(Long Distance) Ramblings

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Estacade Time Trial

On a bright and sunny Sunday, I drove to Estacada for the 20 mile time trial along the Clackamas River. My start time was just before noon, so Joanne and I arrived about an hour early, giving me plenty of time to warm up. We parked the van next to Mark Zielinski, Rick Kercheski and Phil Litchfield. But once I was on the trainer, I was focused inward. My goal was to finish the twenty miles in under an hour. I thought I could do it, but I would have to work hard.

With just a few minutes before my start time, I rolled out of the upper parking lot and headed to the start. I declined the "time trial hold" as I am still a bit skittish about my recently healed broken leg.

The course is flat to start with, but within the first few hundred feet, there is a small hill, placed there just to show you that the course will not be completely flat. I knew this hill would hurt on the way back, and by the faces of racers who were finishing, I was right.

I never saw my minute man; I had no rabbit for the first four miles. I brought my heart rate up to 150+ beats per minute and held it there. After the small hill at the beginning, the course is mostly flat for several miles. I stayed within myself and I thought I was having a good ride.

I intended to press the "lap" button on my Garmin Edge 305 every mile so I could see how many minutes each mile was taking me. One problem: I was in a river valley with steep cliffs on each side. My Garmin lost contact with the GPS satellites. Oh well.

After four miles, Rick, who started two minutes behind me, passed me offering encouragement as he did so. I felt some of his power, and picked up my speed just a little bit to keep him is sight. I managed to do so for about a mile or two, but Rick finally pulled away from my sight.

Rick had warned me about a hill that was at the seven mile mark. He was right. My speed dropped to the low teens, and my heart rate rose well above my lactate threshold. But I crossed over the top and enjoyed the small descent down to the turn around. Yes, I peddled down the hill. I usally cosat down hills in my Ultras, but this race was only twenty miles, and I need to make up some time!

The return was hard. Now I had some wind to ride against, and my heart rate showed that I was putting more effort into peddling. Surprisingly, the small hill that marked the end of the race came upon me sooner that I thought. I hit the hill hard knowing that once I crossed over, it the finishing line was just a few hundred feet away. My heart rate rose to it maximum of the day, 179 beats per minutes. And yes, I was very happy to cross the finishing line.

My time was 58:56, over a minutes below my goal. My average speed of 20.36 was higher than my average speed for the last As the Raven Flies TT (19.42).

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