Thursday, April 16, 2009

Now What Do I Do?

After Saturday's somewhat lackluster performance, I really wanted to take another crack at Yankee before the race. I was certain I could do a bit better, and I wanted to dial in my goal for Sunday. I wanted to choose a time that was somewhat realistic, but that would still necessitate me pushing myself.

As I already mentioned, I was about 7 minutes faster on Saturday than my race time last year. Still painfully slow, but at least an improvement. I figured I might be able to cut it down to 1:35 for the race.

I headed out after work, hoping I could get there by 6 p.m. No such luck. By the time I got on the trail it was a little after 6:30. Also, in a very stupid sequence of events, I forgot my state park sticker, which had been sitting in the kitchen at home since I got it at Christmas. When I hit the trail, I was feeling a bit frustrated, annoyed and somewhat concerned about finishing before it got dark since I forgot to check what time sunset was supposed to be.

Still, I decided to make the best of it. I had found my trusty digital watch, which had been missing for almost a week and was able to track my progress. I learned a couple things:
  • I'm still slow, but I'm faster than I was. (Okay, I already knew that.)
  • I ride the end of the course much faster than the beginning. In the beginning of the race I was riding 10 minute miles, but they were getting to be closer to 7 or 8 near the end. I think this is a function of the terrain itself. The end is just faster, although it seems to be dragging out when I'm ready to be done.
  • I really don't even need to ride that much faster to have a much better time. I just need to ride more. During my first pre-ride, I walked a bunch of uphills and even some downhills (I know it's ridiculous, but sometimes I just can't get my head past the fear of some sketchy downhills and it seems safer to walk). Yesterday, I rode many more of the uphills and I rode all the downhills. It made a huge difference in my time not to keep getting off the bike.

I ended up finishing yesterday's ride in 1:32:02. That's right. It was eight minutes faster than my time on Saturday and 15 minutes faster than my race time last year. Since my original goal for the race was 1:35, I now feel like I should adjust that. Part of me is really scared it was just a fluke, though. I'm not sure what to do.


Laurie said...

That's awesome, Andrea! I think what you should do is come into the race with confidence and shoot for a time you think you can reach when you add the adrenaline of race day into the mix.

See you Sunday!

Di said...

Andrea, I always race faster than I ride. You may find that your time ends up being faster than you thought.