Monday, April 21, 2014


Well, I did it!! My first time trial at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and I loved it. I also finished
3rd overall female/23.8 mph average . Happy with that since it was windy.

The first time trial of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway rolled around during my third week back in full on swim/bike/run training. My body was having some issues getting adjusted back to doing all three disciplines and in week two, riding the Brushy's with Franci and Karen, wiped me out. That ride was on the heels of 9 tough training sessions and those climbs left me on my bum when I got home that afternoon.  In previous years, I have always ridden with size 28 cassette, but now am riding a 25, so I noticed the difference on these climbs, but it still felt okay.  The Brushy climbs are tough, but good. The first climb reminded me a lot of cycling the hills from Sivota to Perdika in Greece. Steady going up all the way, but nothing too intense. The second climb was a bit of a doozy! Not really much to compare it to as it's short but steep. Great stuff. Loved it and the company and can't wait to go back for more.

Me, Franci and Karen
Made it to the top
As far as my training, the hardest part of getting back into it all, is that lovely little Abigail has hit the 18 month sleep regression. Oh yea, she's bang on with hitting those sleep regressions....every single time. Still not sure how I managed to make it around two Ironman 140.6 races last year on such little sleep! Fingers crossed that this year things get better in the sleep department.  At the moment, we have our good nights and bad nights, but it's much better than last year! The night before the TT was no exception for mommy. Abby was up from 2am until 5am ready to play. Fun stuff!!

So, back to the TT. Forget nervous anticipation about the race. I had nervous anticipation just trying to get to the race. We hit Charlotte 5:00 traffic and anyone who knows Charlotte traffic, knows how bad that can be. It took us almost an hour and a half to drive 35 miles. Yikes! Ok, so we get to Charlotte Motor Speedway approximately 30 minutes before my race was to start. I had to get checked in and ready to go. My plan leading up to the race was to do a steady warm up on the trainer to get my legs fired up to go. When I get there, everyone else was pounding away on their trainer's and getting ready to race. What was I doing? I was being a mommy. Full on! Chasing Abby, changing Abby, making sure Abby had her snacks, juice, jacket, diapers, etc etc. Oh sure, Rich was there to help, but I was in fully mommy mode until about 10 minutes from my start. Forget a warm up, which is a huge mistake in time trialing. I already knew that, but sometimes we mommies don't always get to do it exactly how we need to do it. We just suck it up in racing and get it done. So, 10 minutes before the start of my race, I hopped on the bike already sweaty and exhausted from mommy work. I rode to the track and managed to warm up my legs for only a few minutes before lining up to start.

I wasn't really nervous, I was pumped. I know how I've been feeling in my bike training and am gaining confidence and steadily increasing my power, so even though it was my first TT, I knew that I would OK. Unfortunately, I do not have a power meter on my bike. We only have a power meter on the trainer.  I don't have anything special on my bike, not even a Garmin 910. I just had my legs and my lungs. Rich told me to just try and dial in a certain speed and hold on to that. Not so easy.

The countdown began, 5,4,3,2,1....GO! I was off.
Go time
All the words that my coach had just spoken to me apparently went in one ear and out the other. I took off like a gazelle being chased by a pack of lions who hadn't eaten for days. OOOPS!!!!

I'm the Gazelle and the lion is TFM
I kept telling myself, ease up, but I couldn't, I didn't want too. I felt good! I felt my muscles firing and it gave an amazing thrill. The first two laps were awesome, even with the wind. The third lap, I really pushed down on the pedals and I felt like I was flying. I had forgotten to even look at my speed. I was just having fun and going hard. The 4th lap came and I could feel my muscles start to twinge a little. The lactic acid was building. The 5th lap hurt. The 6th lap hurt, but the last lap...I pretty much blew.  When I crossed the finish, I was so SO glad! It was my first time trial and it was windy, but I was happy to take 3rd Overall AG Female. My average was 23.8 mph for the 10.04 miles.

After looking at results, I can certainly see that holding back their first couple of laps is really the way to go. This is something that I must learn to do and I will (hopefully). Starting too hard is the reason I died on the last lap. I didn't build into my race like I was supposed to do and it showed in my splits. I will be more prepared next time and make sure we arrive in plenty of time for me to get a proper warm up. Anytime you try something new, it's about learning and so hopefully next time, I will have a better race.

Now that I am back into my tri training, when I go into these TT's, it's on a 9 session block of training and I'm not really rested at all. All I can do is always try my hardest and give it my best. I am already getting pumped for the next TT which is 3 weeks away. The Charlotte Motor Speedway is an amazing venue and it's really awesome that they have this event there. If you get the chance and are local, I highly recommend it!
This race was done w/ Matthew Bailey on my mind!
Lastly, you may see 'TFM' on my twitter posts and throughout my blog posts this year when it comes to racing and training (see above). I have had a couple of people ask me what this means. 'TFM' is what I say to myself when the going gets tough in training or a race. Yes, of course, it does stand for something. It came from a pro cyclist whom I once admired, then despised, and have now forgiven. When he uttered three words,  it caught my attention. It REALLY caught my attention. I saw, in the face of a broken warrior, his determination and will to defeat 'TFM'. It stuck with me and from that point forward, when I think of those three words, I find myself able to push harder!  It gives me grit! Only Rich knows what this means and the significance of the three words. He knows how it drives me. It may not make sense to any of you, but it makes sense to me. It's my secret. I can't share with anyone what it actually means, because the significance of it to me, may lose some of it's value and then it will lose some of it's magic. Yes, I guess it may seem silly, but it's my mojo right now and it's working. It keeps me going when the going gets tough.

Gotta roll...the tot is calling. Happy racing & training all!


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