Lowe’s TT Round 3 – the “Power Plummet”

So Wednesday night was my 3rd go at Lowe’s time trial and I’m pleased to report I have gotten faster with every time. What is odd seems to be the inverse relationship between my power output and my speed. One would naturally assume that these two relationships would be linear – as power increases, so does speed – but this has not held true. It goes to show how greatly the conditions can great affect results at an event that includes riding in a circle.

I was immensely skeptical with how my legs would feel going in to Wednesday night. Sunday’s bizillion degree, long, hilly and hard time trial was exactly a distant memory by Wednesday, not to mention the 10 mile tempo run I did Monday evening. Needless to say, these time trials at Lowe’s aren’t my focus and though I like to do well at them, they can be interesting to muscle through on very tired legs given zero rest leading up. The weather was calling for storms all night – up to 80% chance at one point right at 7:30, my start time. I made the final decision to go at about 4:45 and was all in from there on out. Skepticism aside….

Everyone get your minds out of the gutter….

This Wednesday proved to be the windiest of the three nights I’ve done given the impending storms. The first two turns had an awesome crosswind which gave you a super boost in speed with deep dish wheels. As always, the back stretch was dead on headwind. Mother Nature’s topping of choice though was a random strong crosswind mixed in with the headwind that jolted your bike enough to make you swerve and feel like you were going to crash and die. I wondered a time or two if this had ever happened to anyone? The 3rd and 4th corners were more headwind / crosswind jolting fun! The more the wind gusted and jolted me the tighter I tucked on the Black Beauty. I did the best I could to just keep my head down (eyes up), knees in, elbows tight and, I won’t lie, had a quick discussion with the powers above to let me get through this ride safely (and quickly!)

My power tonight was an interesting graph of its own. Something similar to..

I started right at my “usual” CP20 power of mid to high 260’s. I ended at something much less than mid to high 260’s….like 250. It’s disheartening staring at your Garmin every few seconds feeling like you’re going to puke you’re working so hard, yet seeing that your effort is not paying its usual dividends. Though in the (waaaaayyy) back of my mind, I tried to remind myself of Sunday’s TT effort and my run Monday, it’s not like me to excuse my performance due to being tired. When I show up to race, tired or not, I’m there to lay it out and do my best. I made a choice not to rest for this event so using “I was tired” seems like a big, fat DUH! I did the best I could with what I had; I put away my “I-suck-o-meter” (as Leigh Ann calls it) after the race and walked away with, if nothing else, a really good hard workout.

The results were posted Friday and to my surprise, my 22:43:66 got me 2nd female! Also to my surprise, it was a 14 second PR over the previous 2 Lowe’s events this year. My friend / competitor Sarah Matchett was there and I knew after beating her by a couple seconds at the TT in May, she’d be coming for blood. Sure enough, she rolled me over this time (22:23:38). We’re 1-1 which will make the rest of the events fun. I love friendly / strong competition! 🙂

So the end result is a double edged sword. If I settled for results alone, I’d be happy about Wednesday. But I know I can do better. I have much bigger events on my schedule to ever go to this event truly rested, but I may consider it one night to see what I can do….I’ve got a few of the record holders in my sights!

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