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2014 Castle to Hanauma TT - Cycle

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Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
Boca Hawaii
68F / 20C
Total Time = 28m 28s
Overall Rank = 5/78
Age Group = M18-34 Cat 4/5
Age Group Rank = 2/15
Pre-race routine:

It rained all day Saturday and was raining pretty good when I left the house early Sunday morning. Goals were slowly turning into...don't crash.
Event warmup:

30ish minutes on the trainer with 4 pickups to race power.
  • 28m 28s
  • 12.5 miles
  • 26.35 mile/hr

So it was raining all weekend, and it was pretty dark as the clouds were thick. The race start was delayed about 15 minutes just to let the sun come up a bit more to improve visibility. Luckily, there was no wind. If there were, I'm not sure I would have raced. Several of my older teammates (65+) decided not to start.

My glasses were fogged up pretty good while warming up and I debated for a moment not using them, but figured they would get better once up to speed and air could flow through them. Good decision.

Bill Lezzer started right in front of me, which was perfect. I wasn't expecting to beat him, but I didn't want him passing me if I had a bad race...further demoralizing me. I also figured I could mark him going up Makapuu to give me something to chase the last 3-4 miles.

I got off the blocks fine, and quickly settled in. Glasses were fine, but boy the course was a bit scary. The roads were really wet, and the rain and overall darkness limited visibility to about 50 yards as far as spotting big debris or cracks in the road, and more like 15 yards for spotting the smaller stuff. I would never train in these type of conditions...mainly due to just how dark it was and honestly I felt like I needed lights just for cars to see me.

Anyway, when racing, you tend to forget about it and just press on. Earlier in the week, I figured this course would take me about 26 minutes, but I was generally came in around 26 and I would be closer to 29. So I adjusted my power goal to around 290 as I held 294 pretty comfortably for 23 minutes last week. But clearly something was off today. Power was dipping below 270 as my HR began to hit race efforts of 182-184. Being that self preservation was one of my new goals, and I couldn't really read my computer all that well in the rain anyway, I decided to race more by feel.

It wasn't long before my AP was dipping below 260...but again, HR was right where I wanted it to be in the mid to low 180's. Speed was also really good considering the rain, but we were without the normal headwind for the beginning sections, so it was probably a net bonus for us as far as how fast the course was.

As I approached the first descent, I hit 41.5 mph and eased into the right bend praying to God I wouldn't hit a small bump that might lose my tire's grip into the wet roads. I did ease off the gas a little, but didn't get out of my aero bars. Going into Waimanalo, I just took the whole lane. There is no way I was going to encourage any cars behind me to pass in the conditions and I wanted to stay visible. Given the people who started behind me, nobody was going to catch me, so I wasn't worried about slowing down traffic for others.

Power was settling in at around 255, and I was starting to catch riders up ahead as I passed the 7-11. These were the guys who started 60+ seconds ahead of me, so I was a little assured that despite power being 35 watts lower than planned, my speed was still there. And I was indeed suffering appropriately. As I made the bend around Sea Life Park, I spotted Bill climbing Makapuu. I marked him as he passed a landmark, then counted in my head till I got there. I would have looked at the time on my computer, but honestly it was too hard to see in the rain. I estimated 40+ seconds, which means he put 10 seconds of net time into me. This would have been a great time to put the hammer down and try to close the gap, but I was struggling to maintain 285 watts for this climb.

As I crested Makapuu, this was the last scary part. How aggressive did I want to handle the descent leading into the high speed turn? Answer...not very aggressive. I got off my aerobars and feathered my brakes a little. I still hit almost 39 mph, but I've hit 45+ during dry conditions before. I got through safely, and then saw a bunch more riders to pick off up ahead. Mainly guys who started 2+ minutes ahead of me...another good sign that I was having an OK race.

As I passed Sandy Beach, I tried to unload the tank. I got caught behind a car for about 10 seconds, but squeezed a pass on the inside just after blow hole. I sort of misjudged the finish though as visibility was low and I jumped out of the saddle about 3/4 of a mile early. Once I realized it, I sat back down and just tried to grind away at 13 mph. The last guy I passed when I jumped passed me back with 250 meters to go, but I reeled him back in just before the finish line. Good thing too...because that last push allowed me to beat Tony Lang by 0.3 seconds. :)

All in all, a good effort. Need to figure out why power was reading low. Could have been the weather. I forgot to calibrate beforehand. I finished right were I hoped to as far as placing and time. Winning time was 26:07 which proved it was a fast day despite the rain.

This is definitely a challenging course given the terrain. It's possible to ride steady the whole way, but likely better if you don't. Also how risky you are on the descents will play a factor. I just wish the sections through Waimanalo and Hanauma had wider roads.
What would you do differently?:

Calibrate power meter. Lose weight.
Post race

Last updated: 2014-03-03 12:00 AM
00:28:28 | 12.5 miles | 26.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/15
Overall: 5/78
Performance: Good
255 AP / 264 NP VI = 1.04 AVG HR 181
Wind: Little
Course: Start from Maunawili Elementary School and straight out to the top of Hanauma Bay via Waimanalo and Makapuu. About 400-450 feet of total climbing on this course from 2 main climbs, and 2 gentle high speed turns, but otherwise flat and straight.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence: 87
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2014-03-03 10:08 AM

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Subject: 2014 Castle to Hanauma TT

2014-03-03 12:16 PM
in reply to: #4958524

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: 2014 Castle to Hanauma TT

Wow, in the rain does not sound like fun at  all. Great job!

2014-03-03 12:28 PM
in reply to: #4958524

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: 2014 Castle to Hanauma TT

Nice job, Jason!  Sounds like your PM was reading low....would be curious what numbers you were actually throwing down.

Fast downhill sections in the rain make me nervous -- just reading your report was enough for me to feel nervous about it!  Glad you came out unscathed

2014-03-03 12:46 PM
in reply to: #4958524

Northern IL
Subject: RE: 2014 Castle to Hanauma TT

Nice going, rain tends to bug me on the bike too. Don't like the slick conditions.

2014-03-03 12:49 PM
in reply to: #4958524

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: 2014 Castle to Hanauma TT

Definitely sounds like a PM calibration issue to me too.

I have to say you did really well given the conditions.  Rain + speed turns me into a big baby!

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