by Ken Huizenga
This Three Bears Time Trial was the fourth TT I have participated in. I love them because they make me aware of how much I can push myself without the humiliating feeling of being dropped in a stage race. A man against his will and the clock seems to be as pure as it gets in Cycling. Race day started like many others with an early alarm clock, and the need to get that killer bowl of oatmeal ready and at least one cup of coffee. This day was especially cool because it was my first event as a member of IC3. Upon arrival, the first person I see is Gary. He has set up our team area with everything we could possibly need and offers up some more well needed coffee. I chose to do the 30K event. My thinking was that if I was to leave town to race then I should work a little harder than normal. The 20K riders, Jimmy, Gary, Robert and Laura all slowly left after warming up on the trainers. My ride was 45 minutes later. I was now left alone to warm up and ponder why I chose this harder effort and question myself as to if I even belonged here on this day. This thought process is one I go through many race day’s. It may seem negative, but it is also motivation. I must push myself mentally to “earn” my place at these events. I rolled up to the line thinking two things. Keep my effort consistent the first 15K as close to my FTP as possible and keep my heart rate under 176.
As I reached the 5K mark, all I could think about was the headwind. Both my confidence and my training told me I should be putting up power numbers at least 240 but I was already falling short. I pressed on and started to reach a rhythm on the pedals both my mind and body seemed to tolerate. At about 13K we had a left turn to head to the half way point. If I thought I had been heading into the headwind the past 20 min I was wrong. The left turn now put me straight into its grip. This is the place in the race I thought I might make up a bit of time but it required an even harder effort. Kyle told me after the race that this was the stretch I should of jumped on it hard to make up time…lol
After the half way turn, the wind was a tail/cross that made the last half a lot more fun. I was looking at power numbers near my FTP and seeing speeds at 24mph. My goal of a 21mph avg seemed within reach. I pushed as hard as my lungs let me but they were my weakness today. I stopped pedaling 50yds from the finish line and knew I gave it all I had for this day. I looked down to see a 20.5mph average. I was so disappointed!
Robert had walked over to the finish line to greet me which was nice, I know I should of warmed down but had nothing left to push the pedals. I rolled back to the team tent glad that the guys stuck around to wait for me. We all shared a few thoughts about the race and then headed back to Tucson.
I will still question if I belong racing at my age. I have raced in some form my whole life. from BMX as a kid to Stock cars in my 30’s and now the road bike. I just have to push it.
I think I do belong out here. I think so is because it challenges me to be better. I am setting personal best’s every race. As long as this continues, I will see you out there.
To my IC3 guy’s…Love you all and thanks for your encouragement and support.