If you new and want at little more detail about what exactly a Time Trial is check out my first post on it here. Leading into this race didn’t go exactly as planned. I pushed my long run back to Monday due to some foot discomfort and got some HUGE blood blisters on the bottom of both big toes after a run on the beach barefoot (I learned 7 miles are my limit for sans shoes). EWW and OUCH! I then spent the next 2 days compensating by walking more on my heels, thereby destroying my calves. Great, just what you want going into a cycling race. The cherry on top was projected temperature of 104º. I tried not to influence my race by anticipating a poor performance, I would just have to do the best I can.
I rolled up to the race and started getting ready. By the time I put on my heart rate monitor I was already drenched in sweat, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but it was a lot! I planned ahead and brought a thermos to keep some post race water cold but ended up drinking it all while getting ready. On Monday I received a few samples from Topical Edge in the mail. I debated using it at today’s race since it wouldn’t be a very good test case with all the factors against me but decided to use it anyways.I rubbed it in on my calves and quads as my last bit of race prep. Then I headed out for an easy 10 minute warm up about 15 minutes before race start. I did a few pickups at the end to run through all my gears but cut the warm up a bit short because my feet were already starting to get uncomfortable from Monday’s blisters.
It was time to line up and get this over with. I was second in line which at least meant I got to get started sooner rather than later. The count down started and the first woman was off. I inched forward and was happy to be in shade for the 30 second gap.
Beep, beep, beep, beep, buzzzz. And I was off! I tried to just breath and go by feel. Today was really just a game of pain management and trying to make it to the end. My legs felt pretty good the whole way out but I was being a bit cautious with my feet.
I had a guy pass me a few minutes in and then no one until mile 4. The second guy didn’t pass very quickly nor pull more than about 20 bike length ahead. When I reached the turn around I was at 22 mph! We either had a pretty good tail wind or this topical edge works REALLY well! Which one was it? It was a tail wind….It was a struggle fest on the whole way back to keep my speed over 20 mph. I always try to do a negative split which meant I made pretty quick work of catching the second guy who passed me. By mile 6 I could feel the heat getting to me; my mouth was super dry, lips chapped, and just a general overwhelming feeling of heat. I decided to recovery for 10-20 seconds every mile just to manage the heat exhaustion. It was slow going but I counted down the miles one by one. I kept trying to tell myself the faster I go the sooner it would be over. Finally, I reached the finish line!
I normally turn right down the major street ahead and do a little cool down but today I knew the first priority was to cool my body tempurature. My legs felt fine but I was overheating. I turned directly into the staging parking lot and got off my bike. One of the guys brought extra water in an ice chest and I was extremely grateful for some cold water. It hit the spot and refreshed me instantally. Cauryn finished shortly after me and we decided to go for a short cool down after resting in the shade for a few minutes. It was nice to chat and spin out a bit.
Looking over some over my data after the race I did get a power negative split but a lot but the numbers weren’t great. My legs felt fine after the race but I’m not sure how much of that was from Topical Edge verses not hitting my previous FTP. My max heart rate for my last race was 194 but today was 205. Considering my heart rate information, I don’t think I could have done much better in the heat and other factors surrounding todays race.
My big take away from today is not every race will be a success. Some races we just aren’t “on” which is exactly why we should race more often. I think some triathletes make really big goals and don’t win small victories along the way which can make a “failure”, by not reaching performance goals, hit really hard. We need to build up a bank of wins so comparatively the losses are easier to take in stride. Wins and losses in this case are whatever goals you set for yourself.
Place: 1/1 Division, 2/7 Women, 22/35 Overall
Gear: Betty Designs skinsuit, Luis Garneau P09 aero helmet, Cervelo P3, Reynolds Assault/Strike wheels, Grand Prix 400S II Road Tyre, Topical Edge
Special thanks to my bike sponsor Rubber Soul for always keeping my ride in tip top shape, Betty Designs for decking me out in the best apparel, Coola for keeping my skin protected with top quality sunscreen, Balega socks for keeping my feet blister free (except when I run barefoot on the beach) and my other sponsors Boco gear, SBR sports, and Momentum Jewelery.
Photos curtesy of Brooks Bikes.