This morning I went out and did some 24mph intervals in the 39×15. It was sunny and I felt good, finally. The intervals felt easy and my legs felt fresh. Later in the day, I went into the shop one last time to make some more changes on my 5 speed TT bike. It’s called the 5 speed because it has 5 speeds. Big gear, bigger gear, bigger gear, bigger gear, and biggest gear. The front derailuer doesn’t work and the rear deraileur only shifts 5 of the back 10 gears. But none of that mattered during the race because it was completely flat and the only gears I needed were the big ones.
After a good warm up in the humid and comfortable late afternoon air, I rolled up to the line, prepared to enter the pain cave. I glanced down at my legs, somewhat shaking with nerves, and noticed the teaming number of small bugs plastered onto my legs. They were dead on impact and stuck in the oily stuff I had smeared on my legs for “protection against cooling down”–whatever that means. I took 15 big breaths of air, gulping it down like a free diver in preparation for an 8 minute and 48 second dive. I let out a slight grunt as I sprinted off into the wind.
I started out too hard, averaging about 650 watts for the first 45 seconds. Then, I didn’t go hard enough during the next 5 minutes while I recovered from my initial excitement. I watched, helplessly, as I saw my average watts go dwindle down. 630. 615. 599. 587. 545. 520. 490. 470. They got all the way down to 410 by the time I got to the final minute and a half of the course. As I entered the last of the 6 kilometers, I passed my 1 minute guy, but not my 30 second guy. By now I could see a neon yellow school sign, which I had remembered was very close to the end. I stood up and began sprinting, and without even having to reach down and shift up, my 5 speed shifted for me, somehow realizing that I needed that one extra gear.
My sprint lasted way too long, signifying that I hadn’t gone hard enough earlier on in the TT. I looked down at my AV watts after I crossed the finish line and saw 420. 10 shy of what I thought I wanted and 70 shy of what Gilad wanted. Realistically, I think I could have done 445 or 450 today, but messed it up in the beginning by going too hard and then not going hard enough when it counted. It was painful nonetheless. I took 24th out of about 75 riders.
I went on a 40 minute cool down ride later in the night and ate a feast of chicken and pasta at Tony’s.
Time to go to sleep; tomorrow’s going to be brutal!