This is sort of a follow up to my 2009 post titled “Three miles in my head.” Anyway, this is the play by play of the 20k time trial I rode Tuesday, 4/6/2010.
My 20K warm up ride showed me that the course was going to be hard on this particular night. We had 30 mph winds coming out of the south west with gusts up to 36 mph, making about 2 miles of the course directly into a headwind, and 6 miles an awful combination of a slight headwind and a very nasty cross wind. I ran with my disc cover in back but I dropped my SRAM S80 front in favor of my Shimano R500 training wheel. I think the deep wheel was just too dangerous in the crosswinds.
Mile 1: Decent start, but I’m struggling to get up to my FTP (220Ws at the time), maybe there was too much time between my warm up and the start? First turn done, headed due south, no problem making watts now, wow this wind is strong!
Mile 2-3: My breath is extremely ragged, so I know I’m anaerobic. I need to push hard now though, because the wind will be on my side on the back side of the course. I’ll spin out of my 50x12 by then and bleed off power, so I’ll stay anaerobic for a while.
Mile 4-6: I’ve passed a lot of riders, but I haven’t passed Lana yet. That’s great news; she’s riding very well for having only done three TTs. I struggled to hit 15 Mph my first year, but she is pushing 16s and 17s already. Her race season is going to be pretty amazing I think.
Mile 7: Well, it had to happen. For the first time this season I was passed at a time trial. I’m doing well, and I can be a fast cyclist, but it’s going to take some time to get my legs stronger. I’m not sure how fast I can be, but I think I might have some potential to be top third of the pack at local events.
Mile 9: I sure can’t wait for our post race smoothie. I must be burning some serious calories. I wish I had nutrition, but even if I did I wouldn’t break my pace to take it in on a 20K TT. I might need a little more pre race food.
Mile 10: Hurray for a tail wind. I must be going more than 30. It won’t last long though; this north bound stretch is short. I did this interview today for a local paper and the reporter said I was inspiring. I’ll never get used to the idea of being inspiring just because I fixed myself by putting down my fork and picking up some running shoes.
I’m pushing hard. I’ve been on the edge, probably mostly on the anaerobic side of that edge, of my AT for about 30 minutes now, and I only have a few miles left. My vision is a bit blurred and grey on the edges at the moment, so I know I’m about at my max HR.
There’s Lana. I shout “I love you lambda” as I pass. She shouts back “six ahead.” She’s giving me recon on my position. That’s awesome, I'm a lucky guy.
Mile 11: This is it. I know my chance at a PR isn’t there today, the wind was just too strong. I also know I’m going to average about 4 watts less than last week. I’m more disappointed about that, but 4 watts is a level of variability I can live with. What I can’t live with is leaving the course without feeling like I left every last ounce of energy here.
Mile 12: After red lining it for so long, I have to finish up hill into a 30 mph wind. The adrenalin takes over and I’m out of the saddle pushing as hard as I can. I can feel myself getting very nauseous, but that is going to have to wait until after the finish line. I can’t hear anything but the wind, I can just hardly see the people standing at the line, and I yell out “20” my finishing number as I cross the line.
I hold back the nausea and cool down, seeing my HR in the low 180s after a few minutes I know I was really pushing. I wasn’t first, and I didn’t even beat my own power output from last week, but I do know that I gave everything I had to give on this particular day. I can accept that. I still don’t know that I’m ok with being someone else’s inspiration, but if I have to be inspiring I want the strength of my commitment to bettering myself to be what inspires other. I'm better every time I ride, if only in small imperceptible ways, and that's what I'm trying to prove to myself every time I'm out here, doing my thing.