Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ironman Cozumel - The Bike Baby

Let it be known that for some reason I decided that I didn't want to put on my bike shoes in the tent. I'm not sure if this was because I was afraid of falling in them while running through T1 (which was really stinking long by the way!) or what! The way the first transition was put together was much different than anything I have seen previously. This may have been due to the fact that it was a park. It was very long rows of bikes around the outside edges and then many bikes up through the middle portions as well (think like spider legs).

Anyway, I headed out once I put my shoes on by the bike only to realize they were completely filled with dirt. "Oh this will be fun for 112 miles!" I thought! O well!

I could already feel the sun starting to rise hot and high in the sky and it was only 9:00am. I settled into a rhythm. There were only two things I was worried about for this ride - cadence and heart rate. These two variables would decide my speed and pace. This was important because when the wind picked up through the day (which I knew it would - about noon would be the worst of it on my last lap of this three loop course) I wouldn't need to be surprised my speed might go down. Cadence & heart rate, cadence and heart rate.

This was also going to be the first real time I could test my stomach and see what was being absorbed (if anything :) I took sips of water for about the first 10 mins and then decided it was time to start with the real nutrition. I looked at my watch so I would know what intervals to look for through the rest of ride. I made my plan. At 10 after the hour, every hour, I should have another 24oz bottle of Infinite Fluid Energizer empty and ready to switch. At every 50 min mark of the hour I would take another gel (the first one being at that 10 min mark), so approximately every 40-45 mins.

All I could see where men around me, but all in all, there was lots of space and not many people on the course yet so I was really enjoying that part. I knew it would get much more crowded as we set out on the second and third loop. I reached the southern part of the Island fairly quickly passing my hotel and then riding right along the coast. This is where the wind is the worst. It would come off the water and you really had to be careful when you were taking a drink or opening a gel. During the first loop it was fine and I was really please with my cadence. I was shooting for above 90 and I averaged about 93 for the entire ride. The sun started feeling hotter and hotter and I knew hydration was going to be an issue. I could NOT let that slide on bit. Sip from the front Aero Profile Design bottle full of water, sip from the infinite bottle was the theme of the day. When an aid station would come, I would refill that front bottle and that happened at least 6-8 times during the bike portion. When we would finally make that turn at the bottom of the island toward town I would feel the wind at my back and would finally start picking up speed and instead of going 18 or 19mph, I would hit closer to 22. Still, heart rate and cadence.. no need to hammer. I knew it was going to be a long day.

The only thing I felt very sad to see was of course, you guessed it, drafting. I saw large packs of men and occasionally, I also saw a women tucked right in with them. The few age group women that were ahead of me seemed to want to just tuck into behind a man and see how long they would / could get away with it. I'm not going to name names (although, if you are going to draft, maybe wearing shorts with your last name labeled on the butt is NOT a good idea - just FYI there missy). Either way, each and every time it happened and I was swallowed up by a group I would soft pedal until I was shot out the back. Just fine with me. Two different times people came up beside me and thanked me for not drafting and / or took a moment to complain with me. One women even came up and said "hey, did you know there are about 5 men on your @%% right now?" I would turn around, say my peace, and just hammer it for about 5 minutes until I left them behind. There's just no place for that in our sport and if you feel like doing it, seriously, go somewhere else and race ITU. I did see some officials and even pointed them up ahead at times so who knows how many they caught.

All in all, the bike was uneventful, just as it should be. I enjoyed seeing the families sitting outside of their homes when we weren't in town cheering us on! When we did come around the loop into town it was a massive crowd and I saw Kyle each time!! As he cheered I would yell something to him that is just for us to know and smile! I think he knew I was absorbing my fluid and was assured that things were going much better than I thought!

When we finally made the last loop I was really excited to get off that bike. I was sick of the drink, sick of gels and just ready to be off that bike!! I did a bit of math and realized that I was going to be coming in right around 5:25.. "YIKES," I thought.. Is this too fast??" I tried not to panic. Coach Justin and I had a plan and I had followed it to perfection. No reason to panic. I let up a little in the last 3-4 miles into town and just spun the legs to get ready for the marathon.

Coming into town I got out of my shoes and tired to only think of transition, which I had gone over in my mind about 5 times on bike.

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Nick @Trijuice caught this picture of me coming into T2! A happy girl!!

As you can see from this picture Kyle is VERY close.. right in T2 with me!! He got some great photos and footage - just wait till you see the video!!

The volunteers were absolutely spectacular and I can't thank them enough. Did I mention my bike special needs bag was out and READY for me by the time I was even slowing enough to grab it!! That's how well-organized and awesome this race venue was this year! Much improved from last year I heard.

Before I knew it was in the tent and stripping down to put on my Ballou Skies / Splish bottoms and running shoes / hat / bug spray before heading out. I could feel my back burning from the bike and the lack of sunscreen.. but I knew this race could come down to minutes / even seconds.. and I just didn't have any extra time to spare. I would have to hope for the best.

I was also getting worried, I did not have to pee ONE time on that bike. Once again.. was my hydration enough - only time would tell. I am a HUGE sweater and it was hot on the bike. I knew the bike would pale the run in temperature comparison.

Here we go!! Time to race!! I hoped my legs were ready too!! Final Bike time - 5:27

MORE TO COME!! Thanks for reading!


Heidi Austin said...

awesome bike girly! can't wait to read the rest :)

Kim said...

wohooo, great bike kim! drafting was HUGE last year - and some guy got a card for drafting off me the final loop along the coast... while i was riding like 10mph. the drafting pissed me off. way to hang in there and finish super strong!

Christi said...

What a great bike time! And you are right, people should not draft! If they want to do that they should be bike racers! So Congrats for racing on your own, as I knew you would!

Kristin said...

Awesome bike time!! I hate when people draft! Drives me nuts too!!

m said...

Great ride Kim! I don't know how you and others put up with races like ironman where there is a lot of drafting and not much is done about it. It just seems like a huge frustration to deal with.

Bug spray--I've never heard of someone putting that on during a race before!