|Shannon, Chris, John, Nicole, Bridget, Kisti|
Shannon and I stayed at an inexpensive place in Ft. Collins, which was surprisingly nice. Clean, comfy, and a fridge for our water bottles. And thank goodness no rowdy neighbors! We got our bikes and race bags ready, worked on a race plan, and went to bed.
Alarms started going off at 3:50am. I got up at 4:00am and felt pretty good. It took me a while to get to sleep, and I woke up a few times, but for the most part a good night's sleep, although short. At 4:30 we were out the door towards Loveland High School. I downed a packet of chocolate Generation UCAN and a packet of Justin's Maple Almond Butter as my main meal. (Last weekend I just had the chocolate, but felt like my stomach was still a little empty, so tried the nut butter. It seemed to work!)
We arrived at the race site a little before 5am. Perfect. I found a sweet spot on the end of a row for easy access and got everything set up. Even though my rubber bands were a little dry, I went ahead and put the shoes on the pedals. All was good in transition, so I went down to where the TNT tent was getting set up and had my 2nd pre-race UCAN - the new Cran-Raz. This time I only used about 8oz of water and was able to consume the whole thing, unlike last weekend. Then I did my quick run warm-up, got my shoes back into transition and found one of my rubber bands had broke. So I did a quick tie-up job and went on my way back to the Team tent. Time to put on my wetsuit (an XTERRA Vector Pro X2). The swim start is about a quarter mile from transition, so the team and I hoofed down to the water so we could at least get in a little warm-up before the gun went off. I just wanted to have a fun solid day at this race. I had vague time goals and really wanted to enjoy the race!
Swim: 36:45. I was predicting a swim of around 35 minutes in the water, and sure enough, when I reached the shore, my watch had 35:00. The entire swim felt really steady and comfortable (hopefully not too comfortable). I swam fairly straight and didn't have to sight as much as I had to in other races. As I mentioned, transition is about a quarter mile from the water, so the rest of the time is my run. I felt good and had a quick run up the grass, passing a couple people along the way.
My wetsuit came off easily, and I put on my sunglasses and helmet. Then I saw that the rubber band had broken so I opted to just grab the shoes off the pedals an put them on in transition. Probably lost about 15-20 seconds with that glitch.
This ride was not as smooth as I would have liked. I never seemed to get my legs for very long and I was struggling to find the right effort level. It didn't help that the course profile looks like this (the green):
The bike leg is usually my favorite, but today I really couldn't wait for it to be over. Maybe that's because once we came down the hill and hit the rollers, there was a pretty decent headwind. That and I'm figuring out my fueling needs - so on the bike I had my aerodrink with water, a 18oz bottle with Nuun for electrolytes. I taped a honey stinger gel to my top tub in case I would need it, and at about 1:49 total race time, I realized I probably needed some calories. About 10 minutes after consuming the gel I was feeling better. My neck and shoulders were stiff from the steep descents, and my nose was running quite a bit. My calves were also starting to get a little tight. Lesson learned - that I probably need to make sure I'm fueling about 90 minutes into a race lasting 3 or more hours. Finally the rollers ended and we made our way back to the high school. I pulled my feet out of my shoes and had a pretty smooth dismount. Glad that was over!
T2: 1:18 (I wear socks for the run).
I grabbed my hat, another gel, my bottle of endurolytes, and of course my race belt. And I was hoping my legs would feel better on the run.
Run: 50:31 (8:08 pace)
The first part of the course is slightly uphill, but overall it's a flat run. It goes through a neighborhood and then meets up with the path around the lake. My focus at the beginning was quick steps and a tall posture. I saw a couple Pikes Peak Tri Club folks up ahead and slowly reeled them in. I made sure to walk each aid station to get in some fluid. Mile 2 I took my 2 endurolytes. At the turn around I took in my hammer gel (espresso flavor! probably about 2/3 of it) to make sure I had enough juice to finish. I was holding a nice steady pace, and felt strong so the last couple miles I gave it the rest of what I had and finished strong. It also didn't hurt to see Sonja and her friends and family at the corner with about a half mile to go cheering really loudly!
|guess i was feeling better at this point!|
The weather held out today - the high was to be in the upper 80s, but the morning was overcast and kept the temps down during the race. After I finished, I found all my Team In Training athletes as well as my NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness clients and cheered as they crossed the finish line. Everyone had a great day!