Saturday, January 18, 2014

South Florida/Coconut Cup series # 4 and ITT, Amelia Earhart Park - Hialeah, Florida

Individual Time Trial- Saturday

What an incredible way to do a Time Trail. The start and finish was right on the top of the climb giving the feeling of competing in a Red Bull event!

Bob McCarty rocking the start
The course was set up very nicely, all single-track and all fast, with a good amount of big power climbs which, well required power. I didn't have much of that today after my hard training week unfortunately.

Me getting some air right after the start

I knew I was not going to shake up the little under 3.5 mile course today but am still happy with the time I was able to pull, 14:14 mins and a first time ever 14 mph average speed. This gave me 4th today and now if you can imagine me doing the same trail actually rested... :-)

Hammer time
Getting up the speed

Not victorious but happy. Also satisfied that I didn't end up like a quite a few riders which crashed badly today in the chase for this perfect lap time.

On the sweet berm

It was a beautiful day in the park, with a cool breeze and an amazing blue sky. Crazy amount of people also filled up the park making it even more special. I'm glad I took part of such a nice event...

On the hill into the finish

Now on to the Cross Country Race on Sunday....

Home Base for the race at the Bike Tech tent...

Sunday morning was cold, in the 40s when we were leaving the house. That’s some serious temperatures for South Florida. But the sky was so beautifully blue that it was tough to decide if I should love the day or hate it. But after dressing in multiple layers it was not that bad, well until we started biking to warm up and then the cold air would just pierce through all your clothing.

Thankfully by the time it was time to race I was able to peel off all my layers and was quite comfortable.  The ladies start got a little delayed because of wardrobe malfunction of one female rider and the single speed guys were sent off first. I think it was a good thing really since they are all fast and would not be riding over us to get ahead this time.

Aggressively attacking the hill

I was definitely not race ready today; it was just not my day, not even my weekend really. It happened, what can I say?

If it was for me I would not have allowed myself to go that tired before the race. But how could my husband know how I really feel? The whole week we trained and trained and I guess trained a little too hard because I had nothing this weekend.

This weekend I pushed the limits and my body didn’t want to go anymore. All I wanted was to just curl up into a ball and fall asleep anytime, anywhere…

 But here I am on the start line for the second attempt and seconds later we went off.

Around the bend

There was a nice train of fast and some fresh or fresher for sure than me ladies getting up to speed. Some that don’t race particularly the whole series but really enjoy racing in this park. Me, well you know my story for today.

So I tucked in behind the ladies and was wandering for how long I was going to be able to hang on. It wasn’t that bad at first and I felt I was keeping up pretty well until we got to the climbs. The difference of a rested body and a tired body attempting to climb the hill was huge and this is where I started drifting away. It took a long time to get this “I’m alone” feeling but when it happened I started to pity talk myself on how I allowed once again to lead myself into such a self-destruction. I was upset with myself and I was angry with my husband for not listening. But it was not a bad and strong anger, but rather a sad disappointment, since I really would have loved to be able to show everyone what I got,  and not what I don’t have when I’m exhausted...

I knew something was funky here

When I was on the trails today, alone, I was doing a lot of self-talk and even some blog talk. Yes, I do write blogs in my head when I race, I find it relaxing when needed, and it takes my mind of the pain that I am enduring. One of the things that I said, “I need a Coach to Coach my Coach how to Coach Me!”

Other option, get a Coach. And another probably the most worth investigating, listen to myself and to what my body is telling me and don’t allow anyone or anything to overwrite it!

Seriously, that would really help. It is important to respect your body and your sanity and often I’m not allowing it to happen.

Around the berm

So all these frustrations lead me to completely not drinking on the first lap, I hardly remembered right before the shoot to actually grab my gel and eat. For the whole race I didn’t look at my GPS even once, usually I like to check all the data while I race even in the most exhausting part of it, but not today. I didn’t know my lap times, heart rate, and cadence, nothing really mattered.

When on lap two I started telling myself how much I love biking, how much I like biking fast and adore floating through the trails. I tried to grab the faint feelings of this joy where I could, but it was tough. Mostly I just wanted to get to the end. I didn’t feel as a strong rider that I know I currently am, all the hills, flats, turns were so much more challenging for me today. It completely reminded me of the feeling I had two years back that was completely normal when I was racing in the base class. Back then everything was extremely difficult and I had no clue how to pull speeds that I am capable of racing nowadays. So I was not upset at all with how I placed really, because I knew it was not going to be a great finish for me but with how the riding felt. I just wished for this adrenaline and speed feeling that assures me that I’m pushing the boundaries and having a great time at the same time.

I can catch them

But really with my average speed of 12.8 mph (which I checked after the race) and a one minute gap that I had to the third rider for most of the race, it was really not that terribly bad. My heart rate stayed super low, which told me I didn’t put all the effort, but there was not much to give really so it wouldn’t make a difference today.

I was so grateful for all the support however, Mickey Pike happened to be once again super “Photo Ninja” and was in all the nice spots not only photographing her husband Tom but also rest of the riders and also cheering on each time she saw me.


There were a lot of people that were encouraging and understanding and seemed they knew I was having a tough time out there.

I still think I can

And then on to lap three I got flat, not complete flat but a little puncture which happened to keep seeping air out of my back tire. It all started with weird buzzing noise on the turns and then the rim banging on all the roots and rocks that I was riding over. I really didn’t want to destroy my bike, so I took it easy. Thankfully I was only a few miles away from the finish and there was still some air left. I was standing up and keeping the weight forward as much as I could in order to don’t make things worse. On the last berm my bike totally rolled the almost empty tire and was about to spill me on the ground. I was already at super slow speeds and just cruised to the finish line.

All in all it was good learning experience, for me, for my coach, maybe for whoever else might take some advice from my race today.

I was hardly visible this weekend during this race and like most of you noticed I just kept to myself. I was just tired and wanted to disappear.

Wow these climbs are tiring me

Often I have to work 15 hour long work days so I can make it to the race site on the weekend.  Sometimes I’m very exhausted, sleep deprived and have little window to squeeze all my bike and triathlon training in and also the racing. In between that somewhere I still have to have some time left to be a regular human being and show my home and forest creatures and my beloved flowers some love and prepare healthy meals. All of it takes a lot of time and days are never long enough.

When everyone was still racing and relaxing and getting home after the race, I rushed home, took a nice warm bath that felt so incredible and unfortunately just minutes later I headed straight to work. Yes, no nap, no recovery, no time to reflect for me today sadly. It was by choice however so the extended work hours do not destroy my next weekend. Life is tough, but so pretty at the same time…

Being a Mountain Biker, and Triathlete and having full time job is not easy in any way. But at least I can show you that even though it’s not easy it is possible. It takes a lot of work, energy, sacrifice, self-doubt, but also when you don’t give up on yourself it brings a lot of joy and amazing results.

I guess I should be looking forward
There is a dip, glad I looked forward

By my own choice or not, I’m still glad I showed up today on the start line and did my best.
I enjoyed this beautiful day and was happy to play a small part in it and support our amazing bike community…

Until next time!

Monster Thank You to my Husband Pax for the incredible pictures today!!!

Of course my life is easier, my bike is faster my body is stronger and my dreams are possible because of all my amazing Sponsors:

Bike Tech Miami, Syntace, Magura, Stan’s Notubes, Schwalbe, ESI Grips, Clif, Xpedo, Trainer Road, Garden of Life, Pro Gold Lubricants, Kuat Racks, Light & Motion, KT tape and New for 2014 - Louis Garneau, Selle Italia, Huub and Rotor Bike Components!

No comments:

Post a Comment