Race Prep

You may have heard I’ve been doing some pre-injury care and have been unable to run for a month. Unfortunately, that means I’ve had to skip quite a few weekday rides whenever my foot was not feeling 100%. This means I really didn’t train much at all the past 3 weeks. For Time Trial #3 I decided to go into it knowing I would not PR but still have fun. I anticipated needing to hold back a bit for my foot but it is what it is. A combination of my recent training and the heat led me to choose racing in a tri suit instead of a skinsuit today. I tried coming closer to 5:00 this time around but something always comes up. This time the hubby left my car on empty so off to the gas station which pushed rolling up back to 5:15. It’s getting to be hot now with race day settling at low 90’s (cooler than anticipated). Minors are always first and the race organizer pre-assigns their bibs. A friend of mine was going to be arriving close to start time and was nervous about leaving late but the organizer was nice enough to pull the first bib for her. I’m so glad this made her first race more enjoyable. I made sure to be at the very front of the check in line so I could get an early number but there was minor who checked in behind me and I was asked to swap bibs with him. I moved back 4 spots but just have to roll with it. This is a flat 10 mile time trial where racers are sent off every 30 seconds in number order so checking in early matters if you want an early position at the start line.

I was able to get an 8 min easy warm up down the course a ways before getting in line.

 

The Race

I was the 10th racer this time still with 2 women in front of me. While we were waiting in line the gentleman ahead of me, Larry Allred, said “I’ll be the one your chasing today!” I love how this community can push you to be better and celebrate individual performance without being overly competitive, for the most part. It was Larry’s time to step up to the line and I heard the familiar beeping and count down of our timing app so it was almost my time. As soon as he was off my stomach sank. I don’t know what that white line makes me nervous every single time but I sucked it up and focused on the task at hand.

My game plan was to stay above 21mph the entire time which meant my overall time would be over 21 too. I realized fairly quickly that my original plan was not going to pan out; I was already going 23 mph with minimal effort….this could only mean one thing…it would be a suffer fest on the way back with a nasty head wind. I usually try to do a slight negative split and do a stronger effort for the second half but today I decided to go balls out for the first half and then just try to hang on above 20mph on the way back. Richard (2nd place male at 26.4 mph) who started behind me blew past me pretty early on, maybe about 1.5 miles, but shortly after Richard passed me I also overcame the racer ahead of me. Maybe I could beat March’s time, regardless we would find out.

My stomach was not upset this time which was a huge positive but I was combating some major dry mouth. For the next 3.5 miles I just tried to be consistent and keep pushing, counting down the miles to the turn around. The entire way out I was thinking I had to make up time for the head wind on the way back. About a half mile from the turn around I overcame one of the two women ahead of me. The turn around cone was over some gravel today and I was nervous maneuvering it so I stayed to the left of the cone and hoped going past the cone was enough and I wouldn’t receive a time penalty.

As soon as we changed direction it was indeed a suffer fest. I was desperate just to hold 20-20.5 mph. The way back is always a numbers game to me. I have to count down the miles and convince myself that it’s not too far. I was starting to feel pretty drained by mile 8.5 but thankfully Lans Burger passed me right when my concentration was dwindling so I shook it off and kicked up my cadence a bit. I was able to pass one more guy thanks to Lans’s mental boost! I saw a black jersey come in just before me. I tried desperately to pass her before the finish line but couldn’t do it. It ended up being the 3rd place woman who was the second racer to be sent off.

Post Race

Last time I instantly unzipped my top so I could breath better and pretty much walked around with my suit unzipped. The tri suit definitely isn’t as restrictive so I never felt the need to get freedom from it, pulling back a bit during the race may have also contributed though. I racked my bike right away and didn’t feel the need to stretch or actively cool down; I just tried to keep walking around a bit. Richard had the results up on his phone already. I asked if he could switch over to the women. He said, “I can’t, none of the women are done yet.” I replied “Um, hello, I’m a woman! Maybe I need to start registering in the men’s category though.” We all had a good laugh at it. It only took a few more minutes for all of the participants to be in. I checked the results and I was delighted to see my good friend Terri had a HUGE gain from last time and was second!!! Congratulations my friend! This time around I got a orange dream from the ice cream truck because we all know that’s the real reason we all race.

Results

I was hopping to land somewhere between my TT #1 and TT #2 time. I was delighted to see that I was closer to #2 with an official time of 27:37 (35 seconds short of a PR). All in all I’m happy with my performance considering I haven’t been able to train properly and I definitely had some left at the end of the race but coach’s instructions were “Don’t get hurt!”, so I held back. The race rankings were 1/6 women and 17/29 overall. I’ll be training to PR the next one but we’ll see how I fair with the increasing heat.

Place: 1/6 Women, 17/29 overall
Time: 27:37
Gear: Betty Designs trisuit, Luis Garneau P09 aero helmet, Cervelo P3, Reynolds Assault/Strike wheels, Grand Prix 4000S II Road Tyre

Special thanks to my bike sponsor Rubber Soul for always keep my ride in tip top shape, Coola for keeping my skin protected with top quality sunscreen, and Betty Designs for keeping me decked out in voted best in class apparel by Triathlete Magazine.

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