Wow. And I thought the "hilly course" was tough.
This week's pain was served up in the form of a 22k time trial -a steady uphill ramp with more grade increases than decreases. Worse, my heat was comprised of one of the fastest bikers at Peak and two other males. Lovely.
At the get go, I fell into 4th place. The other three took off like raging bulls and I just kept saying to myself...pacing, pacing, pacing. The pace was a lot faster than the previous week, but even with no steep inclines I knew that I had to keep my cadence even and strong. 10 minutes in, that strategy was paying off and I was only about 350m back of the next racer, and closing fast. Steady pacing and moving into the small ring on the grades seemed to help. No gasping and tongue wagging like last week.
At 15 minutes in, I was hating the whole thing less than the prior week.
At 20 minutes in, the hate was back. The harder I pushed, the harder the course pushed back. At some point, I actually pulled into second place (wtf?) and was just trying really hard to keep it together.....I didn't want to be the wimpy girl that bonked after trying to keep up with the boys!
At 19km in, the reality set in that I was going to finish and possibly in second place. 3rd and 4th were closing fast but the little voice in my head was going nah nah nah nah nah....so I moved into the big ring and started hammering as hard as I could up the final incline. Volume on the i-pod cranked. Steady at 31 kph. Breathe.
At 43:21 it was all over....and worth the effort! Second place in my heat. A little worse for wear, but on the pain scale probably only a 8.5/1o as opposed to the 10/10 for the hilly course.
Stats for Race #3: 22.53km. 43:21 total time. 31.2 kph avg. 45.8 kph max. 200 watts avg. 321 peak watts. 12/33 racers total.
Until next week!