Yes I know this is long, but it is my post.....
I got in later than expected last night and did not get to spin, rushed to get my stuff together for the TT today and I was in bed and ready for a good night's sleep by midnight. Tossed and turned all night until the alarm whet off at 5:30 and I layed in bed listening to the rain...geez this ought to be fun. But, I didn't want PCad to give me a HTFU lecture so I rolled out of bed, ate my usual breakfast of oatmeal, pb & banana and jumped in the shower. I caught a ride with one of the CAT4's and over the hour and 20 minute ride the temperature began to drop. By the time we arrived at the course the rain had changed over to snow...thankfully.
I miscalculated the drive time and we got there about an hour before my start time. I got my bike setup on the trainer and went in to get my number. I got back and did my normal 20 minute pin job and grabbed my gear to change. I get back to the bike with 9 whole minutes before my start time. I slam a gel and curse myself for not wearing a watch. I ride in circles around the start tent and manage to get my heart rate up to 94...... on the plus side the wind has picked up and it is snowing so hard I can't see more than a couple of hundred yards.
I take off on my first real time trial for 40.1K of fun. I decided that I would take it easy from the start and look down to see that I am only pushing 630 watts.....might want to back off a little. My goal for the outbound leg was to keep my wattage in the 300-310 range which is a little below my FTP. For the first few minutes I'm running 345-370 and I can't seem to make myself back-off. The headwind is really bad and I already see my 1 minute man up the road. My HR is a couple of beats above threshold and I make myself drop to 290. I stay at this pace trying to get my HR down, but it will only drop to 1 beat below TH. I catch my 1 minute man and see the 2 minute in the distance. I hold at 290, but my HR will not drop. I decide to drink and reach for the bottle only to find that the front side has iced over. When I try to drink the nipple has frozen over and I guess I won't be drinking during this TT...
At this point I am getting worried about my power/HR. I try going to a bigger gear and it seems to work for a couple of minutes as my HR drops a couple of beats and I can certainly feel the bigger gear/lower cadence in my legs. I glance down and notice that ice has formed on my shoe covers......and on the cables running in front of the down-tube. I catch my 2 minute man and keep trying to power through the wind. My HR creeps up again and I have no choice but to back down a gear. At this point I am about 7 or 8 miles into the outbound leg and I am starting to hit rollers. I try to keep my momentum up, but really struggle against the wind and have to get out of the saddle for the first time. I had been in the mid 400's for about a minute and have to back off on the down hill. I see my 3 minute man who seems to really be struggling and pass him quickly. I start to hear a rubbing noise and look down to see that my head tube and front brake have iced over and that ice is rubbing against the front wheel. I'm really suffering at this point and my power is down while my HR is up. I kind of go into a daze and next thing I know the course worker is telling me to turn. The turn around is very confusing as it is right at the point where a 4 lane highway converges to two. I slow to turn only to realize I am about 100 yards short of the turn area. I get out of the saddle and accelerate and take off through the turn. Life immediately gets better as the wind is now at my back. I see someone ahead and realize it is the back of the women's race.
With the wind at my back I am ready to go and I shift down to my 13t...........well I try to but the chain starts jumping. I look back and my 12 and 13t cogs look to be iced over oh well, guess I'll be in a 14 most of the way back. I catch several riders from the women's race and my 4 minute man over the next few miles. Not having the 12t and 13t is frustrating as I am spinning the 14 way above my natural cadence. This may have been a blessing as the last 3 miles are up hill and I feel it. My feet are numb at this point and every forward facing surface of me and my bike has iced over and I just want it to be over....then I see my 5 minute man (I went off sixth) I push a little harder but he is not coming in as fast as the others. There are two 300 yard stairstep climbs to the finish. I catch him at the top of the second and power past....but he sprints past me at the line.
Screw the cool-down, I coast down the hill to the car and get off of my bike. I look it over and can't believe how bad it is. The small chainring is completely encased in ice and there is actually ice on both sides of the disc wheel.
I check my PT to see how bad my performance was and then I started to realize how sucky my ride was. 1:06:46 for 40.1k, avg power of only 279 with normalized @ 292. Avg HR was 155 (LTHR for me is 156). Outbound power looked a little better at 290 avg and 302 normalized, but was still way off my FTP and what I thought I could do. I guess the gearing issue hurt me some, but I left feeling like I may have left some time out there.
Oh well, my official time was 1:07:07 not sure where the extra 21 seconds came from. Good enough for a silver medal in the CAT 5 race I was in, but only good enough for 7th in the 4's where I will be racing most of the year. I'm going to do the crit tomorrow. Hopefully I will recover and can get a good result, cat up and race the 4's as well. My first race in 6 years is in the books and I hope we get better weather tomorrow. I'm a little disappointed that I did not or could not go harder, but just surviving today was a victory.
A couple of pics of my bike after it spent an hour in the trunk of my car...