Friday, May 9, 2008

My First Time....

So I saddled up Wednesday night for my first 'official' individual time trial ever. I say 'official' because just about every road race and mountain bike race I've ever done has essentially ended up being an individual TT. :)

I was able to avoid the typical pre-race anxiety and associated restroom visits since I convinced myself that this was truly just for fun and training myself back into shape after my 6 week stint in crutches this winter. I suited up in my new long sleeve Capo skinsuit and last year's BSV shoe covers... which made me feel fast as hell (at least until I heard 'go' from the ACA starter)

Unlike many of the more disciplined BSV road team, I was rolling through the effort without the added weight/benefit of a power meter, heart rate monitor, computer, etc. Good old rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was all I had, and I think I held it somewhere between 7.5 to 8 out of 10 for the run from Lyons to Boulder.

I was a little bit out of my element with no barriers, mud, off camber turns, other riders, etc to deal with. The funny thing about TTs is you basically just pedal... and pedal... and pedal. Once I cleared the first climb and started to settle in a little on the flats it became painfully obvious how much nicer it would have been to have aero bars to stretch out on. I also quickly realized I have no experience guaging an effort out on the open road... the continual on/off of cyclocross and mountain biking is where I play most, so the whole steady eddy in a bigger gear was frankly just weird to try and settle in to.

Nonetheless, because I had nobody behind me for 5 or more minutes I managed to avoid getting caught. Because of that, I was able to operate under the wild misconception that maybe I was moving along pretty fast. Long story short... I most definitely was not! Turns out I should have had a large green shell on my back, because the guy pictured below could have given me a run for my money...

I ended up confused at the finish and stopped at the first set of orange cones roughly 100 feet from the actual finish. Pretty funny... probably cost me all of 15 seconds and absolutely nothing in terms of my overall poor placement. I looked back at the clock and the reality hit that I was a helluva lot slower than I hoped I would be.

I got to watch a chunk of BSV'ers layin' it down on my ride home back to Lyons... Eric, Jason, Rob, Lee and others were all gettin' it done with pointy helmets, aero bars and fancy wheels.

Lessons learned:

1. I think I can go quite a bit harder next time without blowing up, but I need the carrot of riders a bit faster than me in front so I've got somebody to chase.

2. I will break out the heart rate monitor next time for added visual motivation to go harder

3. Even though I'm built similar to Dave Zabriskie, I don't think I'll ever TT like him. (Maybe if I grew a mustache again there'd be a chance... hmmm)

4. I think I pretty much suck at time trials!



Turkey Dave said...

DEFINATELY start with growing the 'stache!!!
With a solid foundation of that on which to build, you can do no wrong.

I'd be your carrot, but you said 'faster' riders in front of you.

Good job Dan-o

Anonymous said...

Great job Dan! TT's can be humbling. But, you would be surprised at how much you can improve if you continue to do them. You may still find your calling as a tt specialist. I often feel like that guy pictured could give me a run for my money but then again he has an unfair aero advantage with that shell.