30km ITT. Sounds fun, don't it. What if I told you it was up near Edmonton, windy and hot? Well, if that doesn't get you excited check your pulse.
Okay, there was one detail luring enough for me to make the day-trip up for such guaranteed suffering; ABA "Series A" upgrade points and a small field of Cat 3.
That and I'd registered in EVERY other ABA race this year, so why come up just short?!
My strategy was to start out around 90% of my FTP for the first 5-10km, so that I would feel good and have a strong finish.
Sounds easy enough, however I hadn't done an FTP test in a long time, so I was basing this on my most recent 20 min test, performed back in June.
Unfortunately, I hadn't made any adjustments for fatigue, or a nagging cold I'd been fighting.
The first 5km split was painful, even at the lower target wattage. The next few splits would see my power drop to 80% of FTP, despite an alarm that I had set to beep when my wattage dipped into Zone 2!
The body just wasn't having it. I was producing a ton of phlegm, and felt like I had zero energy.
Took the turns very carefully soas to reduce the risk of flat/crashing like last week.
I was NOT going to DNF again and miss out on a couple upgrade points!
So, on I trudged, managing to bring up my wattage in the final 5km back up to 90%. To me this felt like I was going all out!!
Anyway, thanks to my aero bike, helmet, wheels, etc, my average speed was still over 40, which put me in at 6th / 8. Went home with 8 upgrade points, so Mission Accomplished I guess.