2018 Race Report #4: Church Creek Time Trial No. 2

My fourth race of 2018 was Church Creek Time Trial No. 2, held in Church Creek, MD, on Saturday, August 18, on a 20 kilometer (12.42 miles) flat out-and-back course that I’ve raced on eight times over the past five years. The last time was June 30. The weather was again hot and humid: temperature at my start time of 8:51 AM was 80 degrees, humidity was 74 percent, and the wind was from the south at 6 mph (a headwind that was most noticeable outbound on the course’s north-south orientation).

I was well-rested, well-hydrated, and confident that I could pace myself to a 23+ mph average speed. I completed my warmup in two parts. The first part was a structured 25 minute routine on my trainer. I consumed half of a bottle of extreme hydration sports drink during this warmup. The second part was a 5.2 mile/16 minute transfer from the parking lot at the race registration site to the startline. I added a couple of short, race-pace efforts during the transfer ride. As soon as I reached the startline, I consumed a 90-calories energy gel.

There were 20 competitors registered in my age group race. Fifteen showed up and raced. I was slotted as the 16th starter. I was able to maintain my target heart rate of 140 bpm and power level of over 205 watts for the entire race. But after the turn-around and to the 8-mile mark, the heat and humidity again started to take its toll. My average speed dropped a bit. I finished with an average speed of 22.7 mph.

Race replay: Church Creek Time Trial No. 2

I finished in 10th place. Actually, I finished tied for 9th place with a time of 0:32:51, but was awarded 10th place when our times were extended to thousands of a second. The official time for 9th place was 0:32:51:106. My time was 0:32:51:619. The winning time was 0:29:13 (25.52 mph).

One of my goals for this race was to compare myself with the competitors I will face next season when I move into the next older age-group. I already know that I am five minutes faster than my future competitors at the Virginia State Time Trial Championship. The time/speed gap at the regional level is less than two minutes and less than two mph average speed. In fact, the time difference between 6th place and 10th place was only 57 seconds.

My next races of the season are the 10 kilometer and 20 kilometer time trials at Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, Sunday, September 16. I will try to complete a five-year sweep of gold medals in both events. Based on the results from my last two races, my average speed for 20 kilometers is more than one mph faster than last year at Senior Olympics.