After running out of transition, I got on my bike. Admittedly, I did not see the mount/dismount line until I was coming back in to transition after the bike, so I may have gotten on my bike a few seconds too early. Whoops!
See the line? See where I am?
Off I go!
Rob cheered me on as I headed out and I told him that it would be a while (he went to run while we were out on our first loop). The bike course was a 3-loop course, 28 miles for each loop. In training so far the longest that I had ridden was 80.11 miles, so 84 miles would be a new PDR for me and during a race no less!
So remember those new 910xt watches? They're great because you can set up multisport mode with transitions included and just hit "lap" each time you start a new part of your race. Well, I must have hit "lap" again when I got on my bike (after I had hit it going out of transition) just out of habit because when I looked at my watch it was not in bike mode.
I panicked for a second and then hit lap until the multisport activity ended and quickly got my watch into regular bike mode and started from there. I ended up being about 2 miles behind on my watch, so it wasn't too bad. I just have to practice more before our Ironman, and not get "lap" button happy!
After I got my watch taken care of, I settled in on my bike. I took my first set of nutrition around 5 miles (maybe a bit sooner since I wasn't sure how far I had ridden before I got my watch restarted) and made sure that I was hydrating. It wasn't really hot yet, I had brought arm sleeves but didn't even put them on because I could tell I would want them off almost immediately, but it was getting hotter.
The third and fourth people out of the water passed me within the first 5 miles of the bike course, and then I was alone for awhile. The police officers out on the course were great about making sure that traffic stopped for us so that we could safely turn and cross the busy intersections.
The course was a 28-mile loop, but it did have a small out and back section. In addition, there were FOUR railroad crossings (that were marked with arrows so we didn't get hurt - amazing). Luckily, even though I had to go over them 12 times total, I never got stuck at a crossing and neither did Mike.
I felt a little winded during the first loop, I think that's normal coming out of the water and I just tried to push the flats and take advantage of the downhills. The course had about 500 feet of elevation gain per loop and I never had to go into the little ring.
I was hoping that I would see Mike on the first out and back, but I didn't. I did not like the out and back because I could never get around the cone smoothly enough (and I almost fell over the first time). The volunteers at the aid stations were great and cheered us on as we went by. The only other female triathlete passed me on the out and back during the first loop, I had a feeling I wouldn't catch her.
We had been warned that there was a two mile section of the course that was really rough (Bob joked that it was our XTERRA part of the day) and it was rough. I lost my splash guard for my aero bottle on this part of the course during the first loop, and when we got off of it another participant who was passing me said, "he wasn't kidding about it being rough!"
At that point, I knew that I was close to finishing the first loop and I just thought to get to Rob, who would be waiting at the start of the bike course cheering us on. But when I went by where I thought he would be, he wasn't there! I started to panic, thinking something happened to Mike or that something happened to Rob but then at the next intersection there he was. I told him, "you made me just a little bit nervous!" and he laughed. After that I settled in for the next loop.
I had been drinking a lot more than I normally do during training rides (but continuing with my eating every 5 miles, alternating between energy chews and clif bar and an energy gel at the halfway point) and I had to go to the bathroom. I had two choices: hold it (even though I still had a long way to go for the day) or pee on my bike. Stopping during a race is not really an option for me, that's just me.
So. I did what I always said I would do. I peed on my bike. A lot. Good thing this was a small race and no one was around me while I did this! Mike later admitted to peeing on his bike too! Yea, we're gross triathletes, we're cool with it.
At the halfway-ish point of the loop (the second time through), I took a replacement water bottle at the aid station. I got passed a few more times and thought that I was in last place. As I got closer to the park, one man passed me right before the aid station at the start. He was able to get a water bottle and continue on his way, but when I asked for water they didn't have any ready!
This might be my least proud moment of the race, especially since Rob was watching it all go down, and I was not very gracious toward the volunteers. I know that they were trying their hardest but I was a little upset that I had to stop, when I had no intention of doing so, and I had flashbacks to Musselman and the one aid station that ran out of water on the run course which caused me to stop for about a minute.
After filling my aero bottle (with a half full water bottle), Rob cheered me on and I got started on my third and final loop of the day. I could see the man that had passed me, and I kept him in my sights. I was starting to get a headache, so I tried to drink more water and took an energy chew earlier than I would have to see if that would help.
I joked with one of the police officers that I wouldn't see him again (since it was my final loop) and kept going. One of the roads before the turn where two of the railroad crossings were, I passed the man who had passed me. I never saw him again, except on the out and back road.
I think that my third loop was the fastest, but honestly I hadn't even been paying attention to miles all that much except to make sure I was eating at the right times. I grabbed two more water bottles at aid stations, I intentionally stopped at one this time because it was on the turn around road so I was going slower anyway. The volunteer said she wanted to give me cold water so that I didn't puke (from warm water) and I knew that I was close to the end at that point. There was another race participant a little ways ahead of me and I made it my goal to pass him and I did right before the next turn!
After I made it across the final railroad crossing, I was so happy I hadn't been stuck at one of them, I made a turn down a road. There was a police officer directing traffic and a guy in one of the cars that was stopped said, "keep going!" I smiled, and I kept going.
I got across the rough road for the last time, whew (like it said on the road - written by the race directors), and I had about 2 miles to go to get to transition. I drank a little bit more water, I had stopped taking nutrition at about 79 miles (enough time to digest and get ready for the run).
I made the turn back into the park toward transition, saw the mount/dismount line this time and heard Rob cheering me on (I said something about being happy to be off of my bike). I ran into transition and got ready for the run. I felt like I was in transition forever but really both of my transition times were under 2 minutes, which isn't that bad! I grabbed my nutrition for the run, my bib, put on my shoes and quickly reapplied sunscreen and I was off! I didn't even look to see if Mike's bike was there, but I figured I'd find out soon enough how he was doing.
The only thing left was a 15 mile run, the longest run of this training cycle so far!
Bike Leg (84 Miles) - Jamie: 5:16:58 (15.9 MPH), Mike: 4:21:55 (19.2 MPH)
Transition 2 - Jamie: 1:55, Mike: 2:36