I did a TT test of 5 miles in Zone 4 (171-177 bpm) a few days before (Tuesday) the TT and felt great. Managed about 21-23mph with a little bit of a wind so I thought I'd be fine to capture a top 10 and maybe a top 3 time and ride a steady 26-27mph without even being hurt too badly.
- It snowed 4 inches Wednesday
- I caught the flu on Wednesday evening
- I got to bed at 12:30 the night before the TT (woke up at 5am)
- I did a max power and LT test on the bike the day before
- I wasn't feeling good and didn't eat very much the day before
- I had a tire go down 1 min before I started the race
- I haven't done a bike race as a cat 3 in about 4 years
So with that in mind, here's how the race went:
I did a nice warm-up of about 40 mins, taking 5 mins in each zone with a few mins in Zone 5 (my TT zone) 2x. I had 8 mins to ride a 7 min ride to the start when I noticed my front tire had gone very soft. It was a tubular with a valve extension so I hoped it was just a leaky valve extension. So I raced to the car, pumped the tire and hauled it to the start line. I got there with 8 seconds before I was scheduled to leave. If there was fast guy at the race - it was me going from the parking lot to the start line.
I started the race - 10 miles out and back, slight downhill on the way out (maybe a net drop of 10 meters on the way out). I was fine - started at 177 and riding 27mph. I passed about 5 riders (we were at 30 second intervals and start times were based on registration - not category or class). I hit 182 (hr) and felt ok and then things began to go dark - I had expected to ride at this HR and then finish the race around 188 - which I've done before in longer races. I began to slow down - just a few tenths here and there which I think was about .7 mph per mile. My HR never dropped and I didn't struggle terribly - everything just felt flat - like one of the 23 possums I saw along the road. I think I was passed by two Cat 1s and a dung beetle rolling a turd at some point. It was sad.
Score 30 unhurt, hurt 1 (ok, it was a DNF but it still counts). I consider this my mulligan.
UPDATE: as noted above it turns out I had bronchitis and strep. I don't feel so bad now.