Photo from Diablo Scott and his magnificent blog
It's now official: I am slow.
This isn't exactly news, but it the first time it's been 100% official, complete with numbers and statistics, officially timed and UCI certified.
My start time was 9:26. I know that because I wrote it in sharpie on my leg because I just couldn't keep it in my head.
I competed in the 55+ group. My single-day race license had me as 16 years old, but that got sorted out at the the registration table. As I pined my number on I saw zillion dollar bikes on wind trainers, ridden by the amazingly thin. I just rode around a bit to warm up.
The start was an official platform, just like the one ones at the races you see on TV. That itself was intimidating. I was worried I'd slip just walking up the ramp. There was a holder, and I was worried I'd fall over, or somehow screw up. I'd read that I should be careful not to start in too big a gear, so I didn't.
And BOOM, I started.
My plan was to start relatively easy and ramp up as I went along, saving a lot for the last third. But I was too too excited. I was at 95% of my max heart rate in seconds. I passed my first rider in about 3 minutes. Unfortunately it wasn't a racer, just a rather heavy cyclist out for a ride. Oh well. I was passed by some rocket lad at about mile one. Many others passed me before I finished. I lost count.
I was trying to keep my heart rate at 92-93%. Any more and I'd have died before I finished. I did have bursts of 95-96 and dropped down to the high 80's just for a moment when I lost concentration.
I saw Diablo Scott making photos, and, when I saw a small car-flattened snake I thought I should photograph it for him for his road kill report. But I had no camera, and it was, after all, a race.
Eventually it all ended about 6 miles later, right by the ranger house. It's now hours later and my chest still hurts from breathing so hard. I know I'm slow, but I can't believe how fast some people blow past me. It's just amazing.
I'm waiting for the results to be posted on the web so I can see if anyone was slower than me. When I looked at the sheets they had taped up, I didn't see anyone who was.
On the up side, I had thought I'd hit 50 minutes. I think my official time was 42-something, so I beat my estimate. And I didn't die, or screw up any one else in their attempt.
Still, it would be swell to be just a hair less slow — to maybe break 40 or something.
I guess there's always next year...
The results are up. I was not last. There were five mens finishers slower than me. Sure, three were juniors. And I was last in my group. But I'll take what I can get.