Monday, February 16, 2009

Tundra Time Trial report by Eddie O'Dea

The first race is over. It’s good that it was a short fast race that has not real bearing on my season other than some practice at getting there and going through the process of getting psyched up to kill it for 20 some minutes. After watching the TofC today, I think the Levi approach to getting into the moment will be incorporated into the next TT. Today, I just loaded up on a few cups of 53×11 coffee. We arrived with just enough time to pedal a few time, pee and toe the line. I actually timed it just right with about 1.5 minutes until my start and Namrita was starting just in front of me. I had the full TT set up

…TT frame, full disc wheels and the helmet all via AVX Bikes. I only had two rides on the thing, but I felt great as I cranked it up down the opening stretch. The course was an out and back on a rail to trail (aka old rail bed), so the hills were less than 4% and no turns except for the turn around 4.85 miles out. My starting plan was to hit my tempo heart rate and hold it until the turn around and then peg it at or above LT until I either finished or died trying. That went right out the door as I pegged 160 bpm (higher than LT for me) within the first minute. I decided to try to hold the effort rather than slow down. This would either result in an impressive time or I would fade like a Fourth of July spectacle. I passed a number of riders in the first half as I concentrated on my form rather than the heart rate I was hitting. Knees over toes, stack the bone and make more power. Pedaling in beautifully smooth ovals as I used every muscle in my hip to drive those pedals over 360*…over and over again. Choke up on the aerobar on the flats, slide back on the climbs, keep the upper body relaxed, and the head out of the wind. So much to think about, but its better to concentrate on these things than the burning in my legs & lungs. I made the 180* turn around cautiously on the wet concrete and came back up to speed as quickly as possible. The return was shorter & faster than the way out due to a slight descent. I pushed hard couple of number of times, but kept my effort in check as I did not want to blow it this far in. As I crossed the last intersection leading the last little rise I jumped on it, then back off because I didn’t think I could hold it another 600-800 meters to the line while climbing (even if it was slight). My HR was still 160 and I figured it was be silly to blow it on that hill with a flat run to tho the finish. I rose over the top only to see the finish line closer than I expected…..should have gone harder up the last bit, but too late now. I put my head down and buried myself in oxygen debt. 23:04 for 9.5 miles. Not too shabby for my first TT in 6 years. I really enjoyed the effort and will definitely do it again and spend some time refining my effort, bike set up and technique. I’ll be working with Tom Coleman of Wobble Naught in a few weeks at the Kenda Pro Team camp and will see if I can work in a few minutes to review my TT technique….Andy Applegate will be there too. He took second over all at the Tundra TT last year and has a bunch of TT championships to his name. I will of course be able to share this info with my 55nine clients as well.