My First Time Trial!

>> Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I finished class yesterday, ran to Menards to pick up some lumber, got my bike ready, and got ready to head out to the TNT Time Trial out near Maple Plain. I made a small sandwich for an early supper. The frozen piece of bread that I pulled out of the freezer was HORRIBLY freezer burnt - it had ice covering over half of it. Once I toasted it, the icy part was soggy and un-toasted, while the non-icy part had burned:


Pharmie and I headed west, and we met her brother Matt out there (yes, the other half of “Team Happy Pants”). He just got his new aero helmet, so we touched tips:

That’s gay. Our tips are touching.

Then we grabbed another photo:

We were supposed to be showing our bellies...
Matt didn’t get the memo.

We grabbed our stuff and biked out of the park to the start about a half mile away. We warmed up for a while. Matt was the first one to pick up his number, so that meant he was #1. Here he is being held just before his start:


The course is a lot of rolling hills, but the biggest hill is right at the start. Here’s Matt half way up the hill in the distance, with person #2 getting ready to start the climb:

I was number #41, and being they started every 30 seconds, I had about 20 minutes before my start. I stayed loose and kept riding the small hills out by the park entrance. When I got back to the starting area, I started chatting with this woman. If I remember her number correctly, her name was Bonny (according to the results). I told her it was my first TT, and she gave me all kinds of little pieces of advice: notes about the course, what the turn-around is like, 2 strategies for the hills, all kinds of great info! I LOVE people like that! Thanks Bonny!! She wished me luck, and it was her turn to start.

Here I am clearing my computer, getting close to my start time:

Being held for the start:

“...4, 3, 2, 1, and you’re rolling!..."

I tried to stay easy up that first hill. Overall, I tried to stay easy on the entire way out - I wanted to go hard, but I didn’t want to have to end the TT “limping” to the line. I got a little depressed 4 minutes into my ride: the person who started behind me went FLYING by me when I was only 3:55 into my ride. “Damn. I’m gonna get totally owned tonight...” (Looking at the results later, that guy finished 5th with an average of 26.6 mph.)

• 1/4 done (mile 2.75): 22.3 mph average.

That was good so far. I wanted to pick up the pace by the end, but it was respectable at this point. Nearing the turn-around, I hadn’t been passed again. In fact, I was gaining on someone else. I passed her just before the turn-around. That was all my action for the day: got passed early in my race, and then passed someone about half way in.

• 1/2 done (mile 5.5): 22.3 mph average.

We turned back into the sun, and headed for home. My legs were starting to feel heavy. I only had a little Gatorade left (I started with about 1/3 of a bottle), and my mouth was DRY. I worked my way up and down the hills, and tried to stay consistent.

• 3/4 done (mile 8.25): 22.2 mph average.

Gah! My average dropped by 0.1 mph! I was hurting, but now I just had a few miles of pain left. Time to crank it all home. I saw the final hill coming up. I knew I had to get up that hill, and then crank down the hill on the other side towards the finish line. There was one problem: there was a tractor and baler on the road that I had to pass. As I was cranking up that last hill (at a solid 22.5 mph!), I had to swing wide and pass an old tractor and baler. The tractor was “running a little rich” as Matt would say, meaning it was spewing out the exhaust. That was a fun little job. I got around the baler, up the rest of the hill, and pushed my way home.

Matt had finished 20 minutes earlier. I said “hi” to him on my way out as he was headed back in, and he looked like he was working. Here he is coming to the finish with a 23.44 mph average:

I hit 34.8 mph down that last hill, meaning I might have saved a little too much for the end. Pharmie heard a funny noise just before I finished. As I got closer to her, she realized that the noise was my breathing! Over that last mile, it was like there wasn’t enough oxygen in the world for me!

I came rolling through the finish line with a 22.6 mph average.

Official Results:
Time: 29:17.07
(14:49 out, 14:27 back)
Speed: 22.54 mph
Place: 46 out of 65

This was Matt’s 4th TT, and he’s been getting better and better. Last night, he finished 36th with a 23.44 mph average. Nice!

I pulled up next to Matt, and we talked about the hellish ride:

And then that damn baler came by:

I smiled as it drove past:

Settle down: that’s just my water bottle...

Matt and I rode off into the sunset together:

And a big thanks to Pharmie for coming to check out the TT and taking all those photos!! Thanks Hun!

We match everywhere we go. Gross.

So, overall, it was a pain-fest. Going into it, I figured it’d hurt like a 5K. But actually, I think racing a 5K hurts a little more. I think I could have pushed a little harder in the middle of the ride, so I’ll try that next time. I wouldn’t mind doing a few of these a year.

Well, I’m off to teach class. Then I think I have a date with the pool! Happy Hump Day!


Mel-2nd Chances 8:15 AM, August 05, 2009  

Great job on the TT, especially being your first! Awesome pics too :)

trimybest 8:32 AM, August 05, 2009  

not too shabby! ive always wanted to do one of these but havent yet for some reason.

LittleRachet 10:07 AM, August 05, 2009  

Taking in fluids on a TT?? Maybe with those hills it is necessary. The series I ride is flat and I treat it like a 5K - all out the entire way. No time for drinking!

Congrats on your first TT! It is fun, and addicting!!

X-Country2 10:19 AM, August 05, 2009  

Fun time trial! Looks like you did pretty gosh darn well.

FLATOUT JIM 10:25 AM, August 05, 2009  

Be very very careful. Time trials are highly adictive!!!

Maria 10:26 AM, August 05, 2009  

congrats on the solid performance for your first TT. love the matching shirts.

nwgdc 10:45 AM, August 05, 2009  

Between the picture of you...err..."cleaning your computer" and the picture of your water bottle saluting the tractor, I think Pharmie needs to take MORE pictures! Hilarious!

Alisa 10:55 AM, August 05, 2009  

Nice work. So a TT is like a balls to the wall, fast as you can ride? That sounds extremely scary!

John 12:02 PM, August 05, 2009  

That was a big hill! Great job on your first TT. Hope you plan on doing more. Can you get penalized for drafting a baler?

Kris 12:26 PM, August 05, 2009  

Awesome job Steve! I'm lucky if I EVER see 20+ mph as an average for anything :-P And I love the matching shirts, I think it's awesome :)

Spandex King 12:38 PM, August 05, 2009  

Great race! Isn't nice to be held at the start, haha

RBR 12:46 PM, August 05, 2009  

I had a similar freezer burn issue with a piece of chicken the other night.

Wow, great job on the time trial! Even with a snoot full of baler exhaust you got it done!

And if I can be a girl for just a moment, Pharmie's skirt is ADORABLE!

GoBigGreen 1:44 PM, August 05, 2009  

Nice job Steve. Bonny is a fantastic TT-er and she keeps me on my toes in my AG ( actually she usually steps on my toes at Bdog and TNT! LOL)

The more TT's you do the more you figure out how to leave it on the road ( or next to the tractor) and it sure is alot like a 5k...all out from the start.

Warmup Baby, warm up. Let me know when you are ready for the super secret high end warm up. :)

Missed you at Square today. GREAT WATER. did the entire lake ,,,we were pumped!

teacherwoman 2:16 PM, August 05, 2009  

Sounds like fun! Great job!

The Boring Runner 4:51 PM, August 05, 2009  

The picture of you two touching tips was even more 'special' with the grins on your faces.

That is amazing that you only placed 46 out of 65 with a 22.5 mph average. Crazy!

Kevin 8:19 PM, August 05, 2009  

Great job on your first TT

Shannon 7:58 AM, August 06, 2009  

Nice Work Steve-O. :)

Christopher Hawes 7:51 PM, August 06, 2009  

Nice job and nice post. TT is addicting, this is my 4th year. My first time this year. I have been nursing a stress fracture. The T'N'T is a great biweekly training ride. Also, I got in the background of one of your pictures, as far I as I know that is the first time I have been in the background of a picture on blog.

CoachLiz 10:20 PM, August 06, 2009  

Dang, I wish we had more TT's around my neck of the woods. We have them but this year each weekend I have a family wedding to attend. Bummer.

Marni Sumbal, MS, RD 9:18 AM, August 07, 2009  

I wish more triathletes would do TT's...they really show you what suffering feels like!! Great job!!
um..the bacon post???? Craziness!!! :)

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