Last night’s time trial didn’t look like it was going to be a good night personal bests. There was a very strong breeze coming from the north, and there were 2-3 foot waves on the bay. With no hope of setting a new personal best, Tom Murn and I decided to race head to head.
In the excitement, I forgot to hit the start button on my GPS, so no graphs this time. Tom is lighter and in a fast sprint boat, so he came off the start line ahead of me, and lead under the bridge. After the bridge, I was starting to pull ahead of him, so I cut over in front of him and relaxed for a couple of strokes yelling for him to get on my wake. I can’t really turn around and see behind me comfortably, so when I thought I saw him coming up on my stern in my peripheral vision, I started hammering again. My speed going up into the wind and waves kept dropping and dropping, and was hovering around 5.4 by the time I started to turn. At the turn, I got my first look back and saw that Tom was now 20 or 30 yards behind me. Oh well, too late to worry about that. Turning around, I expected the wind to push my speed up, but it seems that I could really only go the speed the waves wanted me to go, so I was barely going 6.2 mph on the way back in. 6.2 is pretty much my normal no-wind speed, so it was almost as if I was getting no benefit at all. My split at the half was 9.50, which is 0.12 minutes slower than my previous fastest split, or 0.07 minutes slower than last week when I set a personal best overall.
Coming up the creek, the tail wind without the waves helped and so my speed was up. I was passing people, and felt good. I didn’t make the turn all that well in spite of having practiced it before hand, but I was soon accelerating out of it. I saw Tom again, and he looked like he was fading a bit. On the way down, it was all a matter of trying to find maximum advantage from the current while minimizing the disadvantage from the head wind.
My final time was 18.97, which is only 0.02 minutes slower than my personal best. Now I know *exactly* how Lance Armstrong feels being 0.22 seconds out of the yellow jersey. 🙂
More significantly, it means that my second half was actually faster than the first half. Either my fitness level is getting better, or the surfing downwind on the bay helped me rest a bit.