At the start of May, the Powers That Be want to increase the distance for the Long Island Social Distancing Individual Time Trial. However, I felt that I still had some unfinished business on the ten kilometer loop, so after checking the weather forecasts, I made plans to go out there again on Tuesday after work. I took off a quarter day from the office so I could get to the course around three thirty in the afternoon, have a warmup lap, and then go at it around four. The temperatures were going to be in the sixties, and the wind out of the west, north-west, the ideal wind for a strong finish.
After rehashing things with my coach earlier in the week, he seem to indicate that sector two was where I was not racing in the proper watt range. Today I made it a point to improve on this sector. My friend Chris came out to spectate, and hold my car keys. It is quite annoying having a proximity key. Thus hiding it somewhere around the car defeats the purpose of keeping the car locked. My skin suit does not have any pockets.
After my warmup lap, I got rolling on Juno the race bike. I handed Chris my Keys and my phone. I quickly showed her how to use the SprintTimer photo finish software on the phone. We use it when we officiate at the Track, and it has come in handy at the Merrick Criteriums when I officiated at those. Thus, she could time and get a photo finish of me. I was also curious to use that software in conjunction with timing.
At the start line, I was being buffeted by a nice tail wind. After fiddling around some, I rolled up to the starting point and started from a track stand. I pushed off the start, and made for the hill to get me up to the golf course. Once I crested I pushed some more to increase my speed, taking advantage of the tail wind and the slight downhill. I was finding this to be challenging. The wind was hitting me in gusts and it really felt like I was taking a beating laterally. The bike wanted to yaw and roll, and I had to be very attentive to not lose the bike.
Arriving at turn one, as usual, I made a mess out of this turn. I think I come in to fast and end up missing my turn-in point to keep me on my side of the road. Luckily there was no water today. I crested the hill and tucked in for a long two mile stretch. This section is characterized by undulating terrain. I completely botched the bumps by the gas pipe so eloquently pointed out by Paul last week. Glancing every so often at the Garmin unit I willed myself to keep pushing in order to keep my power and speed where it needed to be.
I finally arrived at turn two, the bull. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a car approaching from my left. This was going to impact my turn, but in wanting to keep things safe, I applied some brakes to bleed some speed off allowing me to make a tighter right turn keeping me tucked into the side of the road. And just as I finished the turn, the car passed me.
However, there was going to be a penalty for dropping those few miles per hour. Going into sector three, I had a small rise and headwind to contend with, and accelerating back up to time trial speed was hard on the now tired legs and lungs. In fact this whole sector, second longest, was just plain brutal. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get into the power zone I needed to be in. If I shifted up a gear it was to big of a gear, and if I shifted down it was to small of a gear. I wanted something in between.
An infinite amount of time later, I finally arrived at turn three, and it was clear so I carried full speed through. On sector four I still had a head wind to contend with but, this was going to be the shortest one, at half a mile, or better eight hundred meters, or better two laps of the Kissena track. Your brain on oxygen depravation tries to think up all sorts of things to distract you from the Pain Cave.
With turn four in sight and the Garmin bleeping that I was starting my tenth kilometer, I looked at the time. Once again this was going to be close. The tail wind on sector five was not as good as the second day, but I was not complaining for the added push. And pushed I did. I just tried to will my self to keep the pedals going hard. Finally I passed the finish line. Looking over the data, I posted a time of 15:22.50. Photo finish had me at 15:22.31, but Chris was not properly positioned for accuracy, but either way, it confirmed that I was pretty much spot on with my timing.
What that means is that I was 0.42 seconds slower then my best time. I will blame not getting a Personal Record (PR) on having to slow at turn two for the car. Further analysis can be seen in the following chart. You can clearly see that I improved nicely on sector two, but not so much elsewhere.
Here is the usual video link of the run. Of course as always, the data on the video is from the camera, and is there for entertainment value.
“…it does not hurt…”