Time Trial number two is here! I’m not sure why I was a nervous wreck going into this one but my stomach was doing flip turns. I ate a pretty standard lunch for myself but in hindsight need to eat a bit earlier. Check in was scheduled for 5:20pm but there was already a decent sized crowd when I arrived at 5:15. I helped a few friends pin race numbers and then proceeded to check in a get my assign number. Thankfully the organizers allow me to wear tri tats because there is NO WAY I am pinning to my nice race suits. Period.While attempting to place them I put 3 upside down twice with my nervous fingers (what was up, this wasn’t my first rodeo). Finally got numbers on my forearm correctly and proceeded to quickly braid my hair which keeps it from being a ratty mess after sweating. Next I pumped my tires, snapped in my glasses and did a few warm up laps around the parking lot before starting. I really wish I had more warm up time and it is something I will budget more time for next month but traffic was terrible and I arrived 15 minutes later than I anticipated. At the first time trial I regretted not a having water at the start line so I brought a disposable one I could throw in the grass at the start line.
Racers are set off every 30 seconds in sequential order. I was the 16th racer to go with 2 women in front of me. In thirty second the racer ahead becomes a tiny dot; visible enough to know he’s there and you need to catch him! The goal for this race was to give a more consistent effort. With only 40 feet of elevation change there is only one dip on the course meaning my speed should be pretty consistent.
At mile 3.5 I started feeling a but nauseous but took some deep even breaths and just shook it off. Just after it passed the next racer passed me but he wasn’t going faster enough to pull away quickly. There are no drafting rules in this time trial other than it is discouraged but I really want this to be on my own power. I pulled farther to the side and did what I could to not draft but not pull back my speed. It took him half a mile and me slowing down for him to pull far enough away that I was comfortable that I was putting out my own effort. We definitely had a tail wind on the way out, it wasn’t easy but it didn’t take as much effort as it should have. The u-turn is the worst part for me and I slow WAY down because I would really like to stay upright. The nice part of an out and back course is it’s easy to attempt a negative split effort. It only took about 1/2 a mile to catch the athlete that passed me and then I could spot another! I passed both women who started in front on me. For most of the five miles back I focused on breathing to stay calm and to keep my cadence consistent and smooth. For a lot of the race I felt like I was in a gear “gap” meaning the current gear was too hard but a lower gear was too easy. At times I took a gear off just to spin at a high cadence (which would have been too high to hold for 10 miles) to make the harder gear easier. I will hopefully be stronger at the next one so I am out of this gap or in the next one. At mile 8 I started to get nauseous again. I think it was a combination of nerves and eating lunch too close to the race. So I did some deliberate breathing and just shook it out of my head. To help mentally focus I started counting down the distance, telling myself “The faster you go, the sooner it will be over! Don’t let up now.” Just after the photographers van with 1/5 of a mile left I tried to muster up any effort I had left. I didn’t have much of a kick to give which meant I left most of it out on the course.
I unzipped my skin suit as soon as I crossed the finish line and did a short cool down ride sitting up on my base bars. Got off my bike and did a bit of stretching while chatting with some friends and then did another cool down lap around the parking lot. I had no cramping issues this time and felt pretty good. The race provides free ice cream, which of course I partook in!
My season goal for this time trial series is 22 mph average (27 minutes). Official time was 26:58! Race rankings were 1/7 women and 18/31 overall. Time to up re-evaluate and up my goals for this season. If you’re considering doing a time trial it is tough but a great learning experience that will help you push your limits. This is an integral part of my journey in transitioning from “completer” to “competer”.
Place: 1/7 Woman, 18/31 overall
Gear: Betty Designs skinsuit, Luis Garneau P09 aero helmet, Cervelo P3, Reynolds Assault/Strike wheels, Grand Prix 4000S II Road Tyre
Photo Credit: Brooks Bikes
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