Race Prep

It’s only been three weeks since the last time trial which didn’t give as many building training sessions but here we go anyways! I finally got on the power train a few weeks ago so this time trial is also doubles as  my first FTP test. I eat much earlier in the day compared to other time trails which will have to be tweaked. It’s was another hot one today with a high of 93*, just a bit hotter than May’s race which gives a great opportunity to compare Betty Design’s tri suit versus skinsuit in hot conditions because we all want to know if they are too bloody hot! The top of the skinsuit is a mesh materiel which makes the suit very breathable, add to it sun protection from the sleeves it actually seemed slightly cooler than the sleeveless suit. You can tell why it earned the title of “Best in Class” by Triathlete Magazine.

I did my normal routine of setting up my bike including stripping water bottle cages and my repair kit at home. New this month was checking my power meter was in working order. With the help of Richard Gabel I calibrated my new power meter before getting some tri tats and other gear on. When it came around to donning shoes and helmet for a quick warm up my stomach sank when I realized I forgot my socks at home since I wore sandals to drive over. I’ve never raced without socks but I have been toying with the idea of doing sprints sans socks. I guess there is no time like the present to test this out! I have never been happier to have tri shoes instead of cycling shoes; the two big differences are fewer seems and more ventilation, both of which made for happy feet today. I had time for an 8 min warm up but I really need to work on getting a longer warm up in even when it’s hot.

The Race

The organizer pre-assigned bib numbers today in order to speed up the check in process. He asked what number I wanted so I said just no repeated digits (trying to space out the tri tat numbers I’m using). The youth participants always go first, and then adults. I was the fourth adult today and second woman. Much different placement than at previous events but I was eager to compare how the two affected the mental game. Teri was directly in front of me and said “I’m your rabbit today!” Last month Teri came in second and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to catch her but I would certainly try.

As I stepped up to the start line I started my Garmin, which is set to auto pause, and waited for the count down. This time around I wasn’t nervous. I was calm for the first time which might have been a bad sign. Our nerves keep us on our toes and pushing harder! The game plan was to monitor my heart rate and speed and then do a little higher power whatever it ended up being on the way out. Well, as soon as I started the plan fell apart: my chest strap heart rate monitor wasn’t reading (it was working during warm up). I tried to just go out hard but didn’t really decide what to focus on to maintain my effort levels which back fired. I hit a HUGE wall at mile 4 of 10. I got extremely nauseous and could tell it was impacted by the heat. I just swallowed half a mile at a time from here on out. I passed Teri at mile 2.5 and one of the academy kids about mile 4. I took the turn around too slow and too long and was passed at the turn around by one of the guys. We were slapped in the face with a head wind immediately and it was a struggle the whole way back, I knew it would be based on our warm up. I tried to just buckle down and keep my power over 180. Sometimes it was way higher (225) some times way lower (135) because I haven’t trained with it but I’m excited to get more efficient and make each training session more effective.

Post Race

As soon as I crossed the finish line I sat up and unzipped my top to breath a little easier. The skinsuits are TIGHT to squeeze in and make the girls more aerodynamic. A short jaunt around the corner to the closest u-turn was enough of a cool down on this hot day. I knew this was a crummy race for myself and wasn’t too eager to look at the results. I was at least slower than 22 mph, turned out to be 21.6 mph and came in second by SIX seconds. Wow. Having a more efficient turn around could have cut a good chunk of it but that’s the beauty of time trial starts. It’s just you and the clock and you should only be focused on pushing yourself. Hours later my head hurts more than my legs so maybe I did push hard enough, I’m just not sure. What I do know is my power output was all over the place and there is lots of work to be done.

Results

Ended up with my second best time of 27:28. I couldn’t be more proud to share a podium with Jeanine and Teri, two incredible strong and radiant women. I look forward to being pushed just a little bit harder by Jeanine next time and Teri has made huge improvements at each time trial. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings and to celebrate all of our hard work. Happy training ladies!

Place: 2/4 Women, 11/22 overall
Time: 27:28
Gear: Betty Designs skinsuit, 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 keeping 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 the best apparel. Photo credit: Brooks Bikes

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