Friday 17 July 2009

Time Trial Thursday Yet Again

Stopwatch Test
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.


Groover said...

That's great that you were able to back up last week's good results. You sound like you need a rest mentally, though. When are you heading to Europe? Must be very soon?

Sprocketboy said...

Only 3 weeks left until I convert time trialling into hill climbing. I have been trying toisor bore the other half.

Part of my issue with the time trialling this year is that our weather has been so unvaryingly bad I have been congested for weeks now so I am not fully able to take advantage of my increased speed. Today I was going to cheer on a friend at the club Grand Prix (I only do time trials) but we had massive thunderstorms and heavy rain all night and most of the morning, so he stayed home.

Intervals tomorrow to look forward to--and doing them on a closed road should be good too.