Whelp, it’s that time of year again! After a snowed-out hiatus in 2014, I kicked off my race season with the Frostbite Time Trial. It’s the closest USAC road event to Cheyenne, just about 25 minutes from my house so I figure it’s a no brainer for attending! Since I sold my time trial bike last year, I knew I wouldn’t win the equipment contest, but I did make a “small” effort and took off my tool bag and one bottle cage on my road bike… ha!
The weather was… well, AMAZING! My race had no wind. NO WIND. What?! Which can actually be a bad thing as there’s nothing giving you a boost (the wind would pick up later in the day for the later categories). The day before the race I did the south-north leg of the course and hauled some butt thanks to a stiff tailwind, and was slightly banking on it for the race. Ohhh well.
I can now say I’ve warmed up on a trainer in a ditch alongside the interstate… and with the sun beating down I ended up stripping off my thermal base layer and warmed up in my sports bra. It works, right? I did about 20 minutes and then got in line for the bathrooms (seriously, 3 ports-potties just isn’t enough for this race!) and headed to the start.
The start. UGH. What a cluster! First girl called didn’t show up. So Nicole Callan went off in her spectacularly fast fashion (she would win SW4). The next girl couldn’t get clipped in and didn’t roll up to the line. They get her to the line and she falls over (literally…. OUCH! Looked like it hurt). So Tim the USAC Official calls me up and then immediately goes “2…1… go” before I’m even on my bike or have the holder holding me *angry face* I went WTF and proceeded to clip in as the holder held me as a peculiar sideways angle and then the holder counted down and I went off. I have NO idea if that whole debacle affected my time, but it definitely sent my heart rate sky high. I sprinted like crazy off the start, feeling my front wheel lifting as I cranked on the bars for some power, and then settled down into my drops.
Time trialing with a power meter is ah-maze-ing! It’s a good way to make sure I don’t drop off, even though I’m maintaining the same speed. I averaged 212 watts, and set a 20 minute power PR since getting the meter at 220 (which then in turn I calculated a new FTP as apparently I can do way better outside than on a trainer any day). I settled down and just waited for the hordes of people to pass me. Never happened, only the women who would go on to get 2nd place would pass me. So that’s always a pleasant feeling! I passed the cutest junior boy who was pedaling merrily along the course. I made sure to yell out a “good job!” to him as I went past. Just too cute!
When I rounded the turnaround I was expecting a tailwind as I swore I had a headwind, and it never happened. Ugh. So I really hammered that last “smidge under 6” miles. It’s a false flat/climb back to the start and knew my climbing power helps. Just kept an eye on the power numbers and pushed through the burn in my legs. Once I crested the final hill I downshifted one or two gears and pushed towards the finish. My face distorted in pain but I spun those pedals faster and faster. Ouch, that push to the final hurt!
My final time was 32:05.982…. 4.5 minutes faster than my 2013 time! Woohoo! This was good enough for 8th Place in SW4 out of 13 competitors. I joked with my teammates that I won the nonexistent “SW4 Non Aero” category as I was the only one in the category without aero bars or a TT bike. Ha! Granted I did have my TT helmet on, but I did it because it looks so cool and matches my bike 😛 Or I just looked like a collegiate racer since they’re not allowed aero bars. I can deal with looking like a college kid!
Overall I was pleased. I was happy to see my power output and how I kept pushing. I think this was a good way to test out my training and to get a new FTP test done without fighting myself on the trainer. The race did trash my legs… I was going to ride 20-30 miles afterwards, but the wind picked up and I just was dead and hungry, so I opted for taking myself on a date for Mexican food after I chatted up with my teammates and other friends who I haven’t seen since cross season. The following day on Sunday I did 55 miles on a group ride in Fort Collins and ended up with some strong efforts thanks to Thomas egging me on so my legs are done for! Where are those Elevated Legs when I need them like we had at 24HOP?!
And that’s that… the season is now officially underway (24HOP was like a prelude). This weekend I’m giving the Oredigger Hill Climb up Lookout Mountain another go since last year I did it while sick so I’m curious to see how it goes this year. Then I do have a pause until April, so I can get in some long rides and hopefully the weather stays good! I’m really enjoying Daylight Savings this year as now I have 3-4 hours of daylight after work to get in rides!