Except...wait...it _wasn't_ the start venue. The time trial presented by the Fitchburg Marriot Courtyard wasn't actually _at_ the Fitchburg Marriot Courtyard. The last time I did this race....I dunno...6 -7 years ago, the Time Trial presented by the Fitchburg Marriot Courtyard was actually _at_ the Fitchburg Marriot Courtyard. Not this year, and evidently not last year either. I didn't do the race last year.
No, it was actually about 5 miles away in the town of westminister. So the Fitchburg Longso Classic Stage Race South Street Time Trial Presented by The Fitchburg Marriot Courtyard was actually in westminister, the next town over from Fitchburg and no where near the marriot. By the time I got my self straightened away, after several highly stressed cell phone conversations with people who were checking the website for directions, I got to the venue less than 30 minutes before my start. My warm up consisted of two jumps in the parking lot to make sure nothing was going to fall off the bike, and actually doing a cyclocross dismount up the start ramp. I made it with 15 seconds to spare.
I've never seen the course. I had no idea what turns were in store, or what hills I would have to manage. The profile looked flat on the web, but since I thought it was the old course that actually started and stopped at the marriot, I had no idea how long that little innocuous grind at the start was going to take.
Sure enough, just before I crested the top, after _trying_ to keep a steady pace with no warm up....ass cramps.
Glutes tightening like Vertical banded gastroplasty on my ass muscles.
Just pace it, Zen.....Check your breathing, your HR.....shit...no HR readout...shit I had forgotten to put my HR strap on.....
That's ok, I still had speed and cadence. I've been racing along time, I know what feels right. I know how hard I can push.
Just before the turn around my minute man came by, and just after I came around I saw my 1:30 man. Well, that ain't good.
Just pace it, Zen....you had a headwind out you'll have a tailwind back. Except that the wind was swirling, I never actually felt the anticipated headwind. My 1:30 man passed me when I was wondering what happened to the tailwind.
I passed the 5K to go marker, and thought I remembered the course was pretty flat from here, so I pushed it a bit more. I felt I was gaining a bit more time on my 1:30 man.
1K togo, I checked my time. Already over 20 minutes...not good. 500 M to go and I'm on a little downhill. My speed read 32 mph.....good.
200 meters to go....and I hit this little rise. I didn't even notice it as a downhill, but this hit me like a wall. My 200 meter sprint turned into a 200 meter drag. I had nothing to put into it. I probably lost another ten seconds between 200 and 100 meters to go.
The damage? 22:11, for 32nd out of 43....fucking pathetic. In the end it only cost me 2 places on GC so now I'm 19th out of 43 instead of 17th, but shit...I _hate_ time trials....I hate it even more that I wasn't conscientious enough to actually _READ_ the course descriptions.
So, yeah...that sucked.