|Posted by kevinhosea on October 18, 2009 at 9:09 PM|
On friday I was allowed to only work a half day so I was able to get on the road to Columbus at a decent time. I was making great time until I hit a few areas of construction that added like 30-45 minutes to my trip. All in all the drive was pretty uneventful though which was good. I don't think I will ever learn to enjoy driving across indiana though....its soooo boring. I got to Matt's place around 9:30 and we hung out and watched tv/played some video games. It was fun staying with Matt cause we got some time to catch up since we hadn't seen each other since May or June.
Saturday was a pretty laid back day. We watched tv and played some more video games saturday morning before going to get my race packet at the expo. Matt went with me when I went down to the expo so he got his first experience of the chaos that is a marathon expo. It was fairly easy to get downtown from his place and to get to the convention center. I got my number and then we decided to get some lunch before going back to his place. We went to Olive Garden so I could do some carbo loading and of course it was yummy like Olive Garden always is. After that we went back to Matt's and hung out and I tried to work on my bike a little bit to make sure it was ready for the race. My pump was not charged enough to fully pump the tires so I ended up having to do most of it this morning anyway after I charged the pump some.
Today started out early with both Matt and I waking up around 5:00 so we could leave his apartment by 5:45. We left right on schedule so we got down to the parking area right when I was hoping we would. I put my bike together and then we both sat in the heated car for a little while longer while I drank some water and ate a powerbar. It was very chilly (around 30 degrees) so it was nice to have that extra time in the heat. We then headed over to the start line and I warmed up a little bit. After about 10 minutes or so, the rest of the wheelchairs and handbikes showed up. They had all parked at a different place that was a little farther away so they had gotten a group police escort to the start instead of going on the sidewalks like I did. I was a bit unpleasantly surprised to see a group of handcyclers that I did not know and who raced often (aka they were really good).
The race started and I did my best to keep up with the fast guys but it only lasted about 1 mile. Last year I started off the race at a fairly fast pace around 19 mph for the first mile or two. This year when I took off with these guys, we were going about 25 mph, it was NUTS. I then settled back into my own pace so I didn't make myself tired to quickly. A couple of the other fast guys caught and passed me but I resisted the temptation of speeding back up and stayed at my pace. Finally a couple guys caught up to me that were going at a comfortable pace that was a tad slower than I really should have been going but I hung with them for a while anyway. It was nice having someone to draft off of for a while so I could save up a little energy. A few miles later, a guy that I know from previous years in Columbus came up next to me and was like "You are Kevin right?" (he had said "Hi Kevin" to me at the start line). I of course replied "yes" and he was then like "ok just making sure. you are usually way up there..." Hearing that pissed me off a bit so instead of staying back in the group to take my turn pulling, I just took off and dropped them. That was about mile 5 and they never got near me for the rest of the race.
Overall I am very happy with how the race ended up. Sure I did not get prize money but I also hadn't planned on the fast guys (they all race on the US national handcycle race circuit) showing up. When I was planning on winning I was basing that off of the people who were there last year and everyone that was there this year who was also there last year, finished behind me so I was actually successful with my goal. My time was only a few minutes slower than time from last year which is good considering I trained much more last year than I did this year for this race. Last year, my time was roughly 1:37 and this year I finished in 1:44. When I got home tonight, I finally got to look at the breakdown of my time throughout the course and I was very happy with what I saw. My last 6.2 miles was only 2 minutes slower than the first 6.2 miles which shows that I was able to stay pretty consistent throughout the race. The guy who won the handcycle division finished in a CRAZY fast time of 1:12. You read that right folks....1 hour 12 minutes for 26.2 miles....to do that time, you have to average just slightly under 22 mph. With proper training, I'm pretty sure I could have at least been close to the group that finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th around 1:24 but I think I've got a long way to go before I'll be able to challenge the 1:12. So now I have a new goal for next year.