Last night I did the local Echelon Goleta Time Trial. I didn't really want to do it, as TT's are really the hardest races for me. I even went so far last Friday as to tell a friend that if I won my race on Saturday, I wouldn't force myself to do the TT...but when it came right down to it, my coach's words were echoing in my brain (you'll get faster at TT's if you just DO them...), and also the realization that I needed to do this one if I was going to have any chance of completing the required 4 to get in the running for the end-of-series awards, so i decided to do it. It was to be my third high-intensity ride in as many days, so the old legs didn't quite have their 'snap,' and I was also running later than I wished I was, so I didn't have my full warmup.
Lately I have been able to push harder than in previous months, so I decided to push the heart rate up a notch today and try to work harder. As it is just a local TT, if I blew up, I'd learn a valuable lesson about how hard I can push myself... As it turned out, it was a really useful experiment! I started the same as always, but I ramped up a little quicker, and my goal was to be about 5bpm higher than last time for the entire time. I felt slow the whole way out...it was windier than last time, and the speed was just not what I was hoping for. Thankfully I settled in and the legs got their normal tired but not dead feeling, and I held steady. Passing 2 people on this stretch did help the ego, as well. Going up the hill by DP I was finally feeling good. I was able to hold my speed up the hill, even though it was really hard, and get around the turnaround. However, I had to STOP for the light at the top of the hill! I did my best rendition of a trackstand, and when that was no longer an option, I kind of turned down the street to keep from having to get off the bike. Ack. The time was just clicking away. AFter that, I screamed down the hill and then again had to STOP at the next turnaround. There was so much traffic! Here i am thinking my time is shot....while fostering an increased motivation to really push it on the final leg in. The tailwind didn't hurt, either! I really got into a good rhythm, but felt super slow when Gary and Pops passed by me. Oh well...you have what you have! I did get the increased motivation to pass a 4th person, and push the heart rate up to 200 to cross the line. My time, once I got it all calculated out was 26:44, a good 40 seconds faster than my first effort on this course. In addition, it was good enough to win the women's division. Maybe next month there won't be cars in the way! Maybe all these hard efforts are paying off and I'm finally able to push a little more power. Maybe it was just luck, or the lucky water bottle i had borrowed. I haven't yet looked at my average HR, but I'm guessing it was 185/187ish, which is a good 7 beats higher than my last TT effort.
Oh well...I sure hope these are making me stronger!