I had a fantastic time pre-race
My swim is done
Now, it's time for my favorite part of the day-and the most challenging!
I grab my helmet, glasses, Garmin, all on. I skip the arm warmers because the humidity is building. Calf sleeves, socks, bike shoes, all on. Grab Tiger and it's out
run run run run
|Running out of Transition to Bike Out|
|My Mom cheering me on as I head out to bike|
I'm ready to rock those hills
|The beautiful Timberman bike elevation chart-shaped like the top of a heart~|
I was smart enough to ride the bike course in July-I had heard horror stories about this course from friends who had done this race -- I needed to see it with my own wheels.
I am not afraid of hills, I actually enjoy them. Sick? maybe...
I knew what to expect. I knew when to be calm and easy. I knew when to be strong. I knew when to drop the hammer. But I also knew when to be safe.
I also knew I needed to stick to my nutrition & hydration plan.
If I stayed in my own head and did what I planned--
Everything would fall into place.
Off I went into the beautiful rolling hills of of New Hampshire with a smile on my face and a tremendous amount of joy in my heart. The first 1/3 of the bike course is lots of climbing and luckily the WTC rules would be a bit lenient in regards to drafting on a couple of the climbs that they considered steep.
|Just after the MOUNT line|
I don't really recall too much about the first 15 miles or so but I passed a lot of people. I felt fantastic and I was having so much fun. I finally hit the mid-third of the course which allowed a break from the climbing for a while. I had been playing cat & mouse with a couple dudes on tricked out Cervelo's--passing them on the hills and then they'd catch me on the downhill. Once we hit the flats we chatted for a bit about road bike vs. tri bikes. I appreciated the fact that these fellas were kind and funny while we rode together. It felt like any other group ride-
My experience that day with several other guys I passed was not so nice. Many of them would try to hammer it when I was passing. One guy refused to move right, kept trying to block me to keep me from passing. I wanted to knock him upside the head with my water bottle. NO matter how many times I'd scream LEFT, he'd block.
Finally, I got past that bonehead.
Sorry Charlie, but you got chicked--and chicked hard.
**of course I had to check his bike split post-race**
|Somewhere after the 1/2 way point with a BIG SMILE|
Next thing I knew, I was passing the midpoint timing mat. My legs were feeling fantastic, my heart rate was right where I wanted it and I was having an amazing ride. I was staying on top of my hydration/nutrition and had already exchanged out both bottles.
It was really starting to warm up now and the humidity was tangible. The air was getting thick and sticky.
At the next hand-off, I grabbed extra water to drink and then poured some on my neck and legs to cool down and to wash a bit of pee off of Tiger. My gel flask had leaked a bit so I washed my hands and left shin too.
Then it was like I was alone on the course.
I wasn't alone but I was no longer paying attention to those few around me.
I only had about 10 miles left and I was having a wonderful, amazing, fantastic day.
I cannot say how awesome I felt on the bike. There are really no words to describe it.
I started to get a tad emotional, I teared up a bit and thought of all I have experienced over the last couple of years. I thought of my daughter and how all of this had started because of her.
I want her to know that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
Nothing is impossible.
Today was a day I had dreamed of and thought about for over a year. It was here, I was doing it. Something I never thought possible just a few short years ago and I was enjoying every single second of it.
Before I knew it, the spectator crowds were getting bigger and bigger! This guy yelled
"only three miles left!!"
Three miles? that's it?? Really...
WOOOOOO HOOOOOO and gave that guy a huge fist pump
It was almost over and it made me sad.
I am a runner. I got into triathlon because of running.
At some point over this summer while training for this race I fell deeply in love with cycling.
There is something so freeing about being out there in nature but going fast. Climbing hard. Enjoying the view. The wind. It's amazing...
Those three miles were over in a heart beat.
I rounded the corner into the shoot and it was off the bike.
Now it's time to run.
My legs were loose and fast. My heart rate spiked with excitement.
I felt those butterflies surge in my belly. I had set myself up for a hell of a run.
Racked my bike. Bike stuff off.
Compression socks on-running shoes on-Tough Chik visor on.
Hydration belt--hmmmmm, do I need the belt?
I decided to skip the belt but grabbed a couple essentials* out of it and shoved it all into my tri top.
There would be plenty of on course support with aid stations at almost every mile.
Mandy (Caratunk Girl) told me about the snowballs and I was ready to have a snowball.
Projected Bike Split: 3:15-3:20
Actual Bike Split: 56 miles 2:56:25 19.05 mph avg
split 1-27.2 miles 1:28:16 18.49 mph avg
split 2-28.8 miles 1:28:09 19.6 mph avg
I am very proud of how well I did on the bike-I kept to my training plan and had PLENTY left in me when I was done. I would be curious to see how I could ride this course if I did not err to the conservative side. I finished the bike 22nd in my AG
The final challenge.
I'm ready to run...