race report // tuesday night time trials, week one

Thirteen miles of all-out pain pedaling kicked off my 2014 race season last week. 

I raced week one of Twin Cities Spoke Tuesday Night Time Trials, and in between rolling hills and a wicked headwind, there was nonstop smiling. 

Nick and I arrived around 6:15p, and I quickly registered (arriving late, I was near the end at #49), changed and headed out for a 20-minute warm-up with Julia. About eight miles later, I swapped my long sleeves for arm warmers and lined up on County Road 19, where I shivered for about 10 minutes before starting. Spring hasn’t really arrived yet; it was only around 60 degrees and cloudy. 

Given it was my first race since October, I was a bit nervous, but as soon as I got the starting push, the butterflies disappeared and I was off, peaking near 300 watts… because excited energy to be biking!

Coach wanted me starting off conservative the first couple miles, so I held back a bit – and, at the turn onto Hamel had to brake, watts falling well below my target, and maneuvered so I didn’t hit one of the bazillion potholes.

The first mile… still smiling…

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The first eight miles featured a mean headwind, lots of rollers and being passed by insanely fast dudes in skin suits and shoe covers. After a few eff bombs – because WIND – the turn onto Medina Road appeared… hooray for five miles to the finish with a tailwind! Even with it, though, those last few miles were painful. My legs were toast and several times I thought there could be barfing. What kept me pushing: The one guy just ahead of me for all of the race. With about 1.5 miles to go, I caught him on an uphill.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with how it went. Sure, I wanted my average watts to be a bit higher, but it was the first race of the season… a good test of fitness after a long winter (and spring) on the trainer – and, a good benchmark going forward.

Official results // 35:43, 21.5 mph, ~215-watt average, 5th in open class, 2nd AG.

Shout-out to Coeur Sports for the most stylish and comfortable kit around (the seamless chamois!) and Osmo Nutrition for keeping me hydrated! Thank you! #stylishspeed #womenarenotsmallmen

Downhill to the finish… I was beat, but still having fun (even though I’m not smiling!)…

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About the course
TnT follows a new one-loop course this year. Starting at Baker Park in Medina, it loops clockwise, partially following last year’s course; it finishes on a fun downhill that was the turnaround in 2013. It’s a great course, as I’d rather ride a loop than an out-and-back (especially because I’m not very good at turning a tight left… am I the only one?!). But, there are a few sharp corners with giant potholes (the first turn in particular), which require some careful navigation and a bit too much slowdown. 

View a google map of the course here.

Comments

  1. Yahoo!! Those are some pretty amazing stats for the first race of the season!! Way to go lady!! We have a TT here that I am strongly considering doing, though I think I’m going to go watch the first one since I’ve never done a TT race before (and it is the week before Kansas)…I’ve got butterflies just thinking about it ;)

    • Thank you, Kecia! It was a fun race! You should definitely do that TT in your neighborhood… they are a blast! It’s more just riding your bike, HARD, for the duration and not really “racing” anyone :) Kansas is right around the corner… excited for you!

  2. Mom says:

    Wow-21 mph!!! I can only do that with a good tail wind! Great to have something you love doing so much!

    • Thanks, Mom! Biking is my happy place! You and Dad should bring your bikes on your next visit!

  3. Mom says:

    Your dad says: “you are good! I am impressed!”

  4. How speedy! Sounds like it was fun (in a painful way) too!

  5. Hey would love to see those pics though my bike fit is 180 deg different now THANK GOODNESS! :) Lets hope we can hit the water soon too:) Good work!!!

    • I’ll email you the pics, Julia! Nick got some good ones. SO glad your bike fit is getting dialed in! OWS = YES! Great job to you, too, at the TT! Hope the du went well this weekend :)

  6. Congratulations, Speedy!! It must feel good to have the first race of the season behind you, and a good one at that!
    Riding into the wind can be so frustrating and tough. Your numbers are pretty amazing to me; I can’t imagine them without the headwind.
    We’ve had a super windy spring, too. Kelly’s been riding to work for about six weeks now. I swear whether he’s going to work or coming home he has a headwind!

    • Thanks, Abby! Was a super fun way to kick off the season :) When is your first race?

      I think it’s been windy everywhere! Love that Kelly bike commutes… how far does he ride each way? I wish my work was closer, but 30 miles is a bit far to commute daily.

  7. Looking fast and strong and happy (and gorgeous, as always) on that Argon 18! You are definitely speedy, woman!!!

    • Awww… thanks so much, Kristen! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend of training and are kicking that pneumonia’s butt!

  8. Wow! That looks like so much (scary) fun. You always look so comfortable on your bike-have you always been a confident cyclist? Or did it take some practice?

    • So much scary fun, Amy! Thank you! Hmm… it took some saddle time to get comfortable. I learned to bike with a great group of guys and had an awesome coach… they taught me so much! And, I try not to over think about all the things that could go wrong when I’m riding… if I did, I don’t know that I’d ride!

  9. Way to go Erin! 13 miles in 35 minutes?! That’s so speedy!!! And of course you look absolutely stylish!

  10. You’re not working hard enough if you’re smiling…. :)

  11. So FAST!!!! Looks like fun! I am sure those pics where captured at the perfect moment!! I have never done a TT in a race setting before!! I know you have working super hard on getting faster!! It is totally paying off!! :)

    • You should definitely do one if there’s one in your ‘hood, Leslie! Tons of fun and a great way to test bike fitness! So that’s what all those hours on the trainer this winter were for! ;)

  12. You are a speed demon! Awesome job with the time trial. I love your kit, so pretty. Headwinds can be brutal, but it looks like you still kicked butt!

  13. Wow! That sounds pretty awesome and fun!! Way to start the season off strong! It’s always a little nerve wracking to see where you are after a long racing break. If say you are set up for a great 2014!!

  14. Kick ass girl! You look so happy! I need some of that speed (and happy) on my bike. Lol! Congrats!

  15. Very impressive! Congrats on a great time trial :)

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