2018 GoPro Mountain Games – Racing Pro Cyclists?!?!

Tis True!

Yesterday, was an epic day!!

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I was able to register for the GoPro Mountain Games. They had a Road Bike Time Trial Event. There were about 8 categories, such as Junior, Masters 35+, 55+, Male/Female, etc. Then there were 2 open categories. They were essentially, open Beginner, and open Pro. Well, if you know anything about me, you would know I chose the Pro.

I want the hardest challenge. Let me see how hard it is. Let me see how much faster they are! See, if I did the Beginner class, I would’ve placed 3rd with the time that I recorded, but that’s just not how I roll!

First off, I found about this by accident! I Happened to ride over to Vail 2 days prior, and happened to stumbled on the fact that they were hosting a time trial, AND I had 8 hours left to register!! It takes roughly 2 hours to ride home from Vail, so after a little time hanging out I started to ride home, up Vail Pass, 2 days before I have a time trial on it!

SO MANY things going on in my mind…It costs $60, Am I good enough? Should I even bother? Yes, you need to show yourself what you can accomplish!

After completing the 65 mile ride on Friday, Saturday became a rest day, just have to bartend a wedding real quick!

RACEDAY:

I wake up at 6 am. The event starts at 9:30, I receive my starting time in the Men’s Open Class for 10:25:30 MST.

LET THE BUTTERFLIES START FLAPPING!

Seriously, the knots I had in my stomach when I woke up were some of the biggest that I have ever experienced in my life. The amount of emotions that flowed through me that morning were extraordinary. I felt <i>electric</i>. I was monitoring my body and my thoughts, and was wondering how my body was going to feel. I have put it through the ringer already this season! I have done roughly 950 miles in the last 2 months! My goal for the year is 3,000 miles, and I am far along the path towards that goal!

It is a 35 minute drive from my home to the center of Vail. I am able to park on the street about 200 yards from the Start/Finish Line, which makes my life easier!

So, here I am, staring at the entrance of the mountains at 9 am. An hour and half to: get dressed, fuel properly, hydrate properly, get a light spin in to wake up my legs, say my prayers, and be at the starting block! Simple!

Did I forget, “Don’t let your nerves eat you up inside”?

HA!

Once I got on my bike for a light spin, I knew. I felt GREAT. My body is healed, strong, and ready to put down my best performance, and that I did!

10:24 am, 90 seconds til launch.

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Calm myself, slow my breathing, go inside. Listen to that voice inside. This is everything that we have been working towards. This is what I am built for. This is what I love doing, climbing mountains on a bike!

Now, I climb up onto the starting block, start my Garmin computer up, clip in to my pedals, while my bike is held balance by the starter.

The whole world stopped in that moment. I looked around, slightly confused on where I have found myself in this world, and before I could catch my mind, 3…2…1… GO!!!

AND I’M OFF!!!

CRANK, CRANK, CRANK, up a quick little chicane to the straight 5 mile lead up to a brutal 5 miles.

My heart rate immediately jumps to heart rate zone 4, 170 bpm, and would hover around there for the next 40 minutes! I am cranking along at a very healthy pace! I got up to around 33 mph, on flat ground, generated all from my legs, and efficiency. I was fairly happy with the first half and felt ready to dig into the climb.

As I take the last right hand bend to start into the climb, I am honestly gassed. I have about 20 minutes of climbing straight up a mountain, and I cannot stop. I felt good the whole way up, however I also felt slow. I have put my training into some high cadence climbing, in regards to how fast I am pedaling. I had held off most of the field behind me until this point.

One by One, pro cyclists pass me. CHEWING the hill up, and spitting it out like nothing. Here is where I took note, many cyclists are using a lower cadence, which requires more power output, however moves the bike more rather than moving your legs more. I have read and watched plenty of theories, but this was some real world experience of watching the lower cadence just destroy my times.

I kept chugging along, and stayed true to myself. I just kept going regardless. I kept pushing myself, driving further and further up the mountain!

As I finally get to the top, I see the finish line and dig deep to advance myself towards it.

Push….

Push….

Push….

BEEEEP!

Line crossed, I finished. Done.

Cough..Cough….cough…..

My body is recovering from the effort I just put out. I am hurting pretty bad.

Then the times come, click to see the full list!

RoadTT_Results

Winner – Keegan Swirbul – 26:53:90 – Jelly Belly Pro Rider

World Record – 25:10

My time – 37:46:07

Place 19/22 in the Open Category

Did I win? NOPE!

Did I have fun? YUP!

Did I try my best? ABSOLUTELY

What more can I ask for? I proved to myself that I can do some amazing things. I may not have “placed” at the top, however, I laid down my absolute personal best effort of that stretch of this Earth!

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I AM PROUD

I did it. I had fun. Isn’t that what life is about? I wanted to do it… so I did it!

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