First TT of 2013 – P843 10 Mile TT

I am becoming over reliant on the Met Office App.  Using it as my only forecasting source without reference to other sources is leading me to question how often it is updated (sometimes only once it’s started raining is the “forecast” changed from Sunny).  That’s not a forecast, that’s weather!  

It did eventually brighten up, briefly, enough for me to change my plan to drive to the TT and cycle there and back.  It ended up being 18.7 miles there (into wind).  I managed to hook onto the wheel of 2 expensive TT bikes for the last 4 miles and find the HQ.  Arriving slightly early I paid my £4 and got my number.



No way i’m beating that position then! At least i’ll not be hanging around too long at the start.  My goal was sub 30 and as always my pacing strategy was to go as fast as I could for as long as I could!  I had never done a 10 mile TT before having only done the Ermington/Modbury S13 in Devon.  There, you just got a countdown, here, someone held my bike so I could clip in and start like on TV.  I was worry about not pedaling when he let go and toppling over!  Anyway, being first off and having a Formula 1’s worth of carbon fibre chasing me down I opted for a sprint out the blocks.  

Doing my best Cavendish impression I was blowing after 30 secs and remembered I had 10 miles to do!  I got on the drops and started my watch which i’d forgot to do… note to self start at 1 min before then just subtract 1 min.  I was counting and watching the minutes passing which meant miles were passing.  I remember feeling the lactic acid build in my legs after my over zealous start.  Two minutes passed, then 5, then 10 and still no hum of the deep section carbon wheel zooming along.  Had I gone the wrong way? No, I saw a sign. 15 minutes, still no one.  Eventually after 22 minutes and on the home stretch I was caught by number 3 (2 min after me at start).  The course tends downhill to Chichester and then some uphill sections back to the HQ at West Stoke.  The route is at the the below link:
The results are now out.  I am delighted with my time of 28:45 (although at the time I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of the ride home)!  I am even more pleased with my position 23/30 as I am sure that they can’t all have been women and children!  No offence but as an M 30-34 I should be capable of beating a lot of people in those age categories and total respect to any that beat me!  I must train harder!

I had a chat to some Triathletes (disguised as cyclists as I didn’t meet the Portsmouth Tri duo), a coffee (which I knew would stop me sleeping but I felt I needed it to TT home) and a dark chocolate digestive!  

I set off from West Stoke at 8pm and was home by 9.  Although there was hardly any wind it was definitely easier on the way home.  I took a shortcut through Fratton and completed the 16.7 miles in 1 hour including light (yes, I STOP at lights).  The journey back wasn’t far off a TT itself.  I think the dark woods on either side may have helped me pedal faster but I had lights and made it to the lit roads before it got too dark.

So, what lessons can I take away from the first TT:
Don’t start like a maniac.
Consider using car to venue(?)
I think 28 min is a realistic goal on that course with my current bike set up (only set up)!

Two things I haven’t touched on; nutrition and clothing.  Nutrition was well thought out.  Pasta for lunch, a sandwich mid afternoon, banana just before I set out, a gel every half hour with 2 x 750ml bottles on bike (1 water, 1 SIS GO Orange).  I had a Cliff Bar at West Stoke once i’d signed on and a coffee at the end.  I didn’t feel that hungry by the time I got home so looks like I nailed that.  
Clothing: everyone should own a Montane Feather light smock or zip up, velo or marathon.  Worth their weight (okay bad cliche as they’re so light).  They fit easily in a jersey pocket and are suitable for keeping the wind and rain off.  When the sun dropped and so did the temperature this kept me warm and really made the ride back enjoyable.

Up at 5am this morning to swim 1900m with the club and now trying to revive my legs ready for this evening’s 4th cat race debut… how’s YOUR training going?      

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