Saturday May 23, 2009
Race #2 – Olympic Distance
1500m swim – 24.8 mile bike – 6.55 mile run
Race number two started at 7:30AM. We went to bed Friday night by 9PM. We both crashed hard to sleep from the long day of traveling to the race and spending time at the race site. I was feeling good for the first race of Saturday. The alarm went off at 5AM. We ate and prepped the gear for the race.
The swim start was another time trail run from the beach, two people at a time. I managed to get into a good grove pretty early. I found myself on the inside of the course and didn’t like having people on my right side. Kind of weird to discover this in the middle of a race, but I didn’t want to deal with the crowds at the turns either. Once I started swimming to the right of the other swimmers I was doing much better.
The swim involved two loops. The final buoy marker was very close to the beach and hence very shallow. I really didn’t want to stand up and jack my heart rate. I was in a good grove so I continued to swim around the people who were walking. I was shallow enough that I was grabbing sand with my hand during my stroke. The second lap went very well again. No issues and I felt very relaxed and strong at the same time. I swam all the way to the beach before standing up.
I stepped through the rinse buckets heading to transition and got ready for the bike.
Swim time 24:05
In T1 I peel off my wetsuit and put on my race number, sunglasses, helmet, socks and shoes. The longest part was getting my wetsuit off. I grabbed my bike and activated the computer. Running out of transition there wasn’t much traffic to deal with so the running mount was easy to execute.
T1 time 1:52
The RD provided us with some very stern warnings about the bike course. Some of the downhill’s are very dangerous. The RD warned that if you didn’t pay attention to the slow markings on the road you would pay for it.
The course is on some very beautiful fire and county roads. Not a lot of traffic, in fact I maybe saw 10 cars, and great scenery. A couple of the downhill’s you could bomb nicely because they are long sweeping turns. Of course once we made it to the bottom on one hill we had to climb another. At the bottom of the steepest climb we made a hard left turn and up we went. As soon as I saw the hill I commented, “AWW COME ON!!!” I’m sure the volunteer and sheriff’s deputy heard me. What I meant to say was “AWW SWEET!!!”
It wasn’t that bad. Not really harder than anything on the Death Ride, especially Oak Hill or Boston Mills Road.
At the beginning of a not very steep roller I hit a hole in the road. I'm not sure how I didn’t see it but I sure felt it. My rear bottle ejected at the top of the hill. I also started to hear some rattling and was worried something happened to my front tire. I stopped and did a quick look around. The rear bottle cage that was holding my bottle BROKE. It’s a plastic wrap-around design and a plastic piece snapped off. It was rattling around behind me….very annoying. I managed to position it so the rattle was gone. The bottle only had Gatorade in it and I still had my bottle with Perpetuem so I was good for the rest of the ride. It was essentially a backup bottle.
I passed people, people passed me. I wasn’t worried about it because of the start format. I rode how I wanted and didn’t over-exert myself. Several times I followed someone in front of me staying 5 bike lengths back. I let the person dictate the pace, often easy for me but it helped keep myself in check and not push too hard.
Coming down the final hill back to the park I was averaging 30 MPH without much effort. It was nice to have the speed without straining the legs. Reviewing my computer I did hit a max speed of 41 MPH on one of the downhill’s. Overall my average speed was 19.4 MPH.
As we entered the park I pulled loose my shoe straps and placed my feet on the shoes. Heading towards a much less congested transition area I hopped off at the dismount line and headed towards my rack.
Bike time 1:18:17
T2 is always a fast one. Take off the helmet, put on shoes and hat. I didn’t need anything else.
T2 time 35 seconds.
Exiting T2 Aimee and Linda were there cheering for me. The race announcer also called off my name after I crossed the timing mat.
The run is the same for races 2, 3 and 4. On Sunday we run it twice for the 13.1 miles, so we will get to know this part of the park very well. I tried to start very conservatively. At all of my races, Ironman and half iron, I always started the run way too fast. I made a conscious effort to keep the pace down. Again I didn’t worry about those that were passing me. I was holding a very nice pace and was talking with a couple of people. Mile one was 8:42 and that included a pee break which was a great relief. Mile two 8:17, okay cool…closer to the pace I wanted. Between mile 2 and 3 is where the long uphill climb is. I just kept myself in check and stayed steady. It was at this point that Big Country finally caught up with me.
We chatted for a bit and he pulled ahead of me a little until the top and I picked up the pace to run with him again. Mile 3 finished with an 8:09 split. We continued to run together and chat. Talking smack to each other and commenting on the guys passing us. It was all in good fun and there was nothing to take offense about.
We noticed several of our friends heading out to the turn around and cheered them on. Mile 4 was 8:19 because we had to run back up the long hill. Mile 5 was 7:37 which I felt was too fast but Big Country accredited the speed to the downhill we were just on. Once we hit the asphalt path Big Country said this was a good sign, only about a half mile to go. We kept a good pace through mile 6 which came out at 6:57. I didn’t think we were running that fast. The last .55 mile to the finish line came out to be 3:41.
Run time 51:43
Overall time 2:36:27.
Big County and I finished together and met with Linda and Aimee. I went to the lake to cool down my legs and then get a 15 minute massage. A little bit of food and we headed back to the campsite. Shower and rest before race #3, second for the day.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday May 23, 2009