I have been participating in the CBTT (Charlie Baker Time Trial) since 2005, and have made significant time improvements over the years I have been racing - some as a result of coughing up for all the right equipment, but also through some hard work.
Last week, I rode from the house over to the event, as usual, and felt like absolute poo. I had raced a VERY muddy and wet MTB race the Sunday before (that took over 3 hours due to miserable conditions and a rear wheel that wouldn't turn on it's own), and had ridden reasonably hard with our junior development team the night prior. I figured that this was just not my night, and accepted that. The excuses were flowing fast and furious before I even started!
Heading out on the first leg of the loop (it's a 9.75 mile course with all right hand turns and one climb), I felt good, and was surprised to see speeds in the 27 to 30 mph range without feeling as if I was killing myself. I know that those speeds are high, and I backed off just a bit, worried that I wouldn't have anything left on the backside [hilly] part of the course if I went all out here. I assumed that I was riding with a major tailwind and would wind up paying later.
Mike started 30 seconds behind me, and I was surprised at how long it took him to catch me. When he did go by, I made it a goal to see how long I could keep him in sight, knowing he would soon be gone. I maintained visual contact all through the second leg of the course (woohoo!). As we made the right turn onto the final leg, I was very surprised to find myself closing the gap between us. Um - now what do I do? I shouldn't be passing him back - just not possible! But, pass him I did. And then I floored it to see if I could maintain my position.
I crossed the finish line in 23:03 - 14 seconds FASTER than my previous PR set last year!!! That equates to a 25.4 mph average speed. I am, of course, excited about the new PR, but also a bit disappointed that I couldn't find the extra 4 seconds needed to break into the 22 minute range. This is why I keep going BACK to the stupid TT! I also did a search of faster times over the years. There are now only 4 women faster than me, and 3 of them are professional triathletes with Ironman wins and a World Championship, and the other is an Olympic cycling hopeful for 2012! Not bad company, I'd say.
Tonight - the MTB TT championship!