Last year I decided to do the open ITT at Elite Nationals Road Championships since it was in Madison (close by) and several Warren Cycling and xXx Racing-Athletico athletes would be there. I used to be a pretty good time trialist, especially when I lived in California, but haven't done a lot of TT'ing lately. Still, I thought, even without much specific preparation, that I'd be respectable, even finishing around 1/2 way back at this race at Elite Nationals.
My good friend Peter Strittmatter loaned me his P4 and I tinkered around with the position a bit and trained on it twice (both rides in the week before the race at nationals) and headed off for my effort, fully expecting to have a decent ride.
I didn't feel good that day and I placed horribly, far from respectably (3rd from LAST and minutes out of the 50th percentile).
Knowing that Elite Nationals was returning to Madison in 2014 I began to think about coming back for a redemptive effort this summer. Until recently, I had not committed to this goal. Decision time is upon me as the event is now just 7 weeks away.
I still have Peter's bike and I picked out 3 ITT's in addition to our Galena ITT and committed to try for some sort of respectable finish for 2014. I no longer think that I can place in the 50th percentile (times were amazingly fast last year), but after placing 71st out of 100 at Joe Martin in the HCTT, I do think that I can beat 20 or so guys and do a ride that I consider respectable.
So, instead of doing Fox River Grove on Sunday (which I've won and placed 2nd in before AND a lot of teammates would be there) I decided to go to Kankakee to start my quest for respectability as a TTalist once again. Fortunately, Bill Barnes, Rick LaCour and Jared Rogers also wanted to do a 20K ITT, so it was nice to have some teammates at the event.
We arrived a bit late and I had a whole 6 minutes of warm up before starting in the absolute last spot available AND my Vector pedals were not reading correct wattage (much lower, which can be a bit discouraging in a TT) but I did a satisfactory TT for the day. I was 2nd overall but also 2nd in the 50-54 age group. Reed Oliff beat me by about half a minute but he is a good TT'er and I KNOW that I will be much faster as I move towards my July 4th goal. The 50+ age group is tough around here for TT'ing with Reed and Mark Swartzendruber both to compete with, but I'm OK with that. Tough competition makes you tough.
Now, I'm looking forward to the Harvard 33.3K ITT on June 1st. That will probably mean that I'll just do the 45+ race at Glencoe (on the shorter course this year) the day before, but those are the sacrifices that you make when you set a goal, even when that goal may be a bit crazy. I mean, really, who focuses half their summer on getting 60 something place at a race?
Setting goals is crucially important to being successful. As I always say, winning is doing your absolute best under the given set of circumstances. Sometimes that is crossing the line first. In this case, however, I will have WON if I do my respectable ride at Elite Nationals on July 4th.