Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ironman Arizona - Part 4 - The Bike

white saddle, #374
As I made my was along the side walk to get my gear bag everything went as I expected. Volunteers yelled out your race number and grabbed your bike gear bag for you. I took it into the changing tent and...whoa. It was packed! People everywhere! I found a small space and did my best to get into a dry sports bra and top. Not the easiest thing when wet. Note: pack a small towel next time. I had some other athletes help me out, but this "glitch" in T1 made it a little longer than I wanted. I was thinking 7 minutes, it was 13:24, so almost twice as long. Once I ran out of the tent, I stopped at the sunscreen station to get covered and then headed towards my bike. The volunteers grabbed my bike and handed it to me. I ran to the mount line and was off!
T1: 13:24

Now to my favorite part...the bike! There were several other people getting on their bikes at the same time so I took it easy to get on the road. No need to break any records before you are really on the course. At least for me. So I cruised and let my legs and the rest of me warm up. I had my garmin on my wrist and watched the power numbers. I started drinking and eating within the first 15 minutes. I had some catch up to do since I am sure I burned a lot of calories so just staying consistent was my plan. I had a couple bites of a clif bar on the half and full hour, and on the quarter and full hour I took a few swallows of my Generation UCAN bottles. I had two bottles of those with me, each with two packets - a protein (chocolate or vanilla) and a non-protein (cran-razz). The rest of my fluids were coming from my aerodrink, which I would refill with water from the aid stations and drop in a Nuun or Nathan Catalyst electrolyte tab.

Lap 1: Skies were blue with some clouds, but the sun was out. Great day for riding! I was in the small chain ring for most of this keeping my watts in check. Legs and all felt good. I was eating and drinking to plan. Once I hit the turn around, I flew! Legs felt a bit sore, probably still warming up so I pushed a big ring for speed and allowed the slight downhill to propel me forwards. Then I had to pee. I decided not to do it on the bike so I stopped at a support station and had to wait a minute for a port-o-potty to open. I didn't mind the short break, and there was a lot there! Guess I was hydrating! I continued on my way and was back at the zig-zag part of the course. I decided it was time for more electrolytes in my aerodrink and when I grabbed them out of my little box I dropped the whole thing. Ooops. And remember those extra electrolytes I had with my bike pump. Yeah, they should have gone into special needs as a back up. At least the clif bar and UCAN contains some electrolytes so I wasn't completely in the negative. When I hit the turn-around, there was the family cheering for me! And I did the first lap in 2:04, so right on my expected pace.
heading out again
coming in for one more lap
Lap 2: More of the same, but this time it felt a little easier climbing the last little bit up the beeline. I was a bit gassy and had a bit of a side stitch in my right side, but nothing major. All manageable and not unexpected. I stopped at the turn around aid station to pee, which made me feel better..ahhh!) and was assessing my lack of electrolyte consumption. No issues yet, but my calves were getting tight and there was a pain in my glute. All I could think of was my PT Gloria sticking those dry needles in that glute! Hahaha. Special needs was on this lap so I stopped and got a fresh bottle of UCAN, put a honey stinger waffle in my pocket and kept going. Quite the wind on this lap, but not worse than what I've ridden in on training rides! Around mile 75 I caught up to Shannon, one of my athletes. She was doing well and smiling! So great to see! Before I knew it I was back at the turn around. This lap was also around 2:04. And the family was there cheering!

Dad snapped this good one!
Lap 3: Last lap! I finished off my smaller UCAN bottle and tossed it at an aid station so I could put a bottle of Ironman Perform in my cage in case I needed it. I also tried to get a banana but missed at this early aid station. Calves were still a bit tight, glute was better and legs felt ok. I was able to get a half a banana at one of the last aid stations but didn't tap into the perform. Stopped to pee one more time at the turn around. Much less windy on this lap but still a bit of a headwind at times. When I passed the 100 mile marker I looked at the total time and it was 5:30. My fastest century ride! I rode with Dan from the Tri Club for a few minutes before I think he dropped back a little. I did pass a lot of people on the bike. I backed off a bit for the last couple miles to get them ready to run. As I turned into transition I heard my sister-in-law Traci yell and the family was there. Nice! This lap was around 2:03. Very consistent pacing for each lap!

General comments on the bike course: Superb volunteer support. And wearing a TNT kit gets you sooooo many extra cheers! Tons of TNT supporters from the Georgia IronTeam chapter out and about. They ROCK. My friends Sarah Hunke and Darby Remly were helping out and it was great to see them. The banana and penguin were especially loud and enthusiastic. And of course there was tons of cowbell! Can't have a race without cowbell!

I hopped off my bike at the dismount line and headed down the grass hill to get my run bag. And into the changing tent I went...

Bike time: 6:11:59
link to datafile


Terry Odell said...

And we were there at the bike dismount watching you make the first stage of transition.

Terry Odell said...

Good to know people heard the TNT "Go Team" shouts, as we were hollering for anyone wearing the TNT purple, but weren't sure if we were noticed. Most seemed totally 'in the zone' but some mouthed a thanks or gave a thumbs up.