Tuesday, June 23, 2009

sheez, why bother.....

That is the exact "little voice" that keeps ringing in my head as I think about Time trialing and that I squash within milliseconds of hearing it. Its not that I didnt have a great TT at Groveport and States. I went fast both days, just not fast enough...please read on.

Its a very complicated thing. On the one hand I have a month shy of 3 years of riding a bike (after a long time not riding) and I am going faster than I ever imagined I could go. 3 years ago my goal to my new coach was to not get dropped on the Tuesday and Thursday Square Wheels club rides (I was getting dropped at first)and try and see if I could break an hour in the 40k TT. So why do I let negative thoughts enter my head?

Heck, I guess its because its hard to imagine making the leap in power, drag, pacing?? required to go a minute and a half faster or more to compete with Paul, Matt, Brian, John Card, etc. So is it worth all of this specific training and stupidly expensive TT equipment? Luckily for me I am normally a very positive person, which by itself is just amazing (but thats a long story too).

So I have spun this around in two major ways in my crazy brain. First of all I am taking the somewhat patient approach. I am not saying I cannot make the power to move up another minute or so with another couple years of hard work and I am willing to keep working. And another positive twist is I have sort of made the decision that I am not spending money on new wheels or a carbon TT frame till I take care of the power and drag (fit). And saving money these days is so important (more lacking the urge to spend money by justifying time gains with cash).

At States I changed my position on the bike WHILE racing and its faster for sure. That was very cool. On the one hand its lower drag, but on the other I cannot ride straight to save my life, but that will go away with practice. I am not swerving 3 or 4', but any thing but smooth and straight as an arrow is drag on the tires. This is a game of details. I also tried a team mates bike that fit like a glove, but uses a different (and still UCI legal) position and it feels like it could work for me.

So this testing and what I call using myself as my own personal human test dummy also adds to the love of time trialing. And yes, I did try new things during the biggest TT race fr me this season. All this will decrease my time deficit to Ohio's best time trialers. I know I am leaving something on the table and I suppose always will. Thats motivation to me to get everything right. I also chnaged my warm-up and That made me feel really ready when I took off down the start ramp.

At States I averaged 27.7mph for 19.1 miles (what some of us think is the correct distance). It was actually fun in a sick way to hammer into the wind and up the rollers and flase flats on the way home. It was so competitive this year that even with that average speed I was 9th overall (about 6th in our State). 3 fast time trialers out of Indiana were ahead of me. And the top 5 were all within 21 seconds.

If your taking this as sour grapes, then your getting my very hard to describe point wrong and I dont blame you. I am happy on so many levels, but I am a competitor. I want to podium at States and Nationals simply because its so painful and requires so much work to achieve. Some are just happy doing their best. If thats the only barometer that I gauge my performance by then I am 100% happy with Groveport and States. I gave it my all and went fast. I just didnt go Furious Fast!!


ueberdiebruecke said...

This is part of the appeal -- and the curse -- of doing time trials: looking to wring out every last second from the wattage that you can produce.

When you consider the variables: aerodynamics (equipment + position), preparation (training, nutrition, etc.), pacing during the race ... you can spend a lot of time, energy, and cash.

Part of the allure is that guys with limited wattage can still compete on a high level. I read that Colby Pearce set the US hour record on a meager 300 (or so) watts.

If you can dial in everything just right ... who knows.

Tom said...

Isn't this part of the mental game of TTs? I mean, there are at least two mental parts to a TT. First is knowing you have the right position and equipment you can provide yourself. If you have that doubt in your position or equipment, or training, you may not feel confident enough to squeeze out those last few watts.

Second, of course, you have to convince yourself you can go that hard for that long.

Ray Huang said...

Right on ueberdiebruecke.

Tom, you know you almost always feel like you didnt go as hard as you could have afterwards. Letf somethng on the out lap or didnt push hard enough the last 3 miles. Ot there was that stretch of a mile or two where you didnt believe or didnt push for that extra 0.2mph that you knew was there. Ive always believed that Time Trialing is a very mental sport.