I ran into transition and was surprised at how many people were there.
“I SWAM A 1:24!!!” was ringing in my head.
I had to balance my elation over my swim time with the fact that there was a whole lot of work left to do before the day was over.
I grabbed my bike bag and ran to the changing tent.
There was not a seat to be had, the volunteers were running all over the place doing their best to help.
Wow. I am not used to being in here when its busy.
I found a corner and pulled my stuff out of the bag, threw it on, and put my wetsuit into the bag. I opened an Amrita Bar and chewed it as I put on my helmet and bike shoes.
I went back and forth about bringing arm warmers…I decided to put them on. I stood up and saw a volunteer collecting bags and handed her mine, said thank-you, and headed out to the bike racks.
A wonderful volunteer had my bike waiting for me – I grabbed my bike and ran to the bike out.
The bike out at IMLP is downhill with a sharp left turn, and people get a little crazy there. I took a second to let the crowds clear so I didn’t get drilled and as I went down the hill I noticed that my brakes were not working.
Like at all.
Well, I had some front brakes, which I used to slow down the hills leaving town until I got to a flat spot where I could kind of stop.
Crap. That screaming downhill is going to be interesting. I got off the bike and tried to tighten the back brakes, which then stuck.
I don’t know how long I messed with it, but I finally got them working.
I haven’t even been a mile yet.
OK shake it off, they are working. I think.
I go. Taking it easy on the rollers through town, endless people passed me. My plan was to spin the rollers coming out of town easy and then ride the downhill and hammer on the flats where I am strongest.
I went by a woman standing on the side of the road looking miserable holding a tire in one hand and a CO2 cartridge in the other. I stopped, happy to see that my brakes were working.
“What do you need?” I asked.
“I need something to go on this.” She points to the CO2 cartridge.
I pull out my stuff and help her out. She gets her tire blown up, and I leave her to finish putting her bike back together.
I start riding again and it seemed hard. Huh. I look down and realize my brake is rubbing.
For Christs sakes.
I stop, fix it again and hit the screaming downhill kind of worried about whether or not I had brakes.
Getting ready to pass someone, I heard a motorcycle. I was pretty far back from people, but was suddenly paranoid about a penalty. There were a lot of people out there, it was really hard to get space.
It turned out to be IM media. A guy with a video camera on the back of the motorcycle asked me questions about why I do this. I answered, and tried to act like I cared about answering because really I wanted to get my head back into the game. We get done and he said he forgot to turn his camera on – could he do another take?
So I said sure because I am too nice. So we do it again, this time he actually records it (I think). I am not sure where this ended up, probably on the cutting room floor.
Anyway, I did the interview and finally got back to work. I felt pretty good, fueled with Amrita and macadamia nuts, salt stick, and water.
I saw my buddy Steve on the side of the road, I asked if he was OK and he said, “This is my third flat of the day.” I slowed to offer help, but he said he was all set, someone else had helped him out.
Man. That freaking sucks. I found out later that he got 5 flats that day!!
My brake problems were not seeming so bad…I reminded myself of that as I stopped to fiddle with them again.
There were some great signs and pretty good crowds along the way – a group of guys in speedos had a sign that said “We are drunk” – and they were. Dancing and singing and cheering all the bikers. It was pretty funny.
A guy had a cooler outside of his house that said “Free beer”. I wonder if anyone stopped?
My favorite was someone holding a sign that said “Warning, happy dancing gay man ahead.” And as you got closer there was a guy in a pink speedo dancing and laughing and holding a sign that said smiled if you peed on your bike.
I smiled and gave the tumbs up as I pedaled by. He hooted and jumped and cheered. It was pretty funny.
As I made the turn up towards Wilmington and began to climb, I was feeling pretty good. But I had no idea how long I had been out there, and my stupid arm warmers were covering up my watch.
I didn’t think about it again until Andy Potts (my secret boyfriend) passed me on his second lap as I was nearing The Bears.
It was pretty awesome, he flew by me like I wasn’t moving and climbed up Mama Bear and out of sight.
Crap. That means I have been out here for a long time. Longer than I had planned.
I fiddled with my arm warmer and got so I could see my watch. 3:45. Or something like 4 hours.
Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. What the heck happened? I rode the course in 6:35 when I was here in June, so I figured 7-7:15 was totally doable. I guess stopping added up more than I thought.
I came into town and the crowds had dwindled. I was pretty bummed, but I smiled and waved at the people there – many commented on the fact that I was still smiling and happy.
OFCOURSE I WAS. What the heck else am I going to do?
I did get to see my Mom and Adam and Shelby – and another friend, Kim who’s man Mike was out on the course, so that was awesome.
I rode to the first aid station and saw Jon and Beth again. They cheered for me and I so appreciated it.
I put my head down and worked the flats, stretched out the downhills, and rode my second lap about 15 minutes faster than my first.
I also hit a bump and lost my nutrition somewhere on that loop – I had my bento box open and saw the bump, held the bars and out it went, a macadamia nut explosion.
All I had with me was my salt stick and a gel, I ate Amrita on the first lap and planned on the nuts on the second, kind of tapering off the food and eating higher fat toward the end, like I did in training.
So much for that plan.
So I used what I had and grabbed a gel or two at the aid stations, and basically changed my plan on the fly.
And now that I took sugar, I had to keep taking it. Which also completely messed up my plan.
The back-end of this course is kinda mean – especially on the second lap. I am not going to lie, I was so happy to see The Bears, because that meant I was back into town.
People who were there cheering kept saying, “Great smile!! You seem so happy!!”
I hollered back, “I am!! Wanna buy a bike?”
I happily rode into transition, feeling really good that the bike was done.
Guess I need to work on that some more.
Smiling and waving and gave the awesome volunteers my bike – and then kind of out of nowhere these medical people swarmed me.
Huh. I must look really bad or something. I smiled at them and started walking past them to transition.
One medical girl started walking with me and touched my arm and said, “Wait! Take off your helmet, cool off…no, wait, stop walking, take a break.”
WHAT????? Is something gooey dripping from my face???
I kind of smiled and said “Yeah, yeah” as I walked, but she tried to stop me again, but I noticed the others had backed off.
She had this weird concerned look on her face and then said, “Take off your shoes, take your time.”
I looked at her and said, “I am fine, I don’t really feel like I have time. I have to run a marathon now,” and I walked away from her to transition.
Next up – Ironman Lake Placid – The Run