Today, was attempt # 3 at the weekly edition of Tucson's Shootout.
I almost made it.
The goal is to keep with the pack until it crosses over a moderate climb (really only a slight bump in the road, but it feels like a mountain!). After the 'climb', the pace chills out and the actual race is over. You're sittin' pretty if you can make it to the top of the hill.
I got spit off at the bottom, but that's the farthest I've made it so far....
On the way home, I was speaking with one of the roadies about how I feel I need to learn some restraint and general tactic. I know that if I sit in the back longer - I make it further (duh), but I just can't stop myself from surging and filling in breaks.
He responded with the cyclist's theory of "matches", and now it makes sense.
He went on to tell me that every hard effort (threshold) is considered to be the equivalent of "burning a match". You know what it feels like once you've done it, and it's generally not good.
You start the ride with a full book of matches. Each rider having a different size book, but nobody has an unlimited number.
My problem (he so graciously informed me), was that I needed to learn appropriate times to burn my matches and when I should be sitting back (being new to the roady scene this is apparently more often than not!).
This obviously transfers into triathlon. As I mentioned in a previous post, hilly/windy courses are extra tough because you're at risk of burning too many matches early in the day. Pacing and perceived effort are super critical.
As for me, I'm going to work on getting a bigger match book, more matches (maybe even the water proof kind!), and I'm gonna' learn when to light 'em up!
Next week, I will make it over the 'mountain'.