Last Sunday, I got to race in my 2nd Southwest Ohio Indoor Bike Time Trial! I was excited to have another opportunity at this because in my first race, I was really sick, and I had mistakenly warmed up for like 90 minutes. This time, I was determined to do better, however I was nervous because my legs were super tired from racing the Grant Park trail run the day before. Let’s just say, the best part about my race, was the Dunkin’ Donuts after!
Haha….but let me tell you about the whole experience anyway…
We got to the gym where the time trial was at about 45 minute before my race time. I hoped on my bike and warmed up as soon as we got there. I figured about a 45 minute warm-up was sufficient for a 10k sprint. Instantly, my legs felt super tired, and I knew the time trial would be a struggle.
I lined up in my slot, and discovered that I was competing against some of THE best cyclists in Dayton. Mildly intimidating! At this point, my only goal was to finish and not completely embarrass myself. The race director went around asking us what our goals were. I told him mine was to PR (though I knew that was even stretching it). He told me that on average, people PR by 1 minute from their first time trial to their second. I had some SERIOUS doubts about that, but I told him I’d try for that.
Well, the race started, and I actually went out pretty strong and hard! For about 30 seconds, I thought I had a chance of making my goal time. Then, after a minute, my legs were SCREAMING! Uh oh! I still had a looooong way to go. Also, around this time, all of the other competitors made a lot of distance between themselves and me. I’m not saying this was my reason for doing poorly, but it did make it slightly harder to feel motivated.
I struggled through the entire first half zoning in and out, feeling like my legs were going to die…. Finally, at the half-way point, I felt like I was able to focus and tried to get it together. I pushed hard, and did my best, but in the end, I was about 20 seconds slower than my PR, several watts/kg lower than my last race, and (aside from my legs) not as tired as I was after the first race. I felt like I had the energy and lung capacity to do really well, but my tired legs just wouldn’t put out.
However, I learned a lot for my next race coming up in February! This next race, I’m NOT going to stand up in the saddle until the end of the race–I noticed that no one else was doing that. Though I feel like it gives me more power, I think it wears me out quicker too. Also, I’m going to pick a goal wattage and try to stick to that instead of focusing on how far ahead (or behind) other people are to me. Lastly, I’m going to start out a tad more conservatively so I make sure my legs are screaming as early as they were this last time. Wish me luck! February 8th is my next race!