To be honest I didn't even have this race penciled in on my calendar. I did Frostbite because it was the first race on the calendar and I was itching test my race legs. Mason Lake RR #1 was scheduled for the day after Icebreaker so I had just planned on doing that and calling it good. After winning the Frostbite TT I felt I had to at least show up for Icebreaker and find out if win was just a fluke. Would I "Crash and Burn" Maverick style or would I follow it up with another good performance??????
I arrived a little later than planned and had to hustle to get ready so I could get in a good warm up on the trainer. I only mention this because last year Mark and I arrived with only a 1/2 hour to get dress and pretend to warm up.....NOT good!
The weather was exceptional for early March in Seattle. It was kind of warm, dry and just a little bit of wind. The Icebreaker course is a 10 mile out and back on a flat, curvy farm road. Unlike last week I DID check the official start clock and arrived for staging with a few minutes to spare. My teammate Alex was starting 30 seconds behind me so I was really hoping to be a good rabbit for him. Time to find out if I could back up last weeks performance.
My nerves were rocking my system but as soon as I was let go that faded. I was flying!!! Oh wait, that's right. When I say the course is flat I meant that it is slightly downhill all the way out and, well, slightly uphill on the way back. Add to that a slight tailwind and yeah, I was flying.....and so was everyone else. Blah, blah, blah, blah.....blah, blah....BLAH... 200 meters until turn-a-round.
I never know if my u-turn skills are worth a shit but I made it through without crashing or causing any other form of major embarrassment. As I made the turn I could see Alex coming towards me. I didn't check my time but it seemed like it was pretty close to the same 30 second gap we started with. If that was the case then I was happy....for now!
After about two miles the warm, fuzzy feeling disappeared. I'm not sure if I'd gone out too hard on the first segment or if it was the slight uphill and headwind that was starting to give me that "Why the hell do I subject myself to this kind of suffering when I could be playing golf?" I forced myself to NOT look at my Garmin and just tried to stay focused.....Hold on.....Sorry, I just puked a little in my mouth. Mmmmmmm, banana flavored! Over the next couple of miles I seemed to be constantly shifting between two gears. I noticed my actual speed didn't change much so I didn't dwell on it. It just felt like I was falling apart and I still had three miles to go. "Please have the officials move the 1K to go sign up for me, I'm ready to be done!" They didn't honor my request. That was mean of them to make me continue to suffer like that. "Stay focused dumb ass!" When I finally saw the 1K sign I was reminded of last week's pretend effort so I didn't try to "Unleash the Kraken" and just tried keep the current effort going....... without crying. At about 350 meters to go I let it go and went hard enough to see stars. I crossed the line just in time to save my heart from exploding out of my chest. Fun times!
I have a new Garmin 510 that I'm still getting use to and when I stopped the timer it asked me if I wanted to "Save" or "Discard"? SAVE dammit!! Once I chose "Save" my ride disappeared from the screen. I never looked up at the finish clock so I had no idea what my time was. I cooled down and tried to figure out how to get it back on the screen. I finally figured it out and when it came up it flashed 22:59. I changed and walked over to check results. Ours had not been posted yet but based on those that were I didn't think I'd be close to standing on the podium. I wasn't really bummed because my time seemed more normal based on my past performances on this course. I found Alex and he said he thought he finished near his winning time from last year which was just over 22 minutes. I told him that he kicked my ass and he gave me a look and said that there is a point near the end of the course that you can see just 30 seconds ahead and I wasn't in his view so he didn't feel he made up time on me. Hmmmm, that didn't make sense.
I finally heard that they were posting our results and slowly walked over the check the damage. Before I got there I was met by a friend from another team who quickly congratulated me. What? I won? I walked over and saw that I won with a time of 21.53. WTH?? It was good enough for the 11th fastest time on the day and I was one of only 12 others to crack the 22 minute mark. (Colby and Ian (HB) ripped that apart by finishing below 21 minutes) I was happy to see that Alex finished in front of Chad(Fanatic) for 2nd place!
I started getting shit from friends for telling them that my time wasn't that good. I pulled out my Garmin to back up my claim and soon realized that I had not set the "auto pause" feature on this new device so my timer was running for over a minute before I actually started....DOH!! Don't I feel like the f'ing asshole!
I was also happy to find out that my buddy Tony(Starbucks) took the top step in the Men's 3 race.
Big thanks to Erik Olsen and the rest of the Cucina crew for another great race.