All week leading up to the race, I wanted to make sure my bike was ready,
especially since I would be riding a disk for the 1st time. Had a 404
on the front, which meant I had to carry 1 of each tube in my saddle
bag. I have been trying out new nutritional products, so this is
a big test! I am trying to avoid the stitch I have gotten in past
races this season.
Water is flat. My wave goes off right after the pros. Started out
fast…got a little panicked in the 1st 5 or 6 minutes...I tend to get
anxious when I lose my breath and over think…that settles. Found my
stroke and took off. I was alone the majority of the swim. I’m not
fast enough to be in the lead pack, but too fast for the middle pack. I
come out of the water in 31:20, 6th in my Division…good swim time for
Transition is a little bit away; I notice my HR is at 171!!! I try to hold off.
Strip down, run out on the bike, shoes are already clipped in…I start
pedaling…1 shoe on, good, 2nd shoe is unstrapped, which requires me to
pull over and adjust…no biggie. And I’m off on the bike. My HR was in
the 160’s to high 150’s for the first 10 minutes…I try to lower it, but
the beginning of the course is hilly…about 5 miles in, I feel like maybe
my disk is rubbing or something...I stop, check everything out, seems
good. I start to boogie, HR is still high, but in the 140’s…I start
another climb around mile 16 and I notice my front end is bouncy!
Damnit! A FLAT!!! I have never had a flat before in a race. I must have
jinxed myself! Ugh! I pull over, 10 minutes later, I’m back
out….nervous whether or not I put enough air in the tire…not a good
course to be 2nd guessing your tire on…lots of accents and descents. I
learned that getting a Flat tire, actually kind of messes with you
mentally. You know you are kind of out of the hunt, and now you’re
riding and passing a completely different group. Legs feel pretty
strong. Mile 23-32 is a long climb, not too bad, but taxing...
Tough bike course overall, but fun! I come in at 3:07, really 2:57, but such is life!
Kept my nutrition up, hopefully I won’t get the dreaded stitch I always get.
I start off the run…1 big mistake…I have only done 2 ½’s before…I
don’t remember if I wore socks, but Man I wished I did today! Lesson
learned...Olmpic and sprint, no socks ok…1/2 and full IM, need socks!
I’ll explain later. I start with a high cadence...HR in the high 140’s,
touching 150. I am not going to be able to keep it down...I decide
just to run smart, but understand that my HR is going to run high
today. I was actually holding a 7:30-8 minute mile pace. I run smart,
hold back…hit the hills…Brutal! Mile 5, my feet start talking to
me...oh no, am I starting to blister…then they really start to get
iritated, but I can push through…stitch is back in full force! I walk a
bit through the aid stations and try to flex it out. The hills on this
course are insane! Really hard to keep HR down, but even harder to keep
a rhythm…after about mile 7, it becomes more manageable, although my
feet are miserable! I had a serious cramp in my stomach and walked a
bit...then at mile 9, I say screw it and drop it...I start to pick it
up, HR around 165, cadence high, stomach flexed, I start cruising! I
would love to see my splits at this point..I start picking people off,
feet are screaming, I am in pain! I end up racing a 22 yr old girl for
the last 3 miles, each of us pushing each other. I finish with a
1:54…eh, could be worse, but I should have done better….Blood is now
visible on the outsides of both shoes…I bleed straight through them.
End time 5:38...not entirely happy with result, but I learned a lot.
Really cool race! Great if you want to see a huge pro field up
close...Very unforgiving though. It was great to read a quote from Matt
Reed that said:
"Oh god, that was the hardest course I’ve ever
done!” said Reed regarding the relentless hills of the Connecticut
countryside that tested a tough field on the bike and run.