
During the course pre-ride my confidence began to rise.  I studied the terrain, the turns, and wind.  I knew where I would grab gears and where I had to keep my line steady to stay on smooth payment.  Survival was a given . . . for a fleeting moment I thought I could crush my time from last year and help move my team up the rankings.  Jenn and Trent were both good in the TT.  Both would crush me often during interclub competition.  They both knew how to suffer on the bike.  It was up to me to make it happen so I once again said to myself, “I got this . . .”

A mid-day race start allowed for a good breakfast and a nap.  I wish I could live like this every day.  This is the bikeROCKstar life . . .
I love this crew!
We hit the course early and set up our trainers to prepare the legs and lungs to deliver.  I was the first cat out the start house for the long distance and right behind me was Saskia Mey of Team Steile Wand.  Recall Steile Wand (literally, "steep wall") is a group of ├╝ber fast ponies and I would have to dig deep to not once again get crushed under the weight of the Wall (Wand) . . .
My start was clean and perhaps the best I have had in some time.  I was off.  I settled into position and began applying power to the pedals.  I hit the first turn and was moving.  I did indeed have this . . . it was on and I was truly going to crush this TT!!!
Turn two was a beast and into the wind.  I could see the last two starters from the shorter distance were within striking range and I began to dig a little deeper.  I passed them both and no one had passed me yet.  I was bringing my A++ game.  I say again, I was truly going to crush this TT!!!
On turn 3 my body started to respond to the tight aero position.  My hips started screaming and I had to fight to stay in position.  My lack of flexibility was taking a heavy toll on my performance.  Power fell into the basement as I grabbed gears to push through the slight headwind.  To add to my misery the first rider to pass me had started 2 minutes back.  He was cooking and spit ash in my face as he passed.  He was not the last one to pass me either.  They soon came in droves and each kicked sand in the TURTLE face.  I made cried to the engine room for more power and was ignored.  My quest for TT greatness was being crushed pedal stroke after pedal stroke . . .
Once agin looking deliberately casual is something I seem to excel in . . .
On the final lap of the circuit I was overtaken by a 74 year-old cat on his first lap.  I dug as deep as I could but this guy walked away from me.  He was in perfect form and moving effortlessly into the same head wind that was smacking me in the face.  He had parked next to us and before the TT joked with the 62-year old, and current Masters 3 points leader in the series, how today was the day that he would be beat.  And I have to add that he did just that by completing the 25K course in 38 min and change.  His “younger” 62 year old competitor finished in 39 and change.  AWESOME!!!
I on the other hand limped back to the start and refusing to post my time as I hope to move on past the poor performance.   At the finish, I hung my cranium pretty low as I know I can and should do better.  I had become a little over confident and a bit complacent with my training.  I took some input from one of my EVO Euro Teammates (DIESEL-- Matt Arant) and a long ride the very next day to remind myself why I ride, train, and race.  On the rolling terrain around my town I regain my perspective, drive and dedication.
To end with a quote from the German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer, Friedrich Nietzsche:
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
My poor performance “could” have been avoided or mitigated with proper planning and focused training.  I accept my fate and appreciate the “jimmy reality kick” . . . Forward I focus as I have two weeks to shake the P Funk and make it happen at the next race in the GCC series.  

You should see my focus and dedication at the moment.  It is off the chain!!!

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