Race #3 is an Olympic Tri which starts at 3PM and starts with a 24.8 mi bike, followed by a 1500 m swim followed by a 6.55 mi run.
That order should make things interesting. On top of that we would be starting in the heat of the day at 3PM. AND this would be the first of the TEAM races in which all teams must start and finish together.
Now this was the part I was looking forward to. It would be a chance that my teammate and I could work together on the bike. My partner comes from a strong cycling background so I thought this could work out well for both of us!
Setting up transition was a bit interesting this time around. I was not used to thinking through things in this direction. I had brought thin grocery type bags for my feet so that I could easily slip my super awesome TYR wetsuit on. And now it is time to give props to another of my other FAVORITE Trakkers / REV3 sponsors, TRISWIM! I wiped my goggles down with FOGGLE in transition to make sure fogging would not be an issue. Then I thoroughly sprayed myself and my wetsuit down with TRISLIDE. I have learned that not only does TRISLIDE really make getting the wetsuit off fast helpful but it really helps minimize the effort of getting it on. I thank TRISLIDE for significantly aiding me in quick transitions!
So now it was time to race! My partner and I lined up with my number of 194 and they let 2 bicyclists off every 10 seconds of so. So it took a bit to get going! The plan was to take ~1 min pulls on the flats to maximize our efforts. And we were off! We started right in with the plan. The race course was an out and back with ~1900 ft of climbing. We started out climbing from miles 1-4 then another climb at mile 5-7 or so before a nice long descent. We hit the turnaround at mile 12.4 or so and my partner mentioned his legs felt tight and I could tell the pace started to back down in hopes that his legs might not shut down. Mile 15 was a brutal climb and I just geared down and tried to spin up it easy while conserving the legs. Then there was another nice downhill section. The thing about and out and back though is you know what is coming...one more big hill. A top this hill were 3 guys donning some little shorts or perhaps speedos. They gave me a good laugh cheering on my way out and I was looking forward to cresting that last hill and seeing them again! They did not disappoint! During the climbs on the way back, my partner got hit with major cramping in his legs to the point that he had to pull off alongside the road to try to massage them out. It was a hot hilly course and to have leg cramping on top of that, had to be incredibly grueling and as he pulled into transition, the pain was very evident. Yikes, what a trooper!
Not that leg cramping was going to stop my partner from heading into some 60 degree water for our two loop swim. Surely this was a good idea...right? I swam a nice comfortable swim. The water felt considerably warmer than it felt the prior evening. The really nice thing about the bike-swim-run format is how nice and spread out the swimmers were in the lake. I felt very relaxed and I think I was actually enjoying swimming this weekend. Now much of this was due to my sweet TYR wetsuit, but props are also owed to TriEric who let me borrow his neoprene swim cap. As a side note, these elevation profiles and pics are all ones that I lifted from Eric's notes on TTT. I cannot tell ya how thankful I felt that Eric had taken the time to share detailed course notes with several of us and also went over a lot of tips at one of CTC's gatherings. It was very valuable and prior to every race, I reviewed the notes so I knew what was ahead. THANK YOU ERIC!
Huge props to my partner for making it through the swim. The cold water brought on more cramping and he was not alone. I saw the medics helping another guy out who obviously was having severe cramping. There were a lot of people fighting hard to get through this race!
With the swim behind us, there was just one more leg to fight through.. the run! It felt boiling hot. I knew at this point my skin was getting burned. With my sweat providing an extra draw for the rays, I tried to stay in the shady spots as much as I could along the way. The nice thing about doing this with a partner, is you are out there together. We told stories and just enjoyed the course. The other thing that I really liked about the run course was being an out and back course, you were able to see the front runners heading into the finish. I was getting excited for several of my friends like CK and ES out there just tearing up the course!
As we hit the finish line, I was super proud of my partner. He had cramped terribly on every leg of that race but still continued going which had to be an incredibly hard feat! Team Edwards had just one race left to finish TTT. Only problem, the last race would be the longest and included, (you guessed it) more hills!!!
Post race I grabbed myself a Muscle Milk as I came through the finish and headed back down to my lil watering hole to give myself another ice bath. Not sure if these were really helping to keep my legs good, but why mess with what seemed to be working?
After a quick shower, 7 of us went to the Mexitali restaurant there in town and I gobbled down a bunch of food. I was sooo hungry! Then we headed back to the campsite for another bonfire while I again kicked my feet up in my recovery pants. All in all, I was feeling very relaxed and finally I hit the sack. Thankfully no bee stings this night and I slept like a rock!
Bee sting update: Wednesday now, arch is still swollen and red. It is becoming increasingly itchy. Have I mentioned how much I hate bees? Ironic as my partner is sponsored by Honey Stinger.