Sunday, June 21, 2009
'09 Kansas State Time Trial
Missouri State TT is fast approaching so I needed to get a 40K in my legs. That usually means a trip to Arkansas. Unfortunately this year schedules conflicted so I head to Walnut, KS for the Kansas State TT. I figured cool, its Kansas it will be dead flat & fast. Nope! Take a look at the profile. Just a few speed bumps, right? Not even close. Driving in I was shocked at the amount of climbing. Don't get me wrong the climbs aren't Mountains but enough to put the hurt in your legs. I figured I had better come up with a pacing strategy or I was going to be toast the last 10K since the hardest part of the course is 10-30K. Especially since I had a very hard week of training in my legs already & was feeling the load.
I got to the race in time to register & learn I had to kill off 3 hours before my start. It was 80F & humid @ 6:30am so I kept up my hydration plan & kicked up my legs & watched the officials set up & racers start to show up. I chatted Bill Hall & his wife up for awhile. Then it was time to start warming up. Of course now the blackening clouds decided to drop some liquid humidity. I set the trainer up under an entry way & put into action my secret hot weather warm up strategy.
Start time is within 15 minutes so I put the trainer up mount the disc wheel & put the pointy helmet on. Time to get in line. I'll give this race props for having their crap together. 3 tents set up in a row for staging. No standing around in the hot sun, or rain in this case. The rain did let up about this time though leaving the roads wet.
Missouri could learn a thing or two from Kansas on how to put on a time trial. They have plenty of officials & volunteers. The start area has the road all painted up with sponsors logos. They even have a holder. Something Missouri used to do & has given up in the last few years.
I get my turn & the count down from ten begins. The official says 1, go & I push off & spin a wheel on the painted logos. Oops. I only loose a little momentum & I'm rolling. I decided not to go out crazy fast & get up to 45kph in about 30 seconds. I feel comfortable & the heart rate climbs to only 165. About what I want(normally I do a 40K @ 171). Pacing plan is in full swing. It feels weird not going balls out but I don't want to over cook it. I hit the first climb & I keep my rhythm. The course is L shaped & right after the L turn I hit a slight cross/head wind & my legs give me that first Oh Shit feeling. I work through it telling myself I'm not going that hard & can recover. I get my legs back & keep ticking away @ 40KPH. Shortly I see Willy Gualt hauling ass on the return(on his way to a high 52!) He's on one of the descents & I decided I need to really kick it up on the steeper descents on the 20-30K Section.
I hit the turn around @ just under 29 minutes & Laterne Rouge Roger is warning me to slow down the turn is very slick. I get around safe & I hear him yell good job now get your ass moving! OK Roger I'll see what I can do. Turns out not much. The 20-30K section beats me up but I keep my pacing strategy & roll on. I'm still on pace for a sub 59. At the 5K to go mark my one minute guy catches me. Oh well this is just training. I let him get the legal distance & I get to the side of him to avoid his draft. I hit the line in 58:56 feeling fresher than I ever have @ the end of a 40K.
Probably paced myself a little too well. I figure I had a 57:30 in my legs. The course is deceptively fast. Next year I'll know better. But a sub 59 after a hard week I'll take any time. Now I have to keep my focus, make it through Tour of KC part 1 & do some specific work. If the weather cooperates on race day I might finally get that 56 I've been shooting for.
Good thing is my worries about my new TT position seem to be unfounded. I made quite a few changes this spring & in testing this week it seemed fast but I wasn't able to put out the power #'s I have in the past. I figured either it was better aerodynamics or it was a crappy set up. Either way I'd find out in a race. Turns out, I think, its better aerodynamics. Now a few more tweaks & I should have it dialed.