Saturday, June 26, 2010

1 hour, 13 minutes, 26 seconds.

My goal was a PR for the Yutan TT course. I achieved that by roughly 2 minutes. I got 12th out of 12 for my age/category. I was six minutes behind #11. I'm in better shape than I was, but not in the shape I could be in.

I "programmed" my "cruise control" to keep my cadence between 95 and 105 rpm and my heart rate between 165 and 175 beats per minute. I found I can cover large amounts of ground within this range. I put tape over my MPH reading and set my heart rate monitor to show current and average heart rate.

The strategy during the hilly sections was to keep my cadence higher than normal (103+rpm) and heart rate low (<168), pushing small gears fast. The idea was to minimize downshifting so I wouldn't lose momentum getting in and out of my tuck. (A dedicated TT bike has shifters on the ends of the bar, right under your hands, a road bike with STI shifters has the shifters integrated into the brake levers, requiring one to shift their body to shift gears. I lack a dedicated TT bike.)

I tried employing the opposite strategy (slower than normal cadence while pushing harder gears) on the flat section where I wouldn't worry about getting out of the tuck, but the wind made that nearly impossible. It was like the course had a few extra hills to climb. I found my cadence "bogging" down a couple of times (one gust dropping my cadence to 73rpm while filling my legs with lactic acid), sapping my energy and killing my confidence. It wasn't so bad on the return trip.

I thought about hitting the gas when I saw the "Finish 100yards" sign. My legs decided otherwise.

Overall, I didn't feel as strong as I did in '08, but I didn't have mechanical troubles or forget my shoes.

Next year I get to race in the 35-44yo age group. It doesn't get any easier, the medal winners in most of the men's categories finish the course in under an hour.

I have my work cut out for me.

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