New City (it’s been awhile)

It has been some time since my last post.  To be honest, I have had very little to write about.  Injuries just plain suck.  My situation is very typical… you hold out hope that it will get better very soon, it does get a touch better, you think the injury is healed (not really sure why)… and then you race on it and it starts over.  Repeat.

Cycling doesn’t seem to hurt it as much as the hard running, so that has been a nice buffer and an outlet.  Given this circumstance, I decided to head out to the New City Time Trial.  “Dinner with Eric?”  It has been probably four years (at least) since I last time trialed.  I have seen some major improvements throughout the Summer in the posted results of the time trials and realized how important a training tool it really is.  I have been meaning to make one of the Wednesday night time trials, but scheduling and other excuses kept me away.  A recent time trial bike purchase motivated me to get my butt out there and hurt a little bit (actually, a lot)!

erics_isacc

The last time I was at a New City time trial, Matt (Wheelfast) was there to time us, and there were about six riders.  Boy, have times changed!  I show up a little later than I wanted to, and find a place to park.  I couldn’t believe how many people were there.  Jason informs me that this is actually a pretty low turn out.  I’ve seen the results with nearly 50 names, but until you see that many cyclists trying to line up on Wednesday night, you really can’t imagine it.  I went over to the sign-in table, paid a buck and had my number.  The only thing left to do is warm up.  I had maybe 10 minutes to actually warm-up, and it wasn’t nearly enough time.  Once back to the start/finish area, riders were given their starting places and the first rider was off.  I was a little nervous, given the fact that I hadn’t done anything like this in years, and knowing how good the guys in the back of the line were.  They were the guys looking to blow by me at 30mph.

Soon enough, I was ready to start.  That 30 seconds gap between riders seems to go quickly until it’s your turn.  I approached the line right after Dan E. took off, and I was ready to go.  the starter counted down and off I went.  My new bike doesn’t yet have a computer (or a bottle holder for that matter) and that turned out to be a huge handicap for me.  I am always cognizant of my speed and distance and without it, it was like swimming with your eyes closed.  I started out spinning at a high cadence and then started working through the gears after a mile or so.  I felt good.  The bike felt great.  I soon started to get close to being anaerobic.  I had to back off of the gas just a little to try and recover.  Soon enough, we were at the halfway point and that is where you get a pretty good idea of how you’re doing.  Luckily, I had started my running watch and knew my time (about 12:40?).  I knew we had had a tail wind (slightly) on the way out once we flipped, because we had a slight head wind on the way back.  My lungs were burning and I was completely anaerobic on the way back.  I was trying to find a gear that I could manage.  I was working the pedals as much as I could, but the power was slipping out of my legs and there wasn’t a lot I could do.  I realized somewhere during that painful return to the finish, that I need to do some more specific training for time trials.  Something that simulates the focus, the power, and the position of that type of riding.  Obviously, I never do it.  Once I was across the finish line, I realized how painful my legs felt.  I could barely move them.  I was spent.  I looked down at my watch somewhere after the finish line and saw about 26 and a half minutes.  It was about what I expected.  I need some work on that discipline, but it was a lot of fun.  I can see how doing that every two weeks will get you into shape.  I’ll be back.