Think one time trial effort is hard? Try doing two or three in a day. Read about how Katie Whidden and Gayle Connell raced the team time trials last weekend at Best on Hess.
Sometimes all we need is a little nudge to push harder or finish something that seems impossible. Other times you just need a wheel to suck. This past weekend I experienced just that, the need to just be dragged through a course. I found myself in a really tough spot, and slightly in over my head.
Last weekend I thought I was taking on the Hess time trial. Instead I took on the hills of Hess road. With 600 ft of gain over 9 miles this was the most challenging TT course I have ever competed in. Fellow teammate Gayle Connell suggested that we form a Naked womens cycling team for the team time trial. We asked Katie Harrer to join us and of course she wanted to race both retro and aero. So I signed up for what felt like the Ironman of time trials. I competed in 3 time trials in the same day: the individual aero category, team aero and team non-aero. At 9 miles in length one might expect this task to be doable but with temperatures in the 80s and a hillier course than expected it was quite a challenging day.
Due to poor timing of the races we were scheduled to do two back to back team time trials and Katie had signed up for two individual TTs which she had to do back to back. Unfortunately, she was not feeling good after her back to back individual races and had to go home. After the first TT I didn’t think I could make it through two more all-out efforts on this course. I knew with the two hour break between the events that I would get in the shade and recover as best I could.
Gayle and I had a great first race but I finished the race exhausted and not sure my legs could sustain another effort like that. Of course, Gayle would not let me quit. Without any other teams competing in our category she suggested that we just go out and ride it as best we could. Not only was she a great teammate to push me to complete it but she also did most of the work. I was just trying to hold on and make it through. As expected after the race I was happy that I decided to complete the challenge that I set for myself but without Gayle there I wouldn’t have made it through that last one. Having teammates who know that you are capable of more and help you fight through the hard moments is what makes this team so wonderful. It’s true that we are capable of more as a team than as individuals. This series of races will stick with me for a while to come, while pain of racing has subsided I am still basking in the afterglow of our efforts. We were rewarded for our efforts with some of the best prizes cash, plenty of beer and the best part was the ice cream at the end of the event.