I came into T1 super excited and started dreaming about Kona. I just gained 7 minutes on my goal time and if things continued to go well I'd have a shot or so I thought. I had my wetsuit in my arm and went to navigate the massive rows of transition bags. Here's a picture of the area in the morning:
I found my bag and grabbed it. I immediately took out my aero helmet and put it on as I was navigating my way to the change tent. The change tent was a happening place. I immediately saw "crack" and other ungodly horrors. It was crowded but I found a seat. I opened the rest of my bag and started to go through my routine. Jersey on, stuff my wetsuit in the bag and ignore arm warmers, knee warmers and vest. I looked at my feet and they weren't cover in sand so I just started to dry them off. I put on my right sock and shoe first when it happened. The guy next to me stepped on my left foot with his cleat. I yelped like a puppy and he said sorry. So here's my key T1 advice when you sit on the chair stay small. Its kindof like swimming in the mass start. You want to be as small as possible to get through. This foot stomp would cause me pain throughout the bike and run even though I didn't know until the end why my foot hurt. Again, totally forgetting stuff and more Alzheimer moments.
I finished my routine and I was off. I dropped off my bag in this massive pile on the way out of the change tent. I went out the back side of the bike racks since my rack was closer that way. I grabbed my bike off the rack and proceeded to jog. I was passing people who were just chatting and walking their bikes to the mount area. I thought good for me as that's one more place.
I got to the mount area and proceeded to do my running mount. For some reason, I was more tired than usual and I about fell. No problem as it wasn't too congested so I just went from there. I had my cleat covers on which was allowing me to jog on the pavement without fear of falling and I didn't have to clip when I started pedaling. I got around the corner and when things opened up a little I removed each cleat cover and clipped in. I was off...
The bike was going to be perfect because it's a simple ellipse like course and we had a slight headwind going south but the wind would continue to get stronger and turn into a raging tailwind heading home north. All the major climbs, we would have a nice tailwind. This would really keep the legs fresh and the mind fresh as well. Mother Nature was so nice.
I knew I was early and probably wouldn't see my support crew. I didn't but it didn't matter too much as I would see them on the run where it was easier to wave and smile. I settled into my pace and was dodging slower bikes and staying out of the way of the speed demons. I didn't even look at my speed at all for the first miles. I just went easy.
I started to drink water as per my nutrition plan for the bike. After about 10 minutes on the bike I had to piss really bad. I kept looking early on for an open portapotty but no luck. Crap! Not only that but my left foot's toe was really hurting. It was like I had accidentally put a roll in my sock when I put it on in T1. It was weird because I've never had any toe issues with my cycling shoes. I never made that T1 foot stomp connection until after the entire Ironman was done. Wild! I kept going and soon I was at the first little steep hill by mile 10. My legs still didn't feel warmed up yet so I just went up the best I could but still passed about 20 people.
Since my swim was farther towards the front I was able to go down the hill after this at full speed without much trouble. It wasn't crowded so I was quite happy. I made my way back to the main flat road and started to take in nutrition. I still had to piss really bad and still no portapotties open so I made an executive decision, piss like a competitive triathlete...on the bike without stopping.
I had a full bottle of water to wash off afterwards but I needed to find a spot where there was no one behind me. Finally I was all by myself and I let it fly well not exactly. I had to really focus to get it going since I had never practiced peeing on the bike. I felt better and squirted the water on myself to wash it off. I probably just would've waited in a portapotty line had I not had such a fast swim. Every minute was going to count so I was going to do what I had to see if I could make Kona.
I kept a nice easy pace and then I saw Jeff. We exchanged swim times. He did a sub 1 hour swim which was awesome and he was shocked when I told him I did a 68. I kept going but still had to piss again. Overall I think I peed 6 times on the bike. It just wasn't warm enough out on the course and I was doing mostly liquid nutrition.
The best advice that I got was just roll with what your stomach does regarding nutrition. This was great advice because I started to feel bloated at certain points so I'd just go with water for a bit and then when my stomach would feel better I'd go back to my Infinit. I was all over the map with my nutrition.
We arrived at the first milestone of the day Richter Pass. You can see it in the background.
I was still trying to stay within myself but push just a little. I was flying compared to everyone else on the climb.
I never got passed on the uphill sections. I remembered the climb from riding the course last year. I was going up the last of 3 segments when I saw Miranda. I said hello but I was surprised to see her. I was worried but didn't really get a chance to find out what was happening with her race. As I read on her blog, she was having major stomach issues but still managed to wish me well. Definitely world class!
I started the decent and people who I had just passed were zooming by me. I was aero and going as fast I could but that's my weakness because I'm so light. The rollers started and I'd pass people going up but they'd pass me back going down. This is where I was passed by one guy on the uphill. I was shocked! My pride was hurt a little as he pulled away from me a bit on the downhill as well. He slowed for an aid station and I zoomed by him but I really don't remember if he passed me again or not.
On the one of the last rollers, I saw Don's murdered out black Beyond with full on 808s. The entire bike is black and sweet looking. He looked good and we exchanged a quick keep going kindof cheer. The rollers were finished and it would be flat for about 25-30 miles before the final climb at Yellow Lake. This is where I was being passed every so often as I just maintained my pacing and effort.
We started what was the worst part of the course mentally for me. It's an out-n-back section where you head south for a ways and then back. This meant into a headwind plus the road is really crappy. At the end of this section is the bike special needs aid station. It seemed to take forever to get to the turnaround at special needs. It was draining mentally but I just tried my best to keep going at my pace.
I got to the special needs and they handed me my bag. I had a bottle of Infinit, couple of gels and bottle of Cytomax in it. I had only consumed 3 bottles of Infinit up to this point because of my tummy troubles. I decided to stop after the aid station with other cyclists to sort everything so I wouldn't crash. I dumped my left over concentrated infinit bottle and loaded my cages. I also tossed a partially eaten clif bar and put the gels in my pocket.
I was off and I grabbed some sips of Cytomax. Ahh pure heaven. It was sweet but just something a little different. Things started to pick up as we had the tailwind again and I was feeling better. I started to really up the tempo a bit. I wanted to get back to the main road and Yellow Lake.
I made the turn onto the main road and new things were going well. I started to push all the gradual ups and really pass people like they were standing still. Although there were some gradual downs as well and they'd pass me back. I was probably a mile or two before the Yellow Lake climb when I felt a twinge in my bad hamstring. Oh no you didn't!! I immediately shifted down and down as much water as I could.
I made a conscious decision to forgo the climbing glory at Yellow lake and just spin easy up the climb. Yellow lake is special because there are ton of spectators who line both sides of the road. It's almost like the Tour and even a few fans run along side you for a bit. Definitely crazy but I wouldn't be able to drop the hammer like I wanted to because if my hamstring tied up I wouldn't have any chance at Kona and might not even finish the marathon.
I still never got passed going up the climb at Yellow Lake. It's steeper than Richter but shorter overall. I passed a ton of people even though I was really going easy. I left the few folks who I had been playing leap frog with on the rollers leading up to this climb. Overall it was mayhem with spectators just going crazy.
Once you get to the top of Yellow Lake, its basically downhill all the way to finish and you have less than 30 miles. I kept thinking about the marathon that loomed ahead but I ride 30 miles during lunch time. I was so totally about to be done with the bike of Ironman. I was getting pretty excited.
The first major downhill starts and it was a straight shot. I checked the wind and it was still behind us so I went full aero. I was flying past bigger fellows who were on the bullhorns rather than aero bars. I was stoked. I was actually picking up time on a few bigger folks on a descent.
The last major downhill has some curves in it and with that it had some serious crosswinds. I was getting blown around so I stayed up on the bullhorns but tried to tuck as best as I could. It was towards the end of this section that I got past by a lady who was just flying. More credit to her for being fearless.
Then I saw it, the 100 mile sign...only 12 more miles til I get to start my marathon which I felt I was going to crush. My legs still felt great and mentally I wanted to be off the bike but I really didn't have any butt issues which was great. Desoto shorts were rocking that. As we were heading into town I got passed again by a couple of my leap frog buddies. I basically told myself they were going down on the run.
Just as I got into town, I had to piss again. Argh!! Should I go on the bike one last time with the potential of having a few spectators see it or wait til T2? There were so many spectators lining the streets through town there just wasn't anyway I'd not be seen pissing. I decided to go in T2 the precious minutes were not worth embarrassing the event by pissing on the bike in town. It's definitely not what the spectators woke up that morning, braved the heat and wind to see.
We hit Main street again and had this massive tailwind. Cyclists were zooming by me like I was standing still. I was still doing my pace and found comfort that they would all go down in the run. I'd be the one zooming past them once we started my event.
Stay tuned for the next installment, T2 and the marathon. You'll find out that every place does matter and see how Mother Nature was really Kathy Bates from Misery.
On a side blog note, I just got back from Costco where I absolutely destroyed it. The only thing which brought tears to my eyes was they didn't have Doritos. I was shocked and wept right in the chip aisle. The one bag of chips and they don't have it. I'll be going to the normal store right after I finish posting to get my Doritos. I'll have some pictures and movies tomorrow but here's a few stats. I was able to get it all onto one of the palette carts but just barely. I spent $450 and Costco record I'm sure for a family of 1. I ran out of room in my freezer.