Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Time - Got the Time Tick-Tick-Tickin' in My Head

Thanks to Kirschen Seah for the photos. These are pics from a few years ago. I didn't get any from this year.
 Time for another race report. Last Sunday was the State Time Trial Championships. A time trial is a kind of bike race where you don't ride with a pack. We all start a minute apart and race for a time. We also ride those funny looking TT bikes with the straight bars, wear skin suits and shoe covers and wear the weird helmets. All of those things are used to make us more aero (read: faster against the wind).

Remaining in the aero bars, hunched over as far as possible, can be pretty painful when done for any amount of time. This particular time trial was a 40K (24.8 miles long). The goal of this race is to go as hard as you can for the distance allotted. Pacing for this type of race is everything.

I would say, that of all the road races, Time Trialing is my favorite. It generally favors older racers, because so much of it is about focus and not as much about being able to sprint. A few years ago, we had many more TT races in the Iowa City area, and I had many opportunities to figure out how to race them. I got better and better and when I did this race in 2013, I finished in 1 hour and 3 minutes and my average MPH pace was 23.3. This year, I only did one true TT race beforehand and boy, did it show.

On Sunday morning, we drove to Nichols, Iowa.It was pretty foggy. The race was supposed to start at 8, but because the fog was so thick, we were told there would be a half hour delay. I got my number on and worked on warming-up for my race. My chain was a little funky and every time I went into the big ring from the small, it dropped. Great. Since there wasn't much wind and very few hills, I figured I'd just leave it in the big ring for the entire race and not have to worry about the chain.

We were told that the race was being postponed again. The fog hadn't lifted. So, John and I went to the car and took a quick nap. I warmed-up again and then found out the race was going to be delayed for 15 more minutes. That was fine. I kept easy spinning and then lined-up for my race.

I knew I wasn't in the best shape for the race, so I was going to just try for a negative split (do the beginning of the race a little slower than the last half). Unfortunately, I think I went a little too slow at the beginning. I got passed by almost everyone behind me and I couldn't make it up by the last half. I think a lot of my bad pacing was from not time trialing enough before this race. I forgot what a decent pace was for me. Oh, well. I finished in 1 hour and 8 minutes. Five minutes slower than 2013 and 2 minutes slower than last year. I guess I have my work cut-out for me for next year...

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