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Malaekana State 40k TT - Cycle

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Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
Quick Release
70F / 21C
Total Time = 57m 47s
Overall Rank = 3/
Age Group = M23-34 Cat 5
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

This race has always been a big target of mine, but never fell into the schedule where I could put enough focus on it. Always the week after Honu, or too close to Cycle to the Sun. This year it fit perfect, 4 weeks after Tantalus, and 5 weeks before Pineapple Hill.

The week leading into Tantalus was a taper week of sorts, so the following 3 weeks were going to be a build with at least some time on this silly TT bike I hate to ride. Specifically, just one 2x20' session a week at Lagoon Drive.

I held 268w last year for this race in 57:22, and felt I paced it pretty well, with 4 more watts on the second half. This year I wanted to shoot for about 275-280, but at the same time I also wanted to pace more by feel and RPE and use watts more as a tertiary metric.

My 2x20's were going well, starting off at 264/272, 272/280, and then 280/281 during the last week of the build. A recovery week leading in, and my legs were feeling good.

I tried to sign up for Cat 1-4, but USAC online registration forced me into Cat 5 as that's what my license is.
Event warmup:

My trainer wheel had a flat tire (most likely the rim tape was messed up) so I didn't want to mess with fixing it that morning, so I just rode the side bike path near the start. Not ideal, but it was a lot safer than trying to ride the wet roads early in the morning. Total about 30 minutes with a few short 30-40 second efforts.
  • 57m 47s
  • 40 kms
  • 41.53 km/hr

PRs were likely out the window today. The winds were ripping at 20-30 mph steady with some higher gusts. Some were considering not using a disc, but I was having none of that knowing that the disc will actually help. The rain was off and on and was my bigger concern because it means we have to take more of the road to avoid the white line (and getting blown into and over the white lines).

Rule numbers 1-5 of a time trial. Don't start too hard. I made sure to do that and my power was only over 300 watts for the first 11 seconds before I settled back down. Within 1 minute, my average power was at 295 and dropped all the way down to 277 within the first 2.5 minutes. I've done so many other TTs where the first 3 minutes I'm still over 310 watts, my HR gets jacked up, and it never comes back down. This year I was able to keep my HR at or below 180 for basically the first 25 minutes which was perfect.

Again, my goal was to pace by feel and RPE, then by HR, then use power as a sanity check. Effort felt comfortable, HR in check, and watts were right around 280. It was about 5-7 watts higher than I was planning on being early in the race, but the first two metrics were in check so I went with it. Breathing was fine and I just tried to stay calm and not get too excited as I was making pretty good time on the first half despite the cross headwind we were facing.

Most of the time I was cruising around 25-26 mph from what I noticed, and when we hit the brunt of the wind it would drop to around 21.5-22.5. About 6 miles in I caught my first glimpse of Michael up the road who started 1 minute ahead of me. He would be one of the main competitors today, as well as pro triathlete Ben Williams who started 30 seconds ahead of him...and a couple more guys that started a few minutes behind. I marked off some checkpoints that Michael would pass, and noticed I pulled back about 7-8 seconds at that point. Not bad since the last TT he completely kept pulling away.

Usually I would jack my power for no reason at this point and try to reel him in, but having done a number of TTs, especially longer ones like a 40k, I know you need to be patient and just race your own race. It was positive thoughts though knowing I was at least running okay.

At mile 10 or so, I was feeling really comfortable, and pretty confident I could put down more power on the second half instead of already being in the hurt locker. As we approached the turnaround, I saw Ben coming back and knew he wasn't that far ahead. I marked his location and time, as well as Michaels. When I approached the turn around, I took it extremely slow due to the wet roads. We had to cross a painted line and I just didn't feel like risking it on such a sharp hairpin. Got back on the power and realized that I was back to about 3-5 seconds up on Michael, and even with Ben as I hit the checkpoints I had just marked them at. First half was at 280 watts and about a minute slower than last year.

I knew it was still too early to hit the gas, so I just stuck with my plan. RPE was getting in the tough area, but not in the "suffer" area. HR was around 181...just where I would want it to be with power holding steady at 280ish. We had the cross tailwind now, but as always, the tailwind never seems to be as tough as the headwind. I was ripping around at 26-29 mph, and some of the crosswind gusts were starting to get a little interesting...but never to the point where I even thought about getting off my bars.

The miles were ticking down fast, and with about 15 minutes to go, I felt it was time to put myself into the hurt locker. But it sort of wouldn't happen. My cardio felt fine, but my legs just didn't want to turn over much more than the 280w I had been putting in all this time. I get another time check on Michael as he's now much more visible and he's only about 30 seconds up me a 30 second lead.

10ish minutes to go and again I try to put down more power, but the legs won't go. HR is climbing up to the 185 range so I know I'm working harder, but I'm not slobbering, suffering, and swearing (mentally) like I normally would. 5 minutes left...same thing...still at 280 watts, but HR rising to 188ish.

Finally the last mile I know it's time to empty the W' battery and power kicks up over 300w, and avg 362 the last minute. For once I crossed the line not feeling like I was going to puke.

I'm pretty sure I gave it my all, but the amount of suffering I went through seemed a lot less. Maybe it's because I did a much better job of riding the red line? I paced it almost evenly at 280 and 282 for the first and second half. It was 280/280 all the way up until the last surge in the final mile.

Found out Ben got my by 2 seconds, so in the back of my mind I was hoping Ray would come in and beat both of us by a decent margin so I could sleep at night. Turns out my wish came true and I was 25 seconds back.
What would you do differently?:

Need to improve my position. My position sucks and is costing me time. I just don't TT enough these days to care at the moment...but something for the off season I suppose.

Still a good showing for me. 280 watts was the upper end of what I was hoping for, so if I could have gone harder, it would have been a shock to me. On a calmer day, I think I could have gotten in the low 56 range.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of aeroness

Last updated: 2015-05-11 12:00 AM
00:57:47 | 40 kms | 41.53 km/hr
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 3/
Performance: Good
281 watts, 280 out, 282 back. 181 bpm avg, 194 max
Wind: Strong
Course: Straight out and back from Malaekahana to Kaawa Elementary school. Almost completely flat with the exception of 2 rollers. Cross headwind out, cross tailwind back.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence: 82
Turns: Below average Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
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]

2015-05-11 3:20 PM

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Subject: Malaekana State 40k TT

2015-05-11 4:56 PM
in reply to: #5114570

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Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT

Good show Jason - those are really solid numbers!  I'm a little surprised you don't have the Cat 4 yet with all the cycling you do (maybe the # of events in Oahu are limited?)

I think your execution was great.  I definitely faded last time I did a TT event.

2015-05-11 5:14 PM
in reply to: #5114570

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT

Pretty impressive Jason!  I'm in awe of the even pacing.

2015-05-11 6:57 PM
in reply to: spudone

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Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT

Mark - USAC events.  About 40% of the races I do here are not USAC sanctioned.  Combine that with limited races and I'm lucky to get 3 USAC road race results in a given year.  The next road race I have coming up will be my 10th mass start, so that should be my automatic Cat 4 upgrade.  Not that it matters that much though as we don't have any races with a dedicated Cat 5 race.  I don't really judge myself in TTs based on category results...I view it overall as the pond is already pretty small here.

2015-05-12 10:25 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT

Very nicely done, and it looks like you have an improvement plan too work on as well. That looks like a double win to me. Congratulations!

2015-05-13 8:31 AM
in reply to: #5114570

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT

Good job Jason!

2015-05-13 9:32 AM
in reply to: #5114570

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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT
great job! solid #'s
2015-05-13 3:20 PM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Malaekana State 40k TT

Great race (and nice RR)!  Can't imagine being able to put down such even W...



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