July 21, 2020 - Hot day, but a good day!
I saw the forecast in the days leading up to the Colorado State Time Trial Championships, and it was forecast to be 98-100 degrees in Keenesburg, with a start time after 12:30PM. Heat is my kryptonite, and I will admit to letting it increase my stress levels leading up to the race. Since races are few and far between these days, I had entered the race hoping for a good result.
In 2015 for this same race we had temperatures in the mid-90's with a start time of 12:00PM, and I did my warm up (albeit a slightly shorter one than usual) in the shade and then went out and blew up at mile 15. The last 9.8 miles were not fun. So, this year's version demanded a different approach. I went with a regular road helmet for better venting, and changed my warmup strategy completely. Instead of trying to find some shade in the heat of the day, I did a proper warmup on my Stages bike in my basement mid-morning. I then got in my car, drove an hour to Keenesburg, and did a quick 15 minute warmup with some 30 second surges, to ensure I wouldn't be loading my legs with Lactic Acid during the first few kilometers of the race. I took an insulated bottle with half electrolyte and half ice (drank the whole thing during the race), and went out strong. Despite the heat, I actually felt good, and finished with my best 40K TT time in 7 years.
What I learned was to relax, forget about who else was in my category and how I would finish among them, and be grateful for a rare opportunity to race. The alternative warmup strategy was perfect, and I rode the race remarkably free of nerves. So, this old dog learned some new tricks!