Sunday, February 28, 2016

Makaha TT

On Thursday I saw a post on Facebook from one of my local tri-geek friends that mentioned something about the TT out at Makaha this weekend. I'd totally forgotten about that race but made a mental note... maybe? The thing was, my TT bike was still in limbo b/c at that point Mike was still trying to source the creaking sound... and then there was that nagging thought about how I'm not anywhere near close to race shape!

The first excuse would have been a legit reason to skip a TT. But the second reason? Not in my book. I mean, if I was afraid to race because I didn't want to get my ass kicked by my friends, well that's nonsense. I think as I get older and more mature/confident about who I am as a person, I find that I don't associate race results with self-worth nearly as much as I did when I was younger. When my athletes were here kicking my ass on the bike a few weeks ago I found that incredibly motivating... like Must.Fix.It. So I figured another dose of reality would be good for me. So my thought was essentially, go do the TT, get yourself some current threshold power data, see how far off you are from the fast girls, and use that knowledge as motivation and direction going forward. My expectations were quite low which honestly I think is the best way for me to go into a race situation?

Anyway, I put my Enve wheels back on my bike (and thanks to YouTube figured out how to change the brake pads too!), sent the race director an email asking if I could enter race morning (thumbs up from him), and packed my car up for an early morning departure. Long story short, I miscalculated how long it actually takes to get to Makaha (a long freaking time!) and by the time I got there they said it was too late to enter. Damn! But then they took pity on me and called my name in to the timing guy and gave me a number and a timing device (yay small local races and friendly accommodating volunteers!). I was the last rider off, but there weren't many people in the race (~60) so I didn't have time to warm up the way I would have wanted. But whatever.

To be honest, I don't even remember much about the race. It was short and mostly flat straightforward out/back route, only ~25min, and the whole time I just kept glancing at my 30" power and avg lap power, trying to get those numbers to be higher than 225, bc that's what I remembered doing last time I did this race 2 years ago (I looked it up this afternoon to check and turns out it was 227 back then). I missed that goal, finishing with 221w avg, which was maybe slightly disappointing but not as bad as it could have been. I didn't have time showing on my garmin, but I did see HR and it hovered around 172-173 for the bulk of the TT. So. Concrete data. I don't think I could have gone any harder this morning so the data is accurate enough for my purposes. I didn't think much about placing but I figured there were (at least) 5 gals in the race who would likely out-ride me so that wasn't a big concern of mine. Given that mindset, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out I won my AG and was 2nd OA?! To be fair, the gal who should have won OA blew a tire within a mile of the finish line (gah!), so really I should have been 2nd AG and 3rd OA, but still, I was shocked and satisfied with that result for sure. Only 42" separated 1st from 5th so we were all right there close! But to know that even with my current fitness I'm still in the mix with them is highly motivating.

I'm glad I put away any fear of getting my ass kicked and just went for it. Of course what makes the experience even better is that at these little local races you get to see a bunch of friends and hang out afterward and I like that. I like being part of my local race community. High five, Lectie!

Afterward Scott and Moana and Maia met me out there. It's rare we go to the West side. Beaches out there are simply outstanding, though some of the neighborhoods, how should I put this? They lack charm. While I was waiting for my family I went in search of food... found a little market with lead bars on the doors/windows and some shady looking people hanging around outside and wondered if I was in a scene from Breaking Bad? Walked into the little store, found the only options were soda and candy bars and chips, and walked right back out. Across the street there was a 7/11 and in there at least I could find something more like actual food. It's sad though when areas don't really have options for real food? I suppose that's a blog post all of its own.

Anyway, you can't really beat the beach out there. It was worth the drive!

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