RACE DAY RECAP:
hands down one of my favorite venues! I can't wait to do it again next year!! However, there was one glitch: timing. It got worked out for most people, but not for me :( I was NOT wearing a watch/ heart rate monitor/ bike computer so I really have NO idea how I did, only how I felt. So times are JUST ESTIMATES:
Morning and Breakfast: Well this was easy- hotel waffle with banana and coffee! I also took a bottle of EFS to sip on until race time! It was also MOTHER'S day...so first thing we did was send a message to the important ladies in our lives!
Swim: 40:00 ?
Wave start, great temp (high 60s/low 70's?), wore wetsuit. Swam felt fine, nothing unusual about it! It was a swim similar to Louisville's where we swam against a current for a little bit then turned around and sailed back!
I felt slow in transition, took my time, nothing new :) But CHECK OUT the sweet racks! I took my name tag home :)
Plan was to take it eassy -so I rode strong, but didn't "hammer". Felt GREAT! I remember the temperature was a little cool - great if you were working hard, a little cold if you weren't. The course was just beautiful, and pretty challenging - lot of hills (short/long/windy/steep/take your pick) and some fun downhills. I didn't have a chance to drive the course, so Andrew Starykowicz told me that most turns weren't as scary as they looked - he didn't plan on using brakes at all on the course except for maybe 2 turns. Definitely true - scaredy-cat me of COURSE I used my brakes, i jut didn't death-grip them :) Especially if you are pretty confident with bike-handling skills it's a really fun course!
Nutrition: My plan was to finish 1 bottle of EFS per hour (taking in some water between each sip) and take a big swig from my Liquid Shot each hour as well - this worked great - energy stayed high, no sloshly tummy!
I felt really good, passing lots of people, then coming down a big hill at the turnaround I hit a bridge seam and BAAAAAM....BAM BAM BAM BAM (sound of my rear wheel)... I pulled over, took me a minute but I found the problem - the part of the rim on my wheel that hit the seam was actually BENT out and hitting my brake! There was no way to fix that (without a hammer?) so I asked a policeman to tell tech support to look for me...I loosened the brake so it wouldn't hit the bent rim and kept riding...
it still wasn't enough...bam bam bam...luckily this section of the course was flat so I didn't really need that break. However, I was getting worried...it had been maybe 15-20 minutes and no tech support - then they came!! I was SO HAPPY to find out they actually had an extra 650c wheel in the truck, so after a few minutes talking to me and seeing what happened they swapped it. Oops - the cassette on their wheel was a 10-speed, my bike is a 9-speed. So then they swapped the cassette (took a few minutes...). I grabbed an extra tube from them (my race wheels were tubulars so I didn't have anything to fix a flat if that should occur on my "new" wheels), ran through the gears and I was off.
400m later...BAM BAM BAAAM...I though WTF?? I pulled over, back wheel looked fine...but my FRONT wheel was messed up and I didn't even notice before! Not only was the rim bent, but the carbon was cracked too. DAMNIT. The tech van was still around, so I flagged them down, and by some stroke of luck the REV3 tech support had ONE MORE 650c wheel for me!!! THANK YOU!! I've never DNF'ed, and this race wasn't the one I am going to start with! :)
After that I was happy to be back on the course again. I think I could have been one of the last 10 people on the bike course at that point. Then I definitely rode hard the last 20 miles home and loved every minute of it! Beautiful, fun, challenging course!
***p.s. my front wheel is pretty much shot due to carbon crack-age :( But my friend Chris Sweet fixed the rim on my back wheel like new!! THANKS!!
I saw Dan (he did the Olympic and was already finished) and I could imagine he was a little worried since I'm usually pretty strong on the bike. However, he immediately noticed, "New wheels?" I quickly told him what happened and I was off. I also saw Heather and Andy Sweet! It was great seeing the happy couple coming up from Chatta-vegas (I love when Heather says that) to spectate! Check out their new coaching business - Gaia Fitness !
Nutrition: I carried a hand-bottle of EFS- I know that stuff works for me in training so I used it in the race too. I took a big sip between aid stations (every 1/2 mile), right before aid stations, then I also had water at each aid station. When I ran out of it, I filled it with water. I carried a Liquid Shot Flask in my back pocket, so I took a small sip from that every 4 miles, a few extra times the second half since I ran out of EFS in my bottle. This plan worked great for me!
I was mostly worried about this part- not too confident with my run endurance. Of course I felt big and sluggish the first few miles, but then we turned onto this beautiful trail, and then I fell in love with the run course too! Hills here and there, but it was so pretty! I felt consistent with my pace and effort the whole time, and I'm pretty sure I negative-splitted the run and ran much faster the 2nd half. I was hurting the last 2 miles though. So funny- When the run winded around transition Dan jogged maybe a 1/4 mile with me to see how I was doing and told me I only had like another 1/4 to go so I should GO!! So I picked it up...but instead of turning to the finish like the Oly did, we had to run up this ENORMOUS hill, back down, THEN finish. DAMNIT!! lol!!!
Either way I'm fine with it, wasn't trying or expecting to PR or anything on race day, just wanted a good solid workout! The race was really well organized- volunteers and policemen everywhere!
I loved the course, the swag, the organization...definitely will do it again!! :)
Major event on the ride home... visiting the ORIGINAL KFC!
Dan was REALLY excited to try the new double-down...