When I made the decision to go to the Teva Games, racing both the mountain bike race and the time trial seemed to make a lot of sense – especially with the amount of money on the line for each race. As I spoke to more people who had done one or both races, I realized that doing the double would hardly be a walk in the park.
I was smashed after my mountain bike race, and I immediately began to doubt whether or not racing the time trial would be a good idea. I called up my coach Kurt who basically told me to harden up, get some good rest and focus on recovery. He reassured me I’d be fine to race the next day.
I took an ice bath as soon as I got home, and the next morning I felt basically okay when I woke up.
It was an earlier morning that usual. My brother (and his daughter – my amazing niece, Taylor) had flown into Colorado on Friday to join us up in Vail, and he was racing the 10K on Sunday morning. This is only the second time in recent years that I’ve gotten to see my brother compete. After all the times he has been at my races, I was pretty stoked to be able to overlap race weekends with him so I could have my turn at playing spectator. It was fun to be out there with him and Taylor on what turned out to be a gorgeous morning. His race finished just in time for me to start to prep for my own race.
I warmed up and could tell pretty quickly that I probably wouldn’t be breaking any records that day. I was still willing to give the race a shot and, if nothing else, get in another solid day of training. With a hard mountain bike race the day prior still in my legs, I didn’t need a long warm-up. I did just enough to get my legs going.
I rolled up to the start line. The start ramp was in the middle of Vail Village. From there, we rolled out and wound our way up the frontage road. The first third of the race was flatter and pretty fast. I hadn’t pre-ridden the course, so I had no idea what the climb I kept hearing about would feel like. I didn’t have a good sense of exactly how steep or how long. Normally, I would do my homework in advance to know what to expect, but this was more of a fun weekend, so I wasn’t really stressing about the whole thing. I was just going out there, riding my bike and enjoying being in Vail with friends and family. Having gone into the TT blind, knowing little beyond the road kicked up at the finish, I wanted to hold back and be conservative so I didn’t run out of gas ahead of the line.
The course criss-crossed us back and forth over Highway 70 a few times on the frontage road before it eventually hit Vail Pass – the road that led up to the finish. I did what I could there, which wasn’t much. I didn’t have a lot left in the tank to push incredibly hard on the climbs, and because I didn’t know what to expect, I felt the need to keep something in reserve.
Vail Pass was more or less pretty steady climbing. It actually flattened out a few times. It was a good learning experience. If I race this again next year, I’ll know I can leave a little more out there.
At the end of the day, I didn’t have a stellar ride. I finished ninth (again), and I’m semi-disappointed with the result. To counter that disappointment, I’m reminding myself that I haven’t done a ton of racing yet this season and that this is my first time trial of the year. Plus, this was a busy weekend – a fun, busy weekend – and I need to take my results with a grain of salt. I might not have gotten any money or the results I had wanted, but I got in some good training and a ton of fun.