Due to thunderstorms and lot’s and lot’s of rain, race organizers canceled the Kansas City Triathlon just moments before we were going to start entering the water. Oh well what can you do? I guess I just have to wait two weeks until Keuka to make my season debut.
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This weekend will mark my first triathlon of the season. I’m super excited to see what the weekend brings and I’m anxious to see what the hard training this winter has done for me. I’ve missed racing the sport I love and I’m ready to put all the hours of hard work to the test. The Kansas City Triathlon isn’t a huge race, but a good one to start with.
Is there anything more annoying or frustrating than getting a flat tire while riding your bike? Well how about when you are alone, in the middle of nowhere and your co2 doesn’t work?
I was so excited to have time to ride a three hour ride on Wednesday. There was a new trail just built and with very little wind and nice blue sky’s I was ready for a nice long effort. I should have known that some higher power didn’t want me to ride that day when I took my bike off the rack and the chain was feeling a little “sticky.” I really had to push to make it move and it made some strange noises when I pushed down on the pedals.
I was doing well until about the 15 mile mark when the clouds started moving in. I didn’t think much about it, but that should have been my second clue to head back. A few minutes later I went through a small town and on the other side there was nothing in the distance but trail. I went another few miles when all of a sudden something didn’t feel right. My rear tire was going down.
I stopped and noticed that it must not be a big hole as there was still a little air in the tube. I pulled the tire out and got to work on fixing it. All was going well until I tried the co2 and it didn’t work. It looked a little sketchy and old, which should have been my third clue that this just wasn’t the day to ride.
I quickly realized that I had a few options: 1. call someone to pick me up. This would have been ok if I knew what podunk town was three miles behind me. 2. wait for someone to come along and maybe they would have a spare. Not on this day. There was very few people on the trail today. 3. Start walking towards the town. I chose number three. After about two miles of walking I finally saw a cyclist coming towards me. I flagged him down and asked him if he had an extra co2. He said yes and I could have it. I noticed he was a little annoyed for having to stop. I asked him if he knew how to use the co2 and he said yes, he had done it before. I asked him if he would be willing to inflate the tire for me as I knew that luck was against me today and I didn’t want to waste his co2. Again, he was annoyed which should have been my fourth clue.
I watched he un-open the presta valve on the tire and I realized that he was not going to inflate the tire because he didn’t even know that you have to keep the tire valve open when you try inflating it. I just let him waste his cartridge as I was very annoyed with him and the situation by this point. When it didn’t work he told me that it must be a problem with the tire. I said “do you have another co2? I’ll pay you for it.” He said yes, “but the tire is messed up and it won’t work.” I angrily said thanks and walked away.
When I finally got to the little town I was able to call a friend and 40 minutes later she picked me up in her truck. The rain held off and I was able to have a great swim an hour later, so I wasn’t too upset at the moment. When I found out later that my chain was installed incorrectly I realized that the higher power was trying to tell me before I even started the ride that I shouldn’t go. If I had gone three hours I would have ruined my bike.
The lesson of the day is don’t assume that just because things are going against you all is bad. There may be a positive to the situation, but you may have to go through some hardship to find it.
One of the many perks of being a PowerBar sponsored athlete is the opportunity to try new products before they are available in stores or online. Last week I received a few cases of free PowerBar Performance Energy Blends and they are fantastic. I especially like the Apple Mango Strawberry flavor.
These blends are made with real fruit and contain PowerBar C2Max which is a 2:1 glucose to fructose bland that delivers 20-50% more energy to muscles than glucose alone. The pouches are easy to carry and consume during training and/or competition. They can be used 30 to 60 minutes before a training session or race.
Each 90-gram pouch of PowerBar Performance Energy Blends features:
- 80 calories, 21 grams of carbohydrates
- Available in two flavors: Blueberry Banana and Apple Mango Strawberry
- Gluten free Ingredients
- No artifical flavors or colors
I used three of these pouches during my bike race weekend in Iowa City on Saturday and Sunday, and the affects of the energy that the PowerBar Performance Energy Blends provide were seen in the numbers. My watts have never been higher or more consistent throughout a road race, TT or crit. Thank you PowerBar for creating another great product!
You can find PowerBar Performance Energy Blends at http://us.powerbar.com/where-to-buy
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While I didn’t achieve every goal that I had for the weekend, I did reach most of them:
1. I didn’t crash
2. I finished in the top 5 in the road race
3. I finished in the top 4 overall at the end of the weekend
4. I won the TT
My power numbers looked pretty good in each race, but I did find that I lacked some strength on the hills, especially during the crit. I’m excited about where my cycling is right now, but I do have a few things I need to work on prior to my Half-ironman in July most notably hills and long rides. Both will happen when I move back east and have more hills and more time to work with. For right now I’m going to do what I can with the time that I have. Preparing to move is such a stressful thing, and while I’m excited to move I’m even more excited to have the move done with.
The weather is nice and I’m feeling good so it’s time to start racing. First up is this weekends Iowa City Race Weekend. Tomorrow starts off with a 39 mile road race followed by a 13 mile TT and then a 20 lap crit on Sunday morning. I participated in this race weekend last year and had kind of mixed results. I worked a little too hard in the road race and while I actually did break away for about 10 miles, the stiff wind didn’t allow me to ride solo without burning-up most of my energy. This showed in the TT later on when I should have won by a lot, but instead had to settle for third a whopping five seconds behind first. The crit was better although I did ride the first two laps in last place as my cleat came out of my pedal right when the gun went off. I managed to finish sixth and took home some money for being in the top four overall standings at the end of the weekend.
The goals for this years race weekend are a little different as I have a big racing season ahead. I want to be smart this year and not push the pace too early. Here are the goals:
Road race: 1. Don’t crash. 2. Ride in the pack and save as much energy as possible. 3. Only make a move if the opportunity presents itself on the final 10 miles.
TT: 1. WIN! 2. Ride faster than last year. 3. Have a faster time than all the Cat 3 riders including by buddy Joe (the looser buys the winner a beer).
Crit: 1. Don’t crash. Stay near the front. 3. If I’m feeling good with 4-5 laps to go then give it a shot and try pushing the pace.
Overall: 1. Top 3. 2. Bank enough cash to pay for the whole weekend.