Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lowe's TT

My first experience with this 10 mile everything-you've-got-in-the-legs-before-they-seize-up-entirely-and-vomit-commences time trial was back in June of 2009.  I was fresh off a bout of thinking I was awesome and a severely sprained ankle (my first of three right ankle sprains in 1.5 yrs) so decided a crack at the TT was right up my alley.  I drove up to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord (~25min drive), warmed up, and gave it my best effort to come in at 22 minutes and 14 seconds, which works out to 26.97 mph.  I was happy on one hand and not on the other.  I felt like I paced poorly and could have done better.

The next month I had another go and improved my time massively with a 21:28, or 27.94 mph.  I was pleased and thought that time was a good indication of what my head said I should be doing.  Actually, I take that back.  The beauty of a training log is that it can produce little nuggets such as this one:

Traffic sucked getting up to the speedway and I got myself lost so I had very little warm up compared to what I wanted. I still need to figure out how to really redline it because I still think I'm faster than this. Ashley was almost a minute ahead of me, that guy is fast.

I guess I thought I was better than I was...what can I say; it happens.  To a certain extent it's good to be tough to satisfy but if you take it too far it can show you the other edge of it's double-edged swordness.  

My next attempt was not until September 2010, fresh off the disappointment of a DNF at Ironman Louisville and in (what I thought was) very good shape.  It was not proven at the TT as my time was somewhere around a 21:40ish.  Again, slower than I expected... Theme? I think yes.

Finally that brings us to last year.  Fresh (well, not really) off a big training camp with a certain someone in Santa Barbara and a double race weekend at Stumpy Creek I made an attempt to retake my course record for the 25-29 dudes.  My time was my fastest so far at ~21:22 or so but I was still getting beat by people I felt had no business being faster (everybody).  (just kidding).  (but not really).  Conditions were incredibly hot, humid and windy so it was less than ideal.  This was also my first time on the course with power and my watts were a not so impressive 4.23 watts/kg.  For 20 minutes that is significantly lower than I wanted.  

That brings us to this year.  My power numbers have been better than I ever could've imagined.  Maybe Brian expected it, but I've been producing numbers in training that I didn't expect to see until after a full summer of training.  My FTP has increased to a hair under 4.5 watts/kg, which is a fairly impressive figure.  I'm certainly happy with it! So needless to say, despite some recent panicking over my fit, I was hoping to ride fast.  With cool temps in the forecast for Wednesday night I was even more hopeful.  I was excited.  

Jenny and I drove up after work and both warmed up appropriately.  It was extremely windy.  Like, B2B 2011 windy.  We both had 808/disc setups so it was slightly worrisome (more me worrying about her than me worrying about myself since I had set up her bike...).  My legs felt fairly normal (tired, a little sore, but cautiously optimistic) and I continued warming up as Jenny headed out for her start.  After a bit, she came back as I was getting ready to ride over for my start and immediately exclaimed that the wind was AWFUL, especially in turn 3.  

I headed over to the start line, wondering whether I would still be alive in 20 minutes, and took my place.  My goal was to average about 4.5-4.6 watts/kg and consequently produce a time under 21 minutes.  Priority number 1 was power, priority number 2 was speed.  Unfortunately, I achieved neither of those goals.  

Started out on target and slowed down immediately.  I had no "oomph" that evening.  I too easily drifted into "not-so-hard" effort level.  After several laps I just stopped looking at my computer.  I was freezing cold.  I was, like at B2B, not into it.  I do not like being cold.  

I averaged under 4 watts/kg.  That is not good.  But you know what? One twenty-ish effort does not change or negate all the good workouts I've had this year.  It doesn't affect the race on Saturday.  It was fun (to talk about afterwards).  It was a good learning experience.  

I will be back Lowes.  And next time, you will be my bitch.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Shot from last year, courtesy of the Honey Badger

No comments: