Sunday, April 22, 2007

West Texas By the Numbers: Hammerfest Race Report

Here's how my week has been.

Monday: Feel sluggish and out of sorts. Allergies. Do 2x Mesa with Frank and Stanton.

Tuesday: Feel sluggish and out of sorts. Night sweats. Rainy day. No Tuesday night TT for me.

Wednesday: Night sweats. Raw sore throat all day. Do a spirited ride with Frank and Daniel. Feel like crap at the end of the ride. Stop on the way home to by sugar free popsicles for my throat. Don't really work.

Thursday: Night sweats. Feel crappy. It's a rest day. I rest.

Friday: Night sweats. Bad frog in my throat. Really, really sore throat, sneezing, and teary eyed I leave for Ft Davis at 7 am. At 0930 I receive a call from Frank saying that he and Gerry won't make it. Friday I pick up my packet, do a warm-up, feel crappy. I meet up wtih David James who pledges fidelity to Velocity for a place to crash. He even claims Velocity on his license. We eat in Alpine. I wonder several times if I should go to a hospital because my throat hurts so bad. I've been eating Chloraseptic strips like candy. When we get back to the hotel, I Google the symptoms of strep throat and determine that I don't have them. I start having a dry, unproductive cough.

Saturday: No night sweats. I wake up and my throat feels "better". I eat a real breakfast because my start isn't until 1113 for the TT. I drive down to the TT start and take pics of David warming up and his TT start. I go back to the hotel, do a decent enough warm up. Feel like a zombie and go through the motions of getting ready for the TT. I'm not particularly jazzed about the new Zipp wheels I'm riding. By now the wind is a stiff 25 to 35 MPH gust out of the SW. Head wind all the way out and quartering tailwind coming back.

Oh, by the way,I'm number 801, and I'm first in my Category. I start off feeling halfway decent and start pushing a big gear. I make the turn and keep on. About half way up the road to the turn around I start to falter, and burp up some breakfast. I made a point to drink several times because that was an issue last year.

No matter.

Shortly thereafter 805 and 806 pass me. I cannot respond. I can't get my heart rate up. I start having negative self talk and try to shake it off. The wind is oppressive. I finally hobble to the turn around and glance back and there's another rider gaining on me. He passes me in short order. I'm spinning back to the finish avg 30 mph while grinding out 9 miles previously at 17 mph avg. I feel terrible.Then 2 more riders pass me up. This is a low point. I end up getting 14th in the TT with a time of 46 and some change. No good.I go back to the hotel, shower, change, put on my numbers for the next race. I get some food and wolf it down, and attempt to take a nap.

I begin to feel worse.

I intend on doing the hill climb and then cashing in my chips. As the afternoon wears on this seems less and less like a good idea. I call Stanton who counsels me to bag it which I do gladly.

I go down to the start of the hill climb and take some pics of David starting. I then drive to the Observatory and hike up Mt Locke. I get to see the Cat 3 finish and every other finish. It was very interesting watching the finish from the stand point of spectator. Everybody struggles up that hill, and they look terrible doing it. I cheered folks, and then snapped pics and got some film of David James' finish.

As I watched my race finish, I was shocked at who won, and a bit disappointed because I could have done pretty well if I wasn't sick. David and I went to the Spaghetti dinner, and we both won prizes in the raffle.

The folks are great hear and the scenery is spectacular.Sunday: I will sleep in. I may do a light spin. David is borrowing another jersey and my race wheels. He's facing 74 miles of some of the toughest roads in Texas with some really fast company. He's going to need the support.This event is so well put together and a lot of fun, and I recommend it to anyone.

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