photo by casey.marshall, Creative Commons
Although I was feeling a bit tired after doing a 15 km time trial on July 2, a 40 km time trial on July 5, a 10 km time trial on July 9, and another 40 km on July 12 (every one of which was a personal best on those courses), my coach thought it would be a good idea to do the Thursday Ottawa Bicycle Club Open Time Trial yet again, describing its importance more a mental thing than a physical one. So I left work a bit early and cycled home to get ready, with what looked like an impending thunderstorm overhead. Quickly packed up, I drove off to the course although I have to admit I did not feel as aggressively happy as last Sunday, or the previous Thursday.
While the thunderstorm did not actually appear, there was a goodly amount of wind blowing down the course. This week there were almost no rollerbladers so I could not use the excuse that I had to change my line as a reason for riding so slowly. The number of time triallers seemed to have dropped from last week as well and someone told me that a lot of the 15 km participants don't bother coming out for this shorter ride. I have to say that I like riding on a smooth closed road very much, and if nothing else it is a 10 km interval training session.
The warm-up went well, although I was starting to overheat a bit as the temperature was around 26C, but I find that I go better in heat so I was not worried. The launch went smoothly but I could feel the tailwind as I quickly reached up to nearly 51 km/h before spooling down and getting into a more relaxed position. At about 3 kms I felt some pain in my stomache but I could see my 30 second man, on a fancy Cervelo, up ahead, and I quickly forgot my discomfort.
At the turnaround, I tried out the advice of braking at the last second as the volunteers gesticulated wildly, probably thinking I was going to keep going. It was not the best turn but I was on the climb very quickly and found on this part of the return course I could really bring up the speed, hitting 44/45 km/h. I could still see the rider on the Cervelo and thought I was getting a bit closer, although it was unlikely I could catch him.
Fully into the wind now (it was blowing out the west at around 20 km/h) and I had trouble keeping the speed much over 39-40 km/h, and my heart rate was a hammering 172 bpm. This week the finish line did not come up unexpectedly but seemed tauntingly far away once I saw it. But I kept at it and crossed the line in a decent time, albeit not nearly as fast as last week. I actually felt slow for most of the course and the wind really exhausted me at the end. I was surprised that I was only 13 seconds off of last week's pace, coming in at 14:44, for an average of 40.72 km/h in spite of the wind. My coach thinks this shows a good consistency and I am happy that last week's fast ride was not a fluke. Two of the riders ahead of me were two I was faster than last week so perhaps next week I can surpass them again. It was a breakthrough of sorts since I was no longer placed 5th in my age group, leaping to 4th (and only 5 seconds away from a podium placing). Still came 15th overall, this time out of 47 riders.
And now I can look forward to some bike polishing and some recovery time before next week's time trial.