Preface: A couple of people have asked me: how come you haven’t been writing? The simple answer: same reason I’ve been having a decent racing season so far: I’ve been training. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal that little secret.
Late Thursday afternoon, I sent an email to Tris: “I’m going for a Leroy record attempt tonight. I’ve learned that it’s short enough that you have to go out pretty hard … so I may crack on the way back in.”
[Note: "Leroy" is the informal Thursday night TT that I've written about previously]
I don’t announce stuff like that ahead of time. Normally I would just try to ride as best I can and let the final result fall where it may. But I figured that posting a new record time would require some intention to do just that. If I didn’t go out hard enough, there would be no way to make up the time. If I went too hard and blew up, well, as Tris said in his reply, “no guts, no glory”.
The interesting thing about this is that once I explicitly stated that I was out to set the course record, it changed my mental outlook towards the effort. I was going to go hard, then go harder.
I’ve done the course enough times now that I know what is a fast time at different points. When I hit the turn at 8:30 I knew I had a chance. The last 2 miles were into a headwind though, which was going to make it difficult. But that intention provided just enough motivation to suffer those last 2 miles.
Looking back at the original post I wrote about Leroy, I see that in 4 years I’ve managed to take 29 seconds off the record. I guess it is possible to get faster as you get older. At least for one particular event.