Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Providence Bicycle Time Trials

I just got back from the Providence Bicycle Tuesday Night Time Trials / Brick Workout.




Apparently I am not superman.  Apparently there is a price to pay for piling on the workouts and not taking many rest days.  In the last month I've taken only two days off.  Which in triathlon terms is certainly not unheard of.  But my previous running only training schedule had me running 4-5 days a week max with two rest days a week.  Since switching to Tri training I've been working out 6-7 days a week, and typically at least 4 of those days are double workout days.  I should add that I'm loving it... but its beginning to take a bit of a toll energy wise and today I really felt it in the time trial.

But first the good stuff....

I was really pleased to see such a great turnout today.  There was somewhere between 10-14 people out today.  It was hard to tell just how many as several riders showed up after I was already on the course and some left right after finishing, although most of us also did the brick and tagged on a run afterwards.  It was great to meet a lot of new people and there was a nice mix of ages, fitness levels, paces, men, women etc...etc...   so it was a good varied group.

Sean from Providence Bicycle lined us all up on the side of the road and we started 30 seconds apart.  Sean guessed paces pretty well so there was some passing, but not a ton.  As soon as Sean said go I was off and running.  I was a little worried I was going to feel really tired but the first mile of hills felt ok, and on the descents I was doing great.  Until around mile 2 when I hit this big bump in the road that slammed my front wheel pretty hard.  I was fine but I swore I heard something rubbing on the tire after that.  The rest of the hills on miles 2-5 were horrible.  I felt much slower than my usual pace but I was doing ok.  The frustrating part was trying to attack the hills and my legs were just saying...   we'll attack...   but maybe not quite that strong of an attack ok?  So despite my mind screaming at my legs to go harder my legs mostly said stuff back like... ummm...  maybe.... if you respected us.....    you wouldn't have logged 80 miles on the bike in two days and then expected us to work miracles on day 3!  (I don't think the two one hour pool workouts on Monday and this morning helped much either!).  Anyway...   Around mile 5 I decided I was just going to give it my all and do my best but I knew in my head that I probably didn't have a chance to beat my best time which was set on fresher legs.

Miles 5-8 of the course are mostly subtle descents you can hammer through.  I did well on the descents, but on the flats I definitely could have done better... but my legs just weren't there.  At this point I can clearly hear something rubbing on the front wheel too and that wasn't helping at all.

Mile 8 is the start of the two last big hills.  Halfway up the first hill I pulled over.  The noise from the front tire was not in my head.  So I took weight of the front tire and spun it.  And it was rubbing.  So I loosened the front brakes and that fixed it and I started back up the hill.  Fortunately that only cost me thirty seconds or so.  I was pleased with how I did on the two big hills.  Not as fast as I could have been, but pretty good.  I really reached back and hammered as strong as I could and gave it my all.  So I can be proud of that.  I also had a nice carrot on the hills in the form of a rider up in front of me who I managed to pass on every single climb.  However he's a bigger dude than me and he managed to pass me on every single descent between the climbs which was driving me nuts!  This guy just wouldn't give in!  Fortunately that battle helped push me to go harder in the last few miles and I did finally manage to shake him on the last climb into the finish.

Oh!  and I set a new personal best fastest descent speed of 39.2 miles per hour!  I'm getting braver which is great.

My final time was 50 minutes and change.  Not good.  My best time on the course is 47 minutes.  50 minutes is what I rhode the course in the first time I did it when I didn't know it.  So I was kind of dissapointed with that, but its the price I have to pay for not letting up on the training at all which I don't want to do anyway.

Some other highlights of the ride are that I managed to pass 3 or 4 people although I think at least one of those people then passed me later in the race.  I did really enjoy the fact we had riders of so many paces out there as it really does push you to go harder when you hear them behind you or see them way ahead in the distance.  So that part was great.

Right...   so off the bike, chuck it in the car as quick as I can, throw some sneakers on and set off for the run... wait...  don't be a dumbass.  Take your helmet off and NOW set off on the run.  I was pleased to see lots of other people heading out at the same time so there was going to be other people on the run course.  I round the corner to see this giant hill in front of me.  Oy!  Apparently there is no mercy on this course.  So up the hill I go with my pace eventually slowing down to 10 minute miles on the worst of the climb which is somewhat steep at points.  About a quarter mile into the run my calves started SCREAMING!  I've never felt anything like it.  Its like they were throbbing and bouncing about and complaining really loudly at me.  So I sort of slowed my pace a bit and tried to relax them and they eventually recovered.  About a mile into the 5K course I realized that it was pretty much going to be uphill for 1.5 miles, and then downhill for 1.5 miles.  So I just kept plodding along.  Then heres where it gets funny.  Ahead of me by 200 feet or so were two other runners and another runner (Erin) was only 20 feet behind me or so.  The guys ahead of me eventually come to a point where they are running towards me.  So I figure great the turnaround must be coming up soon.  I'm told theres a spray painted mark in the road you can't miss that says to turn around.  My garmin watch says I've run 1.75 miles at this point.  I start to wonder if I missed the mark.  But I didn't want to turn around in case my watch was off.  As every now and then it will get an errant GPS reading and the distance will be wrong.  At 1.9 miles I turned around to Erin and shrugged my shoulders.  Apparently we both missed the turnaround point.  So at 2 miles we turned around and joined up and ran the last two miles back together.  A half mile later we see the turnaround mark on the road.  On the WRONG side of the road!  This is what happens when a cyclist marks the turnaround point.  He puts on the side you would see if you were riding a bike, not running against the flow of traffic!  I found out later that many of us had all missed the turnaround point.  In fact over half of us did.  Which was pretty funny. 

Anyway...  Erin and I had a nice chat on the way in and in the end I managed an average pace of 8:13/mile for the run which I was happy with considreing my legs felt like hell.  On the downhill my stomach started to feel awful but I managed to fight it off.  Racing at 6pm is tough.  I had already put in an hour in the pool and my body wanted calories.  So I ate.... albeit it carefully.  But I still suffered a bit.  I'll have to keep playing with what I eat and when on TT days till I get it right.

So all in all a great workout, but a bit of a disspointing finish race wise.  I think they are going to post the results online at some point so I'll be able to see how I did in comparrison to the rest of the pack.

Oh another funny bit...   I left the house with all my water bottles and post race snacks in the car but I forgot the bottle of gatorade I had planned on sipping before the race.  So I stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way to grab a gatorade.  When I was paying for it the guy behind the counter says to me...  "if you need to sit down for a bit you should".  I gave him a funny look.  He said I looked dehydrated and I should sit for a bit.  I'm not sure why he thought I looked dehydrated other than I ran in there (literally) to buy gatorade in a hurry.  But I wasn't even remotely sweating or anything.  Weird.

Time for me to go to bed.  I'm exhausted.  Tomorrow brings another pool workout in the early morning and a strength training workout in the afternoon.  And then Thursday is back in the Pool with Jacki as well as a run workout.  And the double workout days keep on coming!

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