I’ve been reading through some of my old training logs and found this entry dated June 8, 2003—almost exactly 10 years ago—for the Missouri State Time Trial Championships in Jefferson City. I was a 2nd year racer and had just moved up to Cat 4, and by this time I had done only a few very short time trials and was still racing my old Kestrel with standard wheels and clip-on aerobars. Despite all this, for some reason I had the feeling that time trialing was something I would enjoy. After reading this entry, considering how excruciatingly painful an experience I describe it being, I’m almost amazed that I ever did another time trial. However, I guess that first tantalizingly close taste of success was enough to light the fire.
ABSOLUTELY THE HARDEST RACE I HAVE EVER DONE!!! The course was along Hwy 94 in the Missouri River bottoms north of Jefferson City – 20 km (12.4 miles) straight out and 20 km straight back. I raced Masters 45-49, got an early start time (#8), did a 45 minute warmup with three progressive intervals, and arrived at the start line about 3 minutes before I was set to go. Awesome tailwind going out, but I pushed as hard as I could anyway to try to make up as much time as possible. I passed #6 just before the split (25:51, 29.4 mph), made a nice, sharp, quick turnaround and started back into a BRUTAL headwind! I held 22-23 mph the first 2-3 miles and passed a tandem (#7). Then the winds became excruciating – I struggled to keep it above 20 mph. I started playing mind games to force myself to keep cadence and not shift down a gear – counting pedal strokes, counting my breathing and matching it to my pedal strokes. I passed #5 with a decked out tri-bike. I switch my computer from avg speed to distance traveled and counted down the 1/10th miles. I hummed Slayer’s Angel of Death. The last 4 miles I thought I was gonna die – my thighs were on fire, I couldn’t get comfortable on the saddle, my mouth was dry but I couldn’t risk interrupting my cadence to drink. I was going about 17. 5 mph. Then, finally, I could see the finish line. I had nothing extra to give – no standup sprint or anything. All I could do was just keep doing what I was doing until at last I crossed the line. My time was right at 64:04 (23.2 mph). At first, I was a little disappointed, but as more and more people came back and I heard them talk, it looked like times were off by about 2 minutes from last year (which was a straight crosswind out and back). Everybody was saying this was the toughest TT they’d ever done. I started feeling pretty good about my time. Then the officials came back, and I learned that I got 2nd place. I got a silver medal that says “State Championships” on it. The winning time was 62:35. I would’ve also gotten 2nd place had I done the Men’s 4/5.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2003, 2013.