Monday, September 10, 2012

I want to ride my Biiiiicycle....Biiiiicylce!!

Running into transition I was feeling great! One third of the race out of the way! I looked down at my watch and it said 27 minutes. I was on cloud 9 because I thought I had done the swim in that time....I would realize later that I must have stopped and started my watch on accident while swimming. Either way it gave me a boost to push harder. I ran past a few people as I entered into transition and immediately started stripping off the wet suit. My coach told me to take my time, but not too much, in between the swim and the bike since I'd probably take in a fair amount of water. But I was fixated on getting out and on my bike. So I grabbed the section I made for the bike, threw on my spandex, a sports bra over my swim top and zipped my jersey over that. 'Don't forget your helmet', I thought to myself. Honestly that would be one thing that any biker probably wouldn't forget but in that moment my mind wasn't really in transition, it had already beaten me out onto the road. Shoes on, helmet on, grabbed the sun glasses and started running my bike to the 'out' end of transition.

You aren't allowed to mount the bike until you get passed a certain part, and go figure when you can mount it, the first thing you're doing is going up hill. No matter, I had my fuel and was ready to take on 56 miles. As I got maybe 3 miles out people were whizzing by me with their fancy bikes and airo helmets. I'd be lying if I said this didn't bother me but I did my best to remind myself of the last bit of advice my coach gave me at coffee a few days earlier, "Race your race." Simple yet so true! My bike was definitely not up to these people's standards but it was going to get me through 56 miles if I put my mind to it. Six miles in and I was fumbling in my jersey. Should of left well enough alone because I dropped my pack of gummy chews, and once those bad boys fell there was no going back for them. As I looked down at my loss I realized something else, "Mother fu.....I forgot my race belt with my number!!" I spent the rest of my ride freaking out about getting a penalty for this, and every time the officials road past me on the motorcycle to look for drafting I would repeat over and over in my head, "Please don't penalize me, please don't penalize me!!!!" I didn't get a penalty :)

I'd say the hardest part of this bike was knowing when to fuel. I started putting in some of my honey stinger waffles, since I didn't have the chews, early in on the ride. I was nervous by how warm it was getting and having not taken anything in since 30 minutes before my swim. This was not a good idea. At about 20 miles my stomach was hurting so badly that there were a few times I had strongly considered pulling off and stopping. And having people pass me didn't help my ego. But there were a few kind strangers that would say things to me, while passing me of course, like "I see a lot of character on that bike, keep it up girl!" or "I love the color of your bike, so awesome!" (Yes, thank you for the compliment but I am well aware that I look like I am struggling and that my bike is just a plane-jane road bike). Despite my negativity, these moments were enough to keep me pushing. I told myself that I needed to go until at least mile 28, there's no way I couldn't do at least half!

Before I got there though I witnessed a wicked wipe out! This guy, who was honestly riding a little too cocky for his own good, tried to cut in between this lady, and despite passing her correctly, he still took her out! He was able to catch himself to the point where he didn't go down.....but she did! She was laying in the fetal position yelling out in pain. This is definitely one of those situations where you have no idea what to do. It's kind of like when the smoke detector goes off in your work know/your instinct should be to get out yet you don't really move because you're not sure if it's a real fire or not....Ok maybe not the best idea but I thought to myself, 'Do I stop and help? And if I do, what could I do?' I ended up riding past her but at every corner after a long straight, there were cops/meds. I heard the sirens going off which means someone in front of me had already notified them that there was a rider down.

I made it to mile 28. I could have quit, but something in my mind was like, "Are you kidding?" I don't think I could have lived with myself had I just stopped so I pressed on. the next 28 miles were butt was killing me, and there were quite a few "hills" I had to take on. They call Racine a "flat ride"....right. Note to self, do more hill rides! By the time I got to the last aid station, around mile 46 I had grabbed for an Ironman Perform. I never drink gaterade on a course because it's too unpredictable. But at this point my stomach was starting to get angry again and I knew I needed some kind of electrolytes.

Coming into the final 5 miles you begin biking past the run course. I flipped out seeing how many people were already running. Thinking I was going to be kicked off the course I kicked it into high gear and actually started chasing after a guy on a tri bike with an aero helmet!

Side note!: At dinner the night before we talked about the game guys play while on the bike: If you pass a person with aero tires: 15 points, aero helmet: 15 points, If they have an ironman tatto: 50 points....if you get "chicked" minus 25! So in my ride, I chicked 4 guys, I was proud of that :P

Ok the transition is in site and down hill!!!! But actually I was going too fast to enter into transition so the officials were hollering at me to slow down. I unclipped and hopped off the bike.

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