Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spangle TT Series

I finally got my TT bike built up the day before race 1 of the Spangle Time Trial Series but on my Emde Sports. This series is a combination of 4 time trials. Two 12 mile TTs and two 22 mi TTs. No sense in trying something new the day of a race. I have been needing to build up my new Orbea Ordu but had been waiting for a couple parts. Robin, at Fitness Fanatics, got in my base bar and then I was ready to build.

Since I run Shimano Di2, it can be a little tricky to build. But in the big picture, it is not too bad because it is wires, not cables with tension. If you have not tried di2, let me say that unless you plan on buying it, don't try it. I have never been so amazed by a new product. Technology is definitely taking new shape. I suppose the next step will be wireless shifting.

I got it all built up late Wednesday night for Thursday afternoon race. I showed up to the race start and took it off the rack and took it out for about 4 mile spin. It all seemed to hold together, so I was ready to race. This race was a short 12 miles. Short yes, but painful as well. I had not raced a TT in quite some time, and not one this short. In a triathlon, it's a little easier to settle in. If you don't go hard enough, you can always run harder. If you go too hard, you fade and you still have to struggle through the run. But in a cycling TT, it's pain form start to finish. It's the "Race of Truth." The person who goes the fastest from point A to point B will win. No hiding, no drafting, no team, no team strategy. Just you and the clock.

As I took off, I watched my watts on my SRM and saw that they were pretty high. But, ignorantly, I felt like I could maintain those watts. Then about 2 minutes passed and my legs felt like plump, well done, sausages. I knew I would need to settle down a bit and ride what I know I am capable of. As I pressed on, I kept things constant and felt good. 6 miles out takes forever...but it always seems to go a lot faster on the way back. When I crossed the line I was spent. I can't say that I rode it very well, but I knew I went hard. Best of all, my bike did not fall apart and I posted the fastest time at 26:50.

It was a great baseline for me since I had not been on the bike for a bit. I was able to look at the data and see where I was too confident, and where I faded. But all in all, it was a solid effort. Next time it would be a 22 mile TT. Ouch.

Jump forward about 10 days to the 22 mile TT. This race was on a Saturday and Jessi, Emma, and Owen came to cheer. It's always nice to have some "support" in case you fall apart and someone needs to drag your sorry carcass home...or to the hospital. It was also only a few days after the Wednesday Mt Bike race. I was a bit nervous about recovery, but I have been using Extreme Endurance for a few months now and my body seems to adapt to harder workouts better. This, again, would be a good test.

Chitchatting with Marla Emde

Next to go...

The Start

The Middle

Ridin' the whiteline

This would be ride #2 on my new Orbea with the Di2. I knew what kind of watts I did in a 12 mile race and figured I should be able to avg the same or a tad less since I felt I went out too hard in the last one. I used my TIMEX Global Trainer this time to see how far into the course I was, and more importantly, how close to the finish I was as well. I selected a 2 field layout. One for speed, and one for distance. My legs would tell me if I was working hard enough and the powermeter should be in line with my legs.

I started off well, and watts were a tad high, but not like in the 12 mi TT. I settled in and tried to stay smooth. My position on the bike is pretty aggressive, so I know if I stay relaxed, it translates into speed. They had us go off in 1 minute intervals and I caught the first couple people in about 3 and 4 miles. I caught my minute man, at mile 6. So I knew I was going along well, but there was a long way to go. If too much is put out in the early miles, the last 3 miles will be rough. Kind of like a sputtering plane. Watts would be high...then low...then high, etc. Not a good pattern. I hit the turn and knew I was moving well. On the way back I held it steady and it went by fast. I crossed the line in 46:31 for the fastest time of the day, with an avg watts AND speed greater than the 12 mile race. I think it was due to having Jessi, Emma, and Owen there.

The Finish...with cheers from Emma

One thing I love about these races is seeing all the people out there testing themselves against the clock. It's a bold race that many people are afraid to do. I know I am each time I do. Because it's like a VO2 test. Fortunately this one you know when it will be over...you just question if you gave it everything you had.

Good luck to all of you and your "trials."


jessithompson said...

Way to go, love! Uh... your speeds on these TTs is ri.dic.u.lous! So fun to be there to watch and cheer. Wish we had a pic of you decked out in your TT gear changing Owen's diaper in the back of the car. :-)

Steve said...

Nice work Rog! I definitely want to try one of these soon. Impressive to go even faster in the longer race.

Have a great 'painful' time at the next couple TT's :)