St. George preview day two. Only partly cloudy, but sure to be another long day. Kyle and I headed to T1 to check out the swim. Thanks to the friendly lady at the gate, she let us in for free, since I just needed to unload my bike from the car, snap a few pictures, and roll out. The Sand Hollow Reservoir is awesome. It was very calm when we were there, so I can't imagine a race ever being canceled. And yes, I will be very grumpy if that happens in May. Anyway, the transition area will have a great setup. A short run up a boat ramp will lead you to a very large, flat (the only thing on the course that is flat, along with the water) parking lot and T1 area. The first couple miles are relatively flat as well. But I knew what was coming, as we had to drive down the course to reach the water...thus riding back up those hills to reach the loop area. Ugh. 3 major climbs, 7min, 3min, 12min, until you reach the interstate and the edge of town. A couple turns bring you to the turnaround portion of the run course, which you actually bike first. 24 miles. Mostly Up. Luckily the flat area is right out of transition which leaves enough time to settle the HR and get in some calories before the climbs start. Luckily. :)
So, heading to T2, the arm warmers came off, run clothes on, and Kyle joined me for and out and back preview of the run. A half marathon. A B*tch of a run. I'm serious. These Ironman peeps are mostly crazy for designing this course. Personally, I feel there are much better areas for the run, that are a wee bit more mellow. If you are running, you are either going up, or down. No flats. Not kidding. The course elevation chart isn't lying. That is the real time garmin chart for one out and back of the course. Well, it's 2x that for the real deal. Up, down, up, down. Twice. Each loop has this much elevation change:Which was mostly felt within the first 4ish miles. Out of transition isn't that bad. Diagonal Rd isn't too bad either, with a pretty low angle climb. Once you make the first right turn the course takes a turn for the worst. The little out and back "jut" from the main road isn't fun. The steep 10% grade also isn't fun. There really isn't much to bring a smile to your face, because once you are so sick of going up, you go down. And down is where it hurts. Where the jarring starts. Where, because your legs are already shredded from the prior events, it hurts. At the turnaround, you are then faced with what you just came down. Up. The run is bad but the practice day wasn't that bad. It was slow, with total acceptance for being slow. It was with a low heart rate. 154bpm average...and I won't divulge my San Dieguito average HR till that post...but I cannot believe how much higher it was while racing. I was glad to have Kyle as a distraction from the jarring. I was actually able to "run" at a chatty pace. Which is so not me. I was worn out from the previous days events and the bike beforehand, I don't think my body let me run fast, so essentially it let me not get injured, or really feel that sore. I managed to hop back on my bike for a quick 10 mile ride, just to get used to what it will feel like to have to keep going after that first loop. I think I recovered pretty well. I was very hungry:And set out camp in the T2 area next to the car. Parked myself down and ate some yummy pizza hut leftovers. :) Mostly crazy since it was the parking lot of the court house.
Thanks again to Kyle for a very successful training camp. I couldn't have done it without him. I am so glad I previewed the course and I keep running/riding it over and over in my head. Hopefully with some extra hills training it will come easier on race day.
I'm at F.I.S.T. school right now learning how to perform triathlon bike fits for Moment Cycle Sport. So much more to post: Vegas, Valentines, and my first half marathon.