Monday, February 15, 2016
I got packed up headed out for Dalton one more time. I love the drive through the Ocoee Gorge so that is the route I chose to go. It was really pretty, with snow on the ground and flurries in the air, but for some reason it felt like the 4 hr drive was taking a loooong time.
I finally got to Dalton and drove up to the Quality Inn where I had made my reservation. I suddenly realized that the hotel with outside access rooms, several other hotels nearby and a restaurant right in front might have been a bad choice if I wanted to get some sleep. I drove over to the hotel I normally stay at and asked if they had any rooms left. Yes, they did, but only a jacuzzi room. And it was cheaper than QI. Sweet, I called to cancel my reservation and moved in. I wasn't sure if this was a good sign, but I was giddy.
I went up to "The Snake Pit" checked in and then back to the hotel to enjoy my evening of solitude and relaxation.
I slept well enough that the 5am alarm went off and I rolled out of bed excited. After years of struggling with pre race food intake, I was trying Ensure before this one and had high hopes. I had tested it over the past couple of weeks and looking forward to how my body would respond this morning. I sipped on Ensure and coffee, got packed and prepped. then drove down to meet Ron Marcus and Daryl for my shuttle out to the start.
I'm excited that the Ensure did the trick and I was able to get nutrition into my body and did not get the empty stomach jitters or motion sickness that I usually get.
We lined up and took off one by one.
It was cold. 24 degrees cold. I felt good but my body did not respond. I wondered what was up but found out later that everyone was feeling the same. Sluggish and little like riding underwater. It is hard to get the body to go at temps that cold.
So, I assumed my pace and rode my race. Several times I wanted to slow down and enjoy the ride, but kept reminding myself that if I did that, I could easily slip into 3rd, 4th 5th..... I kept the hammer down.
Other than the bitter cold, I felt good, so I was pleased about that.
I finally ticked off the miles and hit the normally 40 mph pavement decent. Today, however, thanks to a strong headwind, I could only hit 30mph. Bummer, I always look forward to that drop in elevation!
I rolled to the finish in 4h1min, 2 in faster than last month. After changing into warm dry clothes, I ate 2 bowls of chili and a bowl of peach cobbler. After all the single speed riders finished, I landed in 2nd place with 3rd barely 1 minute behind me. I was really glad that I had not slowed down to enjoy the view.
Posted by Stephen at 7:20 PM