Wednesday, 9 January
It was a full contingent of 8 riders in the 7:00 heat at CycleU tonight: 6 men, another woman, and me. Once again the CompuTrainer HR monitor said I don't even have a pulse, and the monitor I brought from home only picked up the bird-like heart rates from Brian and Christine on either side of me. I know full well my HR doesn't get up to 137 when I'm just doodling along producing 85 watts. So that left me with only 2 things to watch for entertainment during the whole TT: watts and speed. Oh, and last year's Tour of California, which was actually pretty good distraction.
Lang gave us warnings at 2 minutes, 30 seconds, and 5 seconds, and we were off. Brian suddenly announced that I was in first place. I thought he was joking and I was afraid to look up. But sure enough, 5 seconds in, there was a 1 in the box under my name. By 10 seconds, I figured something was wrong. I mean, had everyone else stopped pedaling? Whatever strengths I have on the bike, bursts of power off the starting blocks are not one I've ever been credited with. I began to think they were all just being gentlemen and letting me ride away (I was getting worried that maybe I was going a whole lot harder than I realized and would soon have my first ever total explosion on the bike), until 24 seconds showed on the clock and OAD caught me and gave a big victory shout. And never looked back. After that, it was just a matter of watching them catch me one by one. When Tony caught me, I found a little spurt of feistiness and passed him back, but that was short lived and he soon left me in the dirt too.
Still, instead of paying a price for the apparent massive surge of power at the start, it ended up helping my time in the end. I had the fastest time that I've had in 21 months--and I think that one on 3/30/06 had some questionable calibration because it was more than a minute faster than tonight. Results will eventually be posted here, in case you want some chuckles to go with your morning coffee.
BTW these TTs are great. They make you hurt even more than a real TT, I think, especially if you can find some motivation (distraction) in holding off people who are catching you or trying to pass someone who's just overtaken you (it's a mass start TT, after all). I always go through at least one phase where I'm sure I'm going to get sick (oh, now that's a good selling point, I'm sure!). Watching those guys ride up the climbs along the California coast was pretty cool today. Lang promises video from the Wenatchee stage race at the next one! You can sign up here.