Tuesday, September 17, 2013

State Masters Championships - QLD

They say the best training is racing, so I have been getting out and about racing where I can regardless of whether or not I think I can produce a result.  With WEMBO looming and a less than perfect preparation it seemed that entering in the back to back double of the State ITT Championship followed by the State Road Race Championship would be a good idea - for training.

So first up - the ITT.
I am not too bad at ITT's.  Generally speaking for my size I am probably punching above my weight.  Good TTers are usually powerhouses and generally a little bit bigger and stronger.  Still, ride what you brung - and these legs are all I got.

I had done a couple of TTs this season with HPRW club events, so it wasn't my first of the season.  Can't say I had done any TT training though so I knew my shoulders and body would complain from the TT position. It is such a specific thing it is hard to be comfortable and produce good power without practice - but I figured my body could just recall what I used to do in the triathlon glory days and get on with it.

looking fast.  the most important bit!

So I approached it as a training ride, and did it to the best of my ability.  I even managed some comedy on the start line - yelling out inside my 15 seconds count down "HEY TOGHILL - WATCH THIS" before monstering my start as best I could.  I might not be as fast as last year - but I haven't forgotten how TT.  Analysis says I spent 100% of my time at THRESHOLD. Can't ask more of myself than that.

I got to watch Cat Newell and Jess Toghill rip some great times too.  Need to find 40 seconds on Jess when we end up back together next year.  Good news is if I start actually training that shouldn't be too hard - I'm onto you Toghill!

 In the end it was good enough for the Gold medal in my masters cat - well outside my expectation!
As I left the ITT I was debating whether or not I would ride the next day....  
Morning rolled round I had more reasons to ride than not, so off I headed this time to Kalbar.  The day was hot and the course was apparently very lumpy.  Should suit me perhaps - though generally the view was it would be hard for anyone to stay away.

 As I warmed up I felt the dead resistance in my legs from TTing the day before.  My own fault.  I didn't warm down like I should have.  Still, race goal of racing to train was in my mind.  I warmed up, but not too the letter.  And the ache stayed there right up to the point we started.  Then something else took over.  It was that something that made me lead everyone out over the first 1km or so when I should really have been sucking wheels and protecting my perceived lack of preparation. Then I decided to roll to the back and take a look at who was who.  As I did this I noticed Cat Newell and another woman start to drop the next riders up a climb as they set a strong tempo.  Without realizing it, they rode a small gap of 20metres or so.... hmmm. Maybe that might be something.  I decided to have a go.  I wound it up from the back, and by the time people realized what I was doing I was already gone, bridged and rolled to the front asking Cat and Laurelea to hit it.  They did without question and we were away.  5km on a hot, windy and hard course I had started a break. 

What came next was pretty much a blur or red haze as we worked to stay away.   We put a good couple of minutes on the bunch by the end of lap one.  I looked at who I was with and knew if I could stay in the break I had my category won.  It was a big ask.  The hills themselves weren't too bad but I was redlining on the flats just to hold the wheel.  I really wanted to hang in and help Cat get over the other girl if I could so I worked with everything I had.

It was exciting to make a break that got clear, and even better to be in one that looked like it had a chance of staying away.  It takes time to learn where and how to do these things, and when they work it is a sense of achievement!

In the end, Laurelea was  too strong and rode away when she decided she wanted to.  Cat and I never gave up but at the same time we acknowledged she was simply too strong and we didn't have anything to answer with!  Cat wound up with silver in an AWESOME ride - a double silver state champs for her.

So a training weekend turned into a double state champ for me. Couldn't be happier really - and maybe the best performances do come when we take the pressure off ourselves. Definitely an idea that needs more exploring....
Enjoy the journey.



Liz N said...

Rach, fantastic reading your story and congratulations! Unfortunately missed the ITT this year, but am looking forward to giving it a red hot go next year. And way to go in the RR too.!

Jess said...

Awesome work. It's actually 1 min 7 sec you need to find for next year though ;)

rachel edwards said...

Damn, going to have to consider my tonya harding options.