Chexmix, Jerky, Jock Jams 1000, gas stations, road side attractions; who doesn’t get thrilled thinking about road tripping across the US?
The prospect certainly thrilled me! A broken radio, Kansas flatlands, and the thought of a race the upcoming day couldn’t diminish my expectations for the high octane drive from Colorado Springs to St Louis, MO. After all, the fly vs drive score on travelmath.com pretty convincingly suggested that I drive.
This race was the week after my 6th place finish at Edmonton WC, so I’d neglected any kind of planning. I have a general policy to not think about any race but the one coming up, but I probably should have spared some thought for St Louis 5150.
Inviting someone else to drive along might have been a good idea. Planning for massive amounts of construction might also have been beneficial. But really, why think ahead when it’s so much simpler to just grab a Diet Dew and your TT bike and start a 12 hr drive across the country?
Thanks to my awesome new Smart Phone, I was able to bypass the broken radio and listen to “The Science of Getting Rich” by W D Wattles. Apparently, all you need to do to get rich, is think really, really hard. Then, all the thinking, living original matter that makes up the universe will organize itself into whatever it is you desire. Sounds like I have a solution to the National Debt.
A tough week of training post Edmonton WC meant I was coming into this race hot. That suggested I’d either have a great day, or something of a shocker (I don’t do a ton of average workouts – they’re either awesome, or I end up on the side of the road cursing my coach).
All doubts were cast aside, however, when This Song started playing as we lined up for the swim. Clearly it was mandated that part of my pre-race routine be the ‘horse trot’ dance. Fortunately, I have yet to see pictures of this.
I had one of my better swims, mainly due to the warm water temperature. I sprinted up the hill directly out of the water and then exited T1 with about a 15 second lead.
I promptly commenced my general pacing strategy of blasting my legs until people caught up. Unfortunately, that didn’t work quite as well as last time because I led for about 32k and my legs were pretty cooked after the rolling hills. I was lucky to be able to settle comfortably into a group of four guys through the last technical section. I was even luckier that David Thompson was in this pack because he’s fairly incredible at technical riding and I could mimic the lines he took through the corners.
Aside from one incident where I almost crashed while trying to drink from my awesome homemade water bottle, the ride was uneventful:
I’d briefly jogged the run course before the race and then driven parts of it, but that gave me no inkling as to the rough road ahead. It would smash me.
There were about three flat sections and a bunch of steep downhills, which started roasting my legs right out of transition. As soon we’d racked our bikes and started running, we immediately began screaming down a hill (figuratively speaking. Maybe literally). That set the tone for the rest of the race and I just tried to pick a pace I could hold for 10 brutal kilometers.
I finished strong and was stoked to see a crowd had hung around to see the race winners.
Yeah! One of the toughest courses I’ve ever done.
It was also great to see a bunch of guys I haven’t spoken to in a long time. Chris Foster solidified my grillington nickname, and I enjoyed catching up with him. Jen Spieldenner, Jill Peterson, Lauren Goss, Sarah Haskins and Nate Kortuen were there and I was really happy to be able to see them again. Spieldenner had an awesome race and won her first non-draft event.
I have Edmonton World Cup on the 14th and I’m excited to see how I race against some great European guys.
Hamburg WTS is the weekend after. With WTS races, it’s generally pointless to look at the startlist because every single person is awesome. You can:
A. Have a great race and challenge the best in the world, or
B. Be 1% or more off your game and get trounced.
I’m looking forward to racing!
And now, for your inspirational picture of the week: