| One of the only good things that came from the Hell week in June was I
had tons of pent-up rage. I did some fantastic rides just from rage.
I'd skipped many races after Hell week (my body needed the rest anyway) and in
early July, on a very windy day, I did a 40 mile ride on a hilly course, and rode so hard I thought my legs would fall off. I couldn't feel them. I
flew up hills, powered into headwinds without any loss of energy...it was the angriest ride I'd ever done.|
Two days later, showing no fatigue, I got 2nd place in the club time trial, covering 9.3 kilometers in 13:07, by far the fastest race I'd ever ridden, and beating my best time on that short course by 53 seconds. It was the first time I'd successfully used my narrow triathlon handlebars, and the first time in four years I felt I was going well. All that training and pain, was finally paying off. I remember Alex Renner on the loudspeaker, seeming a little more excited than usual, yelling something as I powered to the finish. I didn't win, but, my goodness, I was a contender for the first time in five years!
|Early in the season, Mitch pointed out to me that my saddle was too low. I'd measured and re-measured the height, and I had it perfect, but failed to take into account that my new saddle was designed to flex and absorb bumps. When I sat on it, it sagged about 1.5 centimeters. Over the course of about six weeks, I raised it and the feeling of power started coming back. The previous time I raced this course, I had so many mechanical problems with the bicycle that I borrowed a six-speed cogset from Miimii's bicycle, and fought my shifters, which were designed to work with my seven speed. But in this race I had the right gear, the right set-up, and more rage than I'd had in years, and it all came together.|
Although I never had much in the way of real results, the best part was trying to make my team, and my friends proud. I have never, to this date, ever quit a race, or stopped racing while I was in a race. I'd occasionally run into stronger cyclists who'd beaten me badly, and it wasn't uncommon for them to say,"We saw you trying to catch us the whole time". They knew I didn't quit. If you can't win, then you can lose with honor.
I decided to enter the Troika Triathlon again. I was in far better shape than when I raced it in 1992, and knew I could better my time by quite a bit. But the training took its toll on me (and Moo). Note the cat on the back of the couch. This photo shows me, wiped out after a 1.2 mile swim, and a 53 mile bicycle ride. There is a telltale sign here that I'm training for a triathlon--my big toenail is black. It's dead and getting ready to fall off from the beating it took. Miimii wouldn't let me keep it.