Day before race. First thing, there’s a Denny’s next door, so time for a slam breakfast with some southern Cali flair. After breakfast, it’s time for a quick ride around the course to see what’s what. Here’s where I went a little off course. The day before a race like this you want to get some quick turnover work in. That would mean a nice literal interval set in on the bike and then some strides right off it. Did I do this? Of course not! It’s my first time on a bike in California and racing a new course, so I rode the course and then some…..stupid. (I check my HRV/Stress/HR every morning, and I should’ve just relaxed.)
Before I rode, I did have to head to a shop and get my rear hub and some other stuff fixed, thank you TSA. I’ll say this, Performance Bike doesn’t get much love, but they helped me out a lot today for nothing. Thanks! The course was great. I brought along my wetsuit just in case I decided to take a swim, but the course and scenery kept me content. The Giro Air Attack I got yesterday and the new vision Mini-TT bars were great. Once I got back to the hotel it was time to get ready for the Women’s Pro race and bike drop off. As I walked back into the room I noticed something. I noticed that I forgot to pack sun block. Ahhhhhh!!!! Well, I cleaned off my bike, clean bike = fast bike, and showered up. There’s a beer in there somewhere.
Be sure to fully understand transporting around your hotel and the race. Needless to say, all roads were completely blocked, so I had to walk about a mile with my bike after the bus dropped me off. I must have walked over 10 miles this weekend, and I believe that was my downfall. Bike drop off was interesting and was able to get my bike and swim cap numbers. This was also a chance to set up my number holder for the first time. (Again, race week/day not a time to try new things out.) that setup was nice and clean and worked out pretty well. My bike was at just the right spot for T1 and T2. The hanger was very high though, so my bike was just floating in the air. This is where a bungee cord can help so there’s not unnecessary stress put on your seat and seatpost.
I now had about 30mins until the pro women went off. I called my contact Grant from Chain Reaction Cycle, and we met up at the VIP tent. I wasn’t expecting being this much of a VIP this weekend, so I felt like a total fish out of water. I was surrounded by Olympians, World Champions, CEO’s, Sponsors, and the lot. Imagine taking your favorite sport, hobby, etc. and spending a couple hours talking to the best of the best in racing, gear, and events. It was awesome. Now, the seats are what really made this worth it. The transition and finish area isn’t that big when compared to a stadium, so when you’re on the fence, you can see every detail about every transition and lap. All the big guns except Nicola Spirug, who’s pregnant, made it out.
The race was so good that it made the Top 10 on Sport Center. That almost never happens with endurance sports, but this race deserved it. The swim was two laps and required the racers to come out of the water and run back in for the second lap which I thought was amazing. Their run into transition and onto the bike was blazingly fast, but quickly made it apparent that their was gonna be a big split in the field. The leaders were about 40secs ahead of the chase pack after 4 laps, and the trail group was basically out. I’ve never seen a draft legal triathlon race live, and it is impressive with how much power they are putting down and how so many individuals have to work together to race hard and press pace. The run into T2 and out was even faster than T1. These ladies were cooking on the run. I can’t even imagine running a 5:20 mile for a triathlon for 10k. Watching Gwen Jorgenson chase down the leaders to win the race was mesmerizing.
After the race, I also got the chance to stand in front of the podium. So many presentations, that I got a little bored. I will say this though, I did catch Gwen’s cork from her bottle of champagne. That’s a pretty cool keep sake. I’ll post pics and vids later of the race. The whole day was amazing weather, but now it was time to head back and rest up. Grant and I did a quick little interview, which will be on Facebook and their website, but after a ran to the expo to grab some sun block and ear plugs.
The night before a race can be rough. Once I got back to the hotel, I packed up my transition bag, grabbed some chips and guac from a local burrito shop, had a beer, and watched a little TV. I made sure to roll myself out, set a bunch of alarms and wake up calls, take a quick cool shower, and fall asleep. My Sleepstream App works great to allow myself to drift asleep, but my heart rate was already over 100. That’s not good.