It wasn't an A Race. It wasn't a race at all in fact, but it was a key workout for me. Tonight was my Triathlon Club's weekly 20k time trial. It was also time for me to retest my threshold power to see how much I've improved.
I got my bike ready the night before and attended to every detail I could think of. I got my clothes ready, my flat kit, my race wheels, everything.
In fact, here's a new picture of Karma (my P3) with her race wheels.
Things were going well for the first three miles. I was holding back at my threshold, ready to start hammering when I turned into the wind at about 3 miles in. I turned, I hammered, things got bad quick. I know my breath at threshold really well, as an endurance nation athlete I spend alot of time there. This wasn't normal threshold breathing. About 5 miles in my lungs were burning, my throat was closing, I was coughing. Bad news. My exercise induced asthma was flaring up. I forgot my inhaler amongst the 1000 details I did remember. Not good. I've never had an issue with asthma on the bike before, but I woke up with a cold last night, and perhaps that kicked it off. Next thing I knew, I was bleeding off Watts and struggling to breath. I did my best to stay in the box and calm myself, but I finished the race 9 Watts under FTP.
So, I had a bad day, but it wasn't all bad. I learned some stuff today. Here is what I learned:
- Racing is about execution. In training you build your vehicle. In racing you drive it. You can only race the vehicle you've got that day. I did the best I could with what I had today, and that's all I can ask for.
- A bad day doesn't mean I'm a bad athlete. It's just a bad day. A series of bad days means I'm screwing something up. A single day is an outlier.
- I can improve my execution by making a to do list for myself and a plan, like I would for a large race. I forgot to bring my inhaler and take it before I rode. I forgot to eat my pre-race banana 30 minutes prior to start. Things that start with "I forgot" can be handled with better execution.