Monday, August 10, 2009

Time Trials- I really like them – Squirrels not so much

For the third time this year Coach has had me register for a Time Trial race. It is a little intimidating to show up to these races where the riders are obviously hard core roadies. From their fancy tires to their army ant space helmets. There are very few women that are there and the ones that are there you can tell they were born mounted to a bike.

For those that have never ridden a time trial it is basically an individual race – you against the clock on a set course. You ride in time trial bars or for us Triathletes our tri bars which automatically outs you as a newbie and a dreaded triathlete. Fortunately our coach(s) are 2 of the most respected road racers in BC and so we are tolerated.

This race was 40km out in Squamish and it was the first time I have started on a ramp inside a trailer. I was more than a little anxious and freaked. To start in a time trial – someone holds your back tire/seat and you clip in. They count you down and release on 0 and you pedal or fall over. My first time trial I would not let them do it. My second one coach practiced with me and I did it on a flat road and it did help. Third time in the trailer I almost bit it coming out but fortunately recovered at the last second.

Coach says the trick to time trialing is to not go out too hard too soon. There were a bunch of other tips she had on gearing, staying in the bars, and such. Me being me cut to the chase gal -said so cole’s notes version – ride hard try to catch Cindy – teammate starting in front of me and stay in front of Karen and Judith – teammates starting after me! She rolled her eyes and said that is what you got from all that?!?!

I rode hard kept allowing my heart rate to incrementally climb through out the race, cadence high, stayed in the big ring and actually stayed in my Tri bars the whole time – my main goal was to see if I could catch Cindy and to stay ahead of Karen for as long as possible.

Karen is an incredibly gifted triathlete who pretty much ALWAYS wins her age group and well rides the rest of us into the ground - she is also in her 20’s but I guess after Lance’s performance can’t pull the age card anymore. But I digress so I just kept riding and every time someone zipped by me I kept expecting it to be Karen but nope just roadies in their army ant helmets. I got to the turnaround and Cindy was still quite a bit ahead of me – she had actually started about 7 minutes ahead so to catch her I was going to have to work hard and she was going to have to have a bad day – so far it did not look like I was going to catch her but hey Karen had still not caught me. Then I saw Karen and crap she was only about 300 metres behind me. Ah well I decided if she was going to catch me she was going to have to work for it! I dug in and started working harder and again everytime someone passed me I fully expected it to be Karen – but no – just army ants and then with about 5 km or so Karen was there – I said to her about time and she said I KNOW. Here is where it got weird I fully expected her to be off but I was keeping up. She maybe got 500 metres in front at most and I would start to reel her back in and then she would pull ahead – I am not even sure she was aware of this happening and then with about a km or so to go I decided to go for it and reached down for the last bit – and passed her and thought to myself YES – and then I really dug in – I could see the shock on her face when I passed her again! And I won’t lie – I had a teensy tiny moment of gloating but then remembered I was in a race so I just kept hammering because no way in heck was she crossing before me or catching me again. She might beat me time wise but I was going to finish first and I did! No I did not catch Cindy either but it felt great when Karen rode up beside me and said nice catch – honestly what a compliment! So final time 1:08:04 for 40km. Cindy finished 1:07:04 - shoot only a minute ahead. And yes Karen did beat me time wise by 4 minutes but I did not give it to her – I made her earn it!

I am honestly hooked by the Time Trial bug and really would like to look into doing more next year. I did place 2nd in my age group – hold on though – there was only 2 of us in it – and the other lady was ex-pro! Still better than a kick in the pants!

No I have not forgotten the squirrel comment – I don’t actually dislike squirrels but I am beginning to wonder if in a past life I was unkind to squirrels because seriously it feels like they are out to get me! I have rolled ankles more than a couple of times trying to avoid a bloody squirrel – usually just before races. Yesterday I was riding back from my volunteer stint at the Seymour Mountain challenge and coming back over the 2nd Narrows Bridge as I am coming off the bridge on the steep NARROW slope with Highway 1 on my Left and steep slope on my right there is a cute little black squirrel on the path up ahead. I am going a good clip and I have another rider right behind me. The squirrel is not moving – and I am getting antsy so I yell at the squirrel and the bloody thing starts to get out of the way and then stops - OMG – at the last second he darts to the left - I just about had a total coronary. The adrenaline rush was massive - at the bottom of the hill I stopped just to get my heart rate back down and stop shaking. The rider behind me was like holy crap – good thing for skinny tires because he jumped back at your rear tire – WHAT!!! Thankfully I was oblivious to THAT. He was like I thought you were going down for sure and I was looking for a way to not crash on top of you. Seriously – whatever I did to you in the past I am very sorry! Please just stop trying to maim me. Either way I figure it can’t hurt to bribe the ones in my yard with some nuts – maybe word will get out that I am okay and they will take me off the hit list.
20 days….

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