Saturday, August 15, 2015

IMLP Race Report - The Bike

So I fly down Colden and then just try to settle. I see people out of their saddle climbing up Cascade Pass, and I think to myself, "They do know there's 110 more miles, right?" I keep my watts on the low side the entire first half of the first loop. And by "low side" I mean 20 watts below target. Sounds crazy, but with the back half of each loop being 20 miles of climbing, I want to play it extra conservative. I'm passing a lot of people and feeling good and "in control" - a rare feeling in an Ironman. The only issue is that my stomach isn't very happy. Not nauseated, just a bit queasy and super not interested in eating. I usually look forward to that break every 15 minutes to sit up and soft pedal a bit, but this time I kind of groan when it's time to eat.

All smiles starting the ride.

When I start climbing up from Jay, I'm definitely happy I kept it so easy the first half of the loop. I make it up Papa Bear with my cheer squad going nuts, and stop at special needs with a blistering (for me) 3:43 split for the first loop. However, I know that I'm in trouble with my stomach. As it happens, my friend Jeff is working Special Needs and I get to wave my tampons all around him fishing out my Pepto tablets, which I'm SO SO glad Coach Jenni convinced me to bring. (I usually don't have GI issues, so don't carry them as a rule.) I decided against the Pringles, figuring that since they don't sound any more appetizing than my usual wafers and chews I might as well stick with what I've been using in training.
Bombing down Colden to start the second loop.



I go around the Hot Corner by Lisa G's where they're blasting "Shut Up and Dance" (i.e. the song I've been playing on repeat this training cycle) and between that and my split I'm feeling pretty happy despite the Thunder Down Under in my tummy.


I nail the Cascade Pass descent even better than the first time. (I found out later when I looked at the data that I hit 44 MPH. Holy CRAP.) This makes me very happy as I am a descending wuss usually, but today I fly by people both times.

When I hit the flats from Keene to Ausable a second time, I'm definitely not feeling as perky. I've been on the bike for 4.5 hours, still have another 20 miles of climbing after I finish this section, and in addition to having to force food down it's getting really hot.  I start spending a lot of time up on the pursuit bars, my watts are going down, down, down, instead of the original plan to raise them up to target power, and in general I'm quite miserable.  I'm so relieved every time it's time to stop at an aid station for ice cold water down the back and in my Aerodrink.


A little blurry, but definitely not quite so happy here.
My stomach is getting bad enough that I switch to water - I just can't stomach Skratch anymore, and my eating is getting further and further apart. I finally give up at mile 90 as I don't want to puke while climbing and hope I can get calories in on the run. In addition, I don't even want to think what's going on in my shorts. The whole plan of Magic Bike Shorts and chamois cream didn't take dumping water all over myself into account and there is Major Chafing.

Those last 20 miles definitely have a lot of tears. My friends Darci and Billy scream up a storm for me while I climb the Wall, which definitely helps. By the time I finally cross the timing mat, I just burst into tears. Again. My friend Diana is working transition and gives me a much-needed hug and helps me to my bag. (This is why I'll always do IMLP despite the insane bike course - being a local is amazing.)
Coming to the timing mat. About 10 seconds from bawling. Ironman is HARD.

Bike: 7:51 (45 minute PR), 86 AG, 501 Woman, 2009 Overall.

In T2 I change into my run shorts and get out of there pretty quickly, as always ever so grateful to be off the bike. Although I still put on my Fuel Belt with my Skratch and gels, I already know I'm probably not going to touch it at all.

T2: 5:42 (Whopping-for-transition 4 minute PR thanks to my complete mental breakdown barely making the cutoff last time.)


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