Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe 2013 - bike

Kermit, you were the super hero of the day. 

Let's just start with the Garmin course elevation profile:

Okay then compare to ironman website:
Yep it's funny how a bit of smoothing and number fudging will make something seem less drastic than reality. Elevation gain reports have been all over the map. Mine said 7448' and that's what it felt like.

I'm not complaining. I liked the course. I was one of the lucky people who were able to preview most of the course this summer.  Most. It's not breaking news, but this isn't a PR course. Not even close. 

Weather - It was cold. Yeah. But we knew this ahead of time. The cold front actually came through like the weather people said {us San Diegans don't really trust weathermen} and so it wasn't that hard to be prepared. It's a freaking Ironman. That's what we do. Prepare. Train. Obsess. I hate to be harsh or sound cold here {literally} but if you froze, you didn't prepare. It started around 30F and never got above 55F. Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy {with a definite chance of crazy.}

Yeah yeah I'm a swimmer so I spent less time in the water, but in my opinion, that wasn't the issue. Water temps were fine. Balmy. Yeah I had awesome volunteers and an amazing T1 spot, but if you spent 10 more min in transition then you should in theory be more dry and happy. And gosh darnit, I earned those benefits perfecting my swim technique for 29 years.
Gear - To recap, I wore: arm and knee warmers, bike shorts, jersey, vest, long fingered gloves, socks, and toe warmers, and my aero helmet. Along with 2 sets of insta warmers, in between toe covers and shoes and inside the gloves on my palms.

I labeled all my gear figuring I'd drop it at the newly instated clothing drop. Nope. Worn the entire ride. 

#swimmerproblems alert. I was lonely on the bike. The first half of the first loop I felt so alone. I think 3 girls {frozen pros} and not too many males passed me. There were definitely no free rides on the flat sections, although I did see quite a bit of illegal "teamwork" by some fast dudes at the beginning. 
Food -  I stuck to my nutrition plan and attribute my success to the diligence. At 50 min in and every hour after I ate a vanilla gu. At 1:20 and every hour after I had gulps of my APX {ruby red grapefruit! Yum} Water was consistent and I probably grabbed 7 bottles throughout the race and filled the aero drink up front. I was not going to have a IMSG puking repeat so nothing in besides sips of water until 50 min. 

Elevation and altitude - Obviously there were struggles with both in this race. I think because of the cold temps and the lack of preparation people got behind on their hydration plan. Why do people die on Everest? Dehydration and exposure. Your body doesn't outwardly crave fluids when you are cold.  But listen to your insides and you may learn something. Not that this was Everest {I hate hiking}, but you have to prepare for every major effort in your life with due diligence.   

In the days leading up to the race I was trying to be super diligent about staying hydrated. When I would fall off the first thing that I noticed were my eyes. I haven't had any issues since getting LASIK almost a year ago but wow, my eyes were drying out and getting blurry. Drank more and it went away. Made the mental note, it's dry at altitude!

Back to the race. By the first hwy 267 descent on the bridge before Martis Camp my eyes were getting there. Water. Drink more. Now. 

Issue arose. Problem solved. 
Start the climb. It's gorgeous. I'm finally getting some core temp warmth. We're going up and I'm still smiling. We descend and I'm beaming. We start the Brockway climb and I see Kyle. Big smiles and a power check and before I remembered, the top came. Water dump, gu in and put on my descending pants. So much fun. 
"Staying Hydrated" {well its gotta go somewhere! #ironmanproblems to follow} Porta-pottie stop at the first aid station on the loop to pee apply chamois cream {mile 45ish}. Ditto on the last loop. Otherwise, it was poor Kermit "bike wash" day. See the thing is, when I get cold, I have to pee. Lots. Winter camping is so not for me. I lay in my sleeping bag dreading going out, but know I can't sleep. I think my body works hard to keep my pee warm and it begs me to get rid of every drip. So, yes, I peed on my bike. Seven times. While riding {or coasting} and hanging off the back of the saddle.  {IMSG was only once}

Other notes - Jeremy flew by me at mile 30. In fact, I heard someone breaking behind me and was confused. He was slowing enough to say hi! 

{Volunteers rock}

Saw Noridca running on the flat section after the first lap. Little {big} cheers keep you going. 

Kept thinking back to my double great western loop training days. If you are racing Tahoe, and live in SD, GWLx2 is the best training route. 

Hamstring cramped at mile 70 and once after. Ingested salt tabs and more APX to keep it at bay. 

Kept power and time checking myself. Was only a little disappointed at where I was at and felt vastly better than my first IM. It also felt like less people passed me, especially females. 

As I was heading off the loop and into the turn for Squaw Valley and T2, I saw Nordsie and she slapped my butt going up the hill! Ouch! 

Kyle was all over the place and I was always glad to see him. 

Dismount. Didn't fall over. Grabbed Chapstick and headed into the T2 tent with 3 more amazing volunteers. 

Bike 6:54 
6th off the bike, 15th AG 
149 normalized power {goal}
355 TSS - no wonder I wasn't able to run {fast}! 

I am so grateful for my amazing training partners this summer. Liz, Maureen, Jay, Julie - thank you for keeping me company and pushing me on those long hot days on the bike. I can't believe the heat training was all for not! Seriously though, you guys rock.  Kara and Erin, thank you for the Tahoe preview trip and all your love and support through my {our} training. 

This course is not for the faint of heart {or Floridians.} Get in the mountains. Climb. Prepare. Train. Obsess. Get a coach and a power meter and be diligent. It is a gorgeous place that deserves to be respected. 

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