Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fisk Knob TT Race Report

Pictured Above: Bella giving Hannah a massage last night.
Pictured Above: Me this morning. Notice the snow.

Alright all, I had a blast at the Fisk Knob TT. I didn't finish as well as I would have liked but I did alright overall in a tough age division (the top 5 in my division were clearly another caliber from the rest of us... there was a 5' gap between the 5th and 6th place!). Ultimately I think that no matter what I'm doing... marathon, triathlon, road racing (bike and run) etc. etc. I probably am not going to be one of the top performers and, in the end, that's alright with me. I'm just having fun doing it! I keep thinking back to where I was about 8 months ago... I between now and then I've dropped almost 60 lbs., made a huge jump in my fitness, learned a ton about triathlon, cycling, etc. etc.! So basically what I'm saying is that it's worth it!

I woke up this morning around 7:30 a.m. and ate a couple waffles for breakfast. I then gathered together everything I needed for the race. By the time I actually took off it was around 9:30 a.m. It was snowing pretty hard in Holland this morning but the further north (towards Cedar Springs) I got the better the weather was... relatively speaking. Once I got to Cedar Springs the snow had basically stopped but the wind was pretty nasty and the temperature was 31 degrees. If I could go back and do it all again there were two major things that I would have done:

1. I would have left the house much later. The "pre-race Athlete meeting," wasn't held until 12:30 p.m. I arrived over an hour beforehand with nothing to do because milling around outside was not an option as it was uber cold out.

2. I would have brought a trainer with me to warm-up on. I looked at it this morning before I walked out and thought, "Nah, I'll just ride on the road to warm up." The thing about riding on the road when it's that cold out is that the wind numbs up your feet and fingers pretty quickly. By the time I got to the start line (1:36 p.m.) I couldn't feel my fingers. That's always great...

Anyway, by the time the race started I was definitely ready to get on the road and start riding. A couple of the other guys sponsored by Jade/Whisper Cycles were supposed to be there but I never ended up finding them pre-race. I spent some time talking with people about the race and there were definitely a lot of people interested in my bike who had questions. Despite this, I was ready to get the blood flowing. The first couple miles of the race were basically downhill. Because of the wind blowing across my front tire I wasn't able to really put the hammer down... or rather, I didn't feel completely stable/comfortable doing so. In hindsight this probably cost me. At any rate I was able to ride fairly strong through the first 12 miles of the ride. The wind was a factor but not nearly as bad as I thought. Looking back there were two primary issues that slowed me down:

1. the turnarounds. I basically came to a stand still while maneuvering around the turnarounds. Any momentum I had was lost immediately. Not a huge deal as there were only a couple of turnarounds and a couple of right hand turns on the course but I definitely lost some time there.

2. Hills. They weren't that bad on the way out but on my way back they definitely posed a problem. I was having a hard time finding my "sweet spot" in terms of gearing and by the time I hit the "major" hill that you climb to the finish line... I was pretty much out of gas.

Overall I finished the 17.13 miles with a time of 00:53:59.58. That's a 19.4 MPH average (.6 MPH slower than my goal for this race... so close) and that put me 71/120 overall and 9/13 in my age group. Obviously I would have liked to have done better but I met a couple of the guys who I beat prior to the race and they were definitely decent riders so I'm not too ashamed. In the end it comes down to the fact that this was just another "training day" for me. The big picture is all about IMKY!!!!

So, that's that. Now I shift gears and focus on my running. Next weekend I'll be in Dearborn for the Martian Marathon. I'm really looking forward to this race. It'll be strange because this week will be a "semi-taper" week for me meaning that my training schedule will be a little lighter (similar to the last couple of days prior to Fisk Knob with either a minimal workout or no workout). However, after that I'll be right back on track with my planned out training schedule!


  1. That is a COLD TT - sounds painfull!

  2. great job at a brrrrchilly tt! LOVE that photo -- so cute !