For me, Iceman was something I was looking forward to for two reason. First, it’s Iceman! A great weekend of run racing, and hanging out with friends and drinking. But also, for me, it was the last event in a stretch of fall that was constant events or traveling. From mid-September to early November, we were very busy. I can’t complain too much, as a great deal of it was vacation travel, but it still ends up being a very exhausting time.
So, Iceman was the key event between a busy fall and a relaxed winter. But, unfortunately, it also meant that I wasn’t able to train as much as I wanted to. I know that sounds like weak excuse, but it’s the only one I have. I’ve been riding the bike enough to have some good endurance, but I haven’t been as strong as I’d like to be. That, and I’m carrying a few extra pounds that doesn’t make going fast any easier.
This was my first year actually racing single speed. Third time I’ve signed up. 2 years ago, I signed up, but I totally forgot that I had signed up for SS, and brought gears, so I switched classes on Friday night. Last year, I came to my senses a few weeks early and changed classes (Actually, I just hadn’t been riding my SS, so I thought racing it would be stupid.) But this year, I’ve been riding the SS almost exclusively, so I was more then ready to bring it to the race.
We had a nice early start time (9:35 for both of us, as Marty was riding SS too), and we were actually starting together this year, not that we stuck together for too long. The weather was in the mid-30′s, but the rain that they were predicting was nowhere to be seen. There were brief periods of rain/sleet through the day, but never for that long, and never enough to be a problem.
If I were to sum up my flaws in the race, they are simple and obvious. I didn’t hydrate enough the days prior, and I really didn’t eat/drink during the race. I had a good breakfast about 2 hours prior to racing, but nothing once I started. Something I need to work on. That, and I wasn’t aggressive enough on the flats, where I could make up time. It was too easy to get into someone else’s groove, and slow down. I need to be move aggressive and keep MY goal speed at all times. Slowing down causes me to use a lower cadence, and burns out my legs.
I had a bit of cramping start into my legs at Anita’s Hill, about 3.5 miles from the end, so I babied my legs a bit on the last few hills, as to avoid the full out cramps. But, overall, I’m happy with out things turned out. I got a time of 2:26:20, which was under my 2:30 goal time. I was being realistic this year. I’ve done a 2:04 on a geared bike when in better shape, but I knew that between being fluffier this year, and doing SS for the first time, I’d be slower. Now I have room to improve for next year (SS again!)
The bike was perfect, and I dressed exactly right for the weather. I pulled off my wind jacket about 4-5 miles in, and was comfortable for the rest of the race. But, I know I have to push myself a lot harder for training next year, and lose a few pounds. I think with 20# off by next year, and some harder training (hill repeats! ugh) I could probably get very close to 2:00. My long term goal is to some day beat the 2:00 mark, and I could do it next year if I push.
The SS was a blast, and I think my gearing was spot on for the race (36×18, or 58 gear inches) as I could make a majority of the hills, and with a bit more hill training, could make almost all of them. And, as long as I could keep my head into keeping my legs going, I could pull ~15MPH at ~93 cadance. Not too difficult to keep up for a couple of hours.
Logistics wise, everything worked out perfectly. My warm clothes and beer were already at Timber Ridge, and I knew exactly where that car was parked. As soon as I was changed, I was able to find the person who drove my car to the campground, and was able to get the bike on the rack and squared away, so I could concentrate on waiting for Marty, and drinking beer. Marty came in @ ~3:40, which was a bit off her original time goal, but well within her main goal of finishing Iceman on a SS. Last year, she bailed at Williamsburg Road, so for her, finishing was the main thing. And she did, with a smile on her face. Seeing the huge smile on her face as she waiting to have her chip removed was a great feeling.
We headed out out to the Loading Dock after the awards for the Bell’s Beer Iceman Party, but ended up heading back early. The bar was CROWDED, and although I knew it would clear out as the evening went on, I couldn’t deal with the packed little bar, so we bailed out and grabbed some chow on the way home. I think our flaw was heading out too early, so we had a couple of hours under our belt before the band even started. Next year, a bit of a later start so we can last to the end easier..
All in all, a super great year, and I look forward to my 7th Iceman next year (OK, 6th Iceman raced, 7th attended)