After running into the transition area, I had to grab my bike gear bag hanging in these long rows. Kinda chaotic since people were changing in between these things too. I don’t think they were supposed to be doing it, and honestly, I just wanted to smack them up the side of their heads. They were blocking skinny little rows of panicked people trying to get to the changing tent.
Once I got into the changing tent, hello concentration. I was trying really hard to stay focused with what I needed to do in there. Take off my wet shirt, put cycling jersey on, make sure all nutrition was still in pockets, put helmet on, socks, shoes, glasses, race bib, and sunscreen. I’m horrible at transitions. I get so distracted, and I start talking to everyone in there. Oops. Considering how long the walkway was from the lake (maybe .1 or .2 of a mile), my transition time was okay. At least it was much better than the 12 minutes that I took for IMAZ! It seemed to go by so fast to me anyways!
I set off on the bike with a few goals:
* Keep cadence up. This is something I struggle with. I tend to put the max weight possible on when going up hills and the only thing it is doing is burning me out. I should just keep the cadence up, and my legs won’t get trashed.
* Take some chances on the downhills. I’m a mess when going downhill. I often scream obscenities while gripping my breaks hoping I don’t crash and die. Sad. Sometimes I scream too.
There were two loops on the bike. The first loop was absolutely amazing. I was zooming down some of the downhills at 42 miles/hour, and I wasn’t tapping my breaks. I still might have been saying the f word on some of them though. haha.
The last 20 miles were practically all hills. It was rough!!! I finished my first loop in 3 hours and 26 minutes, and honestly, I was so proud of that. This course is a LOT harder than the AZ course that I did in November, and I was hoping for under 7 hours. At this rate, I was on track for that to happen.
Here is the profile picture for the bike. Rough, isn’t it?
Then, the second loop happened. The downhills in the beginning were fine, but I just felt slower on the flats. At mile 80, I stopped to pee, and there were medics there yelling that it was in the 90’s, and that all of us needed to take in more salt than what we thought we needed. They also said that even though it didn’t feel that hot, we needed to be careful. The breeze created while riding your bike is deceptive like that. I reached up to scratch my forehead. I brought back a hand full of crusty salt. Nice.
I didn’t think anything of it since I was doing a good job taking in my liquids and keeping up on my Bonk Breaker Bars. I had never needed salt pills before in my racing career, and I didn’t need them at this race (STUPID!). Most of my races had been done in Germany or Washington though. This heat was different than what my body was used to. I didn’t understand that until I got to the run. For now, I felt a little tired, but okay.
The uphill hellish last 20 miles of this loop were crazy. There were a group of guys that were REALLY annoying. They all drafted off of one another on the flats and downhills. I would pass them on the flats and downhills, then they would power up the hills and pass me. I’m not even kidding you, this went on like 20 times. They were getting annoyed. I was getting annoyed as well, but I didn’t want to kill my legs for the run by hammering up these hills. Their legs would be trashed from going uphill, that they needed to sit up on the bikes going downhill where I just let gravity do its thing, and pedaled on the downhills. I could hear Coach Scott in my head, telling me to take it easy. This would prove to be very valuable on the run for me and a very bad thing for the boys. You will hear more about the “annoying draft boys” in my run recap.
By mile 100, my legs were starting to feel the damage. My butt wanted off my bike. No amount of Hoo Ha Ride Glide was helping. My body started getting really pissy with me. My caloric intake was okay. I didn’t seem to be behind on that. I was a little behind on the fluids, but my body didn’t want anything to drink. I just felt out of it.
Anyway, I FINALLY finished the bike. I was excited to be running next, but my legs were trashed after all those hills despite me “taking it easy” on them. Plus, my time for the second lap was significantly slower. Like, 25 minutes slower. Crap. My little finishing time goal stuck in the back of my head for a sub 13 hour Ironman finish was fading away. I knew that I could still run some people down. It was time to see if there was anything left in my legs!