Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another Century Time Trial.

Well, the goal today was to do a 5 hour century. The course was 103 miles and I left my heart rate monitor at work on Thursday so it was up to the GPS, the Mighty K2 light and me to make it happen. Leaving at 5:30 I had a lot of time before first light. Heading eastward through Mesa and Apache Jct. I tried to keep my pace up but not overdo it. It is a lot easier to push the Lactate threshold without crossing it with a heart rate monitor. There were several times in the ride where I thought I might have pushed it too far. The light I found was bright enough for all kinds of riding in the morning, even speeds up in the 30s. Traffic was fairly light heading out of town to the east and I was soon at the roller section just before the course turns south to get on to US60. The rollers through here are a lot of fun as most of them you get enough speed going down to cruise right up over the next one. There are a few that require climbing but there are only 2 of those. I quickly got to the turn and soon found myself barreling down the road toward US60 at 30+ mph. Upon reaching the 60 I was surprised to find no sign of dawn. Usually by the time I get here the first light is starting up in the east. I was making good time (and I think I got out a little earlier than normal too). In fact, it would be about 10 miles out of Florence that sunrise would start. Winds were kind of crosswinds through this section but were coming slightly from the front. Nothing like a climb with a bit of a headwind. It wasn't until this stretch was over that I realized my taillight had gotten twisted crooked. I really need to fasten that to the seatstay tighter. Upon reaching the turn to Florence I got my speed up into the mid 20s for awhile and enjoyed a tailwind for 10 miles or so. Before long I was in Florence and wouldn't you know it, someone was in the restroom. Well I bought my water and a rice crispy treat and debated with myself about waiting for the restroom. I finally convinced myself that there was no line for the tree down the road and my beautiful tailwind would not likely last forever so I took off. After a brief stop down the road aways I cruised on to Coolidge keeping my speed in the mid 20s and watching my average speed slowly climb for the rest of the trip. I really was fortunate from a wind prospective. I had favorable winds most of the way across the Gila indian reservation past Sacaton and really only sunk below 20 a few times. Of course turning onto the hunt highway was another story. I had a pretty good crosswind there and had to struggle to keep 19. Lindsey road would also be a struggle as a lot of it was under construction and there were many sections which were unpaved. I just pretended it was Pave' on Paris Roubaix (remembering of course that I didn't have a team car following me with wheels). Around here I started to realize it was going to be close. I was starting to get close to the 5 hour mark and didn't have a whole lot of Juice left. I did manage to keep the speed up above 20 but it was a struggle. Going under the two freeways and around onto Broadway I was down to the wire with 3 minutes left and 1 mile to go. I made it, barely but I did. I pretty much took it easy the last 3 miles as I really pushed it to pull into 100 miles at 5 hours. I think I will slow the pace up a little on the 200k in January but I think I am ready to finish with a pretty good time even with holding back a little.

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