Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2011 Icebreaker Time Trial

The first TT Race of the season was cancelled last week due to snow. What did that mean for me? Trade in the bike for skis and head up to play in the deep stuff. It was a blast but it came with a price. I went off a small drop and I landed slightly off balance. To keep myself from crashing I somehow managed to plant my right pole right in front of me. I somehow compressed my chest right into the top of the pole handle and ended up with a bruised sternum. It hurt like hell and it became hard to take deep breaths. The Icebreaker TT was coming up on Saturday and I was worried I wasn't going to be able to race.

I woke up Saturday morning and although I felt a little better, it was still hard to breathe without feeling the pain. I decided to race.

Mark and I arrived at the venue and although it was chilly, it was nice day. My start time was at 10:16:30, which ended up getting pushed out 15 minutes so I had plenty of time to warm up. When the time came to get in line I was not in a good place but I was hoping the adrenaline would kick in and the pain wouldn't feel so bad.

I was finally given the countdown and I was off. I got up to speed and wasn't feeling too bad. It did hurt but I seemed to settle into a good groove and I was starting my 10 mile race against the clock. Up to the 5 mile turn a round things were going great. I was pushing a big gear, my hr was where I wanted it to be and I had no issues with traffic. I arrived at the turn, got out of the saddle and quickly settled back down in the aero position. Things were still going pretty well. My chest was hurting but I don't think it had affected my ride to that point. I hit the seven mile mark and that is when things started to go south. I had ramped up my effort a bit and it was now becoming hard to breath. I was taking really deep breaths and it was starting to really hurt. I tried to take shorter breaths but that didn't work. Now, every time I took a breath I was being forced to exhale before I was ready. It seemed I was pushing more air out then I was taking in. I started seeing stars and I'm pretty sure I was close to passing out. There were few seconds that I didn't know I was riding a bike. I snapped out of it and had to let off the gas. I slowed down by about three mph and just concentrated on my breathing. My chest was pounding and I had the notion of just pulling off to the side and quitting. I only had about 2 1/2 miles to go so I forged on. It seemed to take forever for the 1K marker to show itself. I finally saw it and tried to ramp it up again, this time going really hard. I was in big time pain and that 1K was the longest of my life. I finally saw the finish line and tried to give it that extra push but the pain took over and I just coasted across the line. I looked down and saw that my time was about 45 seconds slower than last year and I was pretty bummed. I was actually happy to find out that I finished exactly like I did last year, 7th in my field and 35th overall. I had to smile . Mark put on a show and finished 2nd.

I felt like shit the rest of the day and tried to take it easy. By evening I was back to the way I felt before the race. The only problem was that I was still planning on racing Mason Lake Sunday afternoon. I was hoping the road race would treat me a little differently. We'll see.

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