I had only been focusing more on the bike the last few weeks, and haven't really done any speed work and or many intervals other than strength progression sets on the trainer. So I felt good, but I didn't know if I would be able to beat last spring's time when I had been working more on the bike in the spring. My goal was sub 30 minutes, or avg of 25mph.I always get a kick out of how serious the roadies are in these races. Yeah, every second counts but some people are going out at barely over 20mph with skinsuits and shoe covers on looking like tour riders! I was going to rock it triathlon style with a singlet, tri-shorts and my funny one-strap tri shoes. I even considered starting with my feet on top of my shoes and pretending I was taking off out of T-1 but didn't, and because it was cold out I skipped the singlet and used a simple UnderArmour long sleeved top.
One great thing about short TT's is that you get to strip your bike to it's essentials. In IronMan training you spend so many hours on the bike working on pacing and fueling and your bike is often laiden with 2 or more water bottles to keep you going for 6 hr rides. Add in a seat bag for spare tubes, tools and CO2 and it's like your taking a Ferrari out for a family vacation. With a short TT it's the bike, race wheels and that's it. No water bottles, no tools/spares, nothing but your bike and you. Pure speed, hopefully.
I was #159 out of 185, so I was starting near the end. The finish line is just across a wooded strip from the start line, so many people were roaring across the finish as we got ready to start. Started out good and found my legs right away and settled in. Here I am holding perfect form just about 200 yards from the start :)
The first 5-6 miles are traditionally downwind or with no wind. It's only after you make a big sweeping turn and get on the road closer to Lake Erie that you start to catch any wind. This rang true today and the first 5-6 miles were all at 26-27 miles per hour. It's a cool feeling to look at your bike computer and see 26.5 mph and to see the indicator with a down arrow indicating you are going slower than your avg speed for the ride. Made the turn and of course there was the wind as we got closer to the lake. I continued passing riders (never got passed) and was struggling to hold 24-25 mph for miles 7-10. Once I hit mile 10 put my head down and gave it everything I could to keep the momentum up to the finish. All the while I never had my bike computer showing anything but speed and distance. I knew my speed was going to be better than my past personal best of just over 25mph average wich resulted in a time of 29:58 last year, but I had no idea by how much.
Saw the finish line with about 1/2 mile or less to go and kept the speed at about 27+ for the last 1/2 mile. Crossed the line and hit my computer and saw 29:02 for an average of 25.83mph. Almost a 1 minute PB! I have no idea what my HR was as I didn't wear my monitor, but I know it was definitely an all out effort. Given that I have done little or no training for a race of this type I was thrilled with the result and came in 20th overall out of 180+ riders. Here's a good pic of the finish. I've noticed from coach John's web page pictures that you have to make 'angry face' to go fast. I was doing my best JH angry face impression here at about 200 yards to the finish.
Definitely a good result for all the more biking I've put in. Plus through all the IM training sometimes it's just fun to throw all the pacing and strategy out the window and just go ride fast!
Zack also had a good day and despite not doing much riding all spring other than trips around the block rode a respectable 41 minutes for the ride. He defintely had fun and will be back for more racing in the future.