Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rainy Time Trial

After the beautiful day we had on Saturday, wouldn't you know that it would have to change. Arkansas weather always does. After planning this club Time Trial for a few weeks mother nature had to come in and complicate things. When I went to bed last night we had about the worst possible forecast, probably 80% chance of flash flooding for Sunday. So do I call off the TT? Wait and see?? Make a decision Sunday morning?? I finally decided I would wait till when I got up and see what it was like. And at 4:45am, it wasn't raining so I figured the show must go on.

Annette left the house just after 5 to meet Brenda and Bailey to run before the TT. When I started loading the bikes it started sprinkling a little. No biggie. Then as I left the house and turned on to 321, it started pouring. I knew then no one would probably show up, but you never know who the die hards are. I was at the parking lot before 6 and the only cars there were the girls running. Just sprinkling a little then. James B pulled up a little while later, aired his tires and waited in his vehicle. I figured if no one else showed up we would just call it off. The girls came running in about 10 after 6 and we stood under the porch of the Water Company to stay dry. Then right at 6:30 Russ pulls in. He is ready to do it. The rain had slacked off to almost nothing and I told him if he wanted to I would too. The girls had no problem with timing us as they were talking anyway and the 30 minutes or so that we would be gone would fly by to them. James B decided to call it a day and not ride. He didn't want to take a chance on crashing on the wet streets. I wasn't too worried as the route was straight out and straight back. A little water wasn't going to hurt us, though it might slow us down.

We went ahead and got Russ to the line first. The girls yelled go and started his time. I waited 2.5 minutes and took off in pursuit. I figured if I could catch Russ I would be doing good. I had been adjusting my tri bars and had actually gotten them positioned where I liked them better. So my goal was stay aero as much as possible. The bad thing was, neither of us had a warm up before we started. This was not good but we wanted to go before the rain set in for good. From the start I was giving it at least an 80-85% effort. The course had several small rolling hills but these were the kind that looked flat but were just long inclines. I could feel everyone of them in my legs. We thought we might be cold since the temps were about 70 but once I got going good I was sweating.

About two miles out I could see Russ up ahead. I was pleasantly surprised that I must be gaining on him. But could I catch him and make the pass? I let off a few times and got out of the aero bars just to take a quick breather but pretty much hammered all the way. At the turn around point I had to slow to let a car pass my so I lost a few seconds. In the way out there was a little bit of a headwind so I was hoping to catch a tailwind on the way back. No such luck. I kept after it, I could feel the lactic acid building in my legs. My quads were screaming at me but I had to overcome the pain and keep going. Every hill I hit I would try to gain speed or at least maintain it going up. On the small downhills I would try to gain as much speed as I could. I was still gaining on Russ but not fast enough.

As I got closer to the finish I started thinking about when I should give that 110%. Well, it was pretty easy. At about 1 mile out there was a hill to climb, not big but just an incline. Once I hit the top of that it was probably 3/4s of a mile or less to the finish. So when I hit the peak, I gave it everything I had to the finish. I was pretty much in an all out sprint. I stayed seated but I was pushing everything I had left. I looked at my speedo and it showed 26 mph +. I'm sure if there hadn't been water on the pavement it would have been 30+. There was lots of water on the roadway. When I passed the finish I was breathing like I was doing a sprint run so naturally I had to hang my tongue out when I passed the girls like they do in the Tour. I was glad it was over and I was happy with the effort I put out. I almost caught Russ at the finish, missing him by about 25 yards.

My final time: 31:27 for 10.25 miles (just over 16K) and 19.6 mph average. Russ's final time was 33:47 @18.2 mph. I learned a lot on this one and will be better prepared for the next one. It was fun!! With a warm up and no rain I should easily be able to break over 20 next time.