fast forward to saturday, swim done, run on the cheese grater asphalt, grab my T1 bag, and into the ladies changing area. best part about ironman triathlons? lots more men than women do them so much more space for us ladies to change without someone's butt in our face. there were chairs but i didn't even sit down. the volunteer (God bless all of them) dumped my bag out on the floor and handed me my helmet, then sunglasses, socks, and then as i put my shoes on, she sprayed me down with my personal spray-on sunscreen. i wasn't about to get slathered with that generic crap they have set up with latex gloved volunteers ready to slap it on you, as you are running out the door to grab your bike.
it sure didn't feel like 8 and a half minutes, maybe more like 5 but it was quite a haul from the swim to T1. next year i'll shoot for at least 2 minutes less.
just like clockwork, my bike was awaiting me as i ran out. unfortunately, there were so many others exiting at the same time, we had to keep running with our bikes way past the actual mount line. it was crazy! sherpa Angie yelled at me to "be careful!" somehow, i knew what she meant and she explained later that people were all over the place and almost crashing into each other. thankfully, i was able to get clear enough to get on my bike, clip in and GO!
|too many people at the same time trying to get the hell out of dodge|
forgive me for not going into the finer details here but i don't remember all that much about the 112 miles other than it was freaking WINDY as all hell! i have never, ever ridden in such horribly windy conditions. NEVER, EVER! there were times i almost lost control of the bike while i was in an aero position, which was about 95% of the time. i would have to say that i fought the wind for 75% of the miles and maybe had a little help from the wind at my back for about 25% of the time. i was not happy. in fact, i pretty much had convinced myself by mile 50 that i would never sign up for ironman florida again. from the minute we rolled into PCB, nothing but crazy ass wind whipping up. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
i'm sorry if this post seems negative but there wasn't much good going on out there. one of the main things i noticed, that i had heard about from previous years, was that the drafting is off the chain. now, i know some people are going to cheat but for the most part, everyone "gets" the rules and tries to maintain proper spacing, passing, etc... unfortunately, this is nearly impossible to do with the volume of people racing at this venue. my legs were about to blow up before i even got to mile 40 because i kept getting caught up in groups of riders and i'll be damned if i was getting a red card from Heidi or Chloe, so i kept surging ahead, keeping with the "pass within 20 second" rule. let me tell you, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to draft at this race, period! if anyone tells you otherwise, they are full of crap. can you imagine trying to keep surging past these clumps of riders, over and over? by the time you hit the half-way mark, your legs are toast.
then at mile 43, some guy caused a horrible crash. he should be very ashamed of himself for riding like an aggressive asshole and for not even turning around or acknowledging the crash he caused that made 2 people hit the pavement hard. he just kept on pedaling like he stole something.
i stopped twice briefly to fill my aero-bottle. the volunteers handed off the water with the caps still tight and i couldn't open it and dump it in without feeling like i was going to lose control of the bike. so quick stop, dump water in, get going.
|here she comes!|
|and there she goes ...|
so, in summary, the bike portion, usually my favorite part, royally sucked in my opinion.
to be continued tomorrow - part III - the run
much love and peace out!