Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From Couch to Competitor: Titans Stage 3

The final day of Road Titans had finally arrived! After fueling up on vegan pancakes with almond butter, we headed over to our "late" 10 a.m. start. We started late because we were supposed to catch the B and C group at South Cove Park, a few miles from the finish, for a photo and stroll into town together. On the drive over to the stage Anthony asked me if my legs were sore. "Of course my legs are sore" I replied. "Titans consists of my largest training rides three days in a row. I never do this many miles and this much elevation gain 3 days in a row for training." Titans is a difficult event to finish for all the riders involved. If it was not so challenging why would anyone attempt it? 

Titan Fuel!

We took off for the final stage of Titans under clear skies and in warm temperatures. There were some tired legs at the start, but Chris and I still kept the pressure on all the way out to the KOM. The KOM to Whitewater Falls was the easiest of all the KOM climbs, but we had to tackle another steep climb immediately after Whitewater. Since we had to tackle two big climbs the total elevation for the final day was equal to the elevation gains on the other two days. We arrived at the final KOM, and Anthony thrived. He tackled the 30 minute KOM at 7 more watts than he conquered Sassafras with a normalized power of 5 more watts than Sassafras. I wonder if he would have gained more watts if Titans were one more day. By the time we reached the first rest stop we caught the B group. Since we were the final group to the rest stop there were no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich so much that I decided to set a blistering pace and ride on my own. I blitzed through the B and C groups before the next stop to guarantee a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A few minutes after I scarfed down a couple sandwiches Anthony arrived, and we decided to leave the final stop relatively early and finish this journey on our own. Anthony and I cruised back into Seneca about an hour ahead of everyone else with Erin Burton, a badass in her own right.

View from Wigginton Overlook

I am proud of how Anthony rode at Titans, the toughest physical challenge of his life. He didn't just putz through it. He rode well in the strongest group on the ride. We worked meticulously to have him prepared for the challenge. By listening to my instructions, eating well, hydrating well, pacing well, and resting well he was able to improve each day. Be sure to check out my final post coming out in the next couple days about our takeaway from Titans.