Saturday, May 23, 2009

Race 2- Hardest Oly Course ever!

When I finished this course last year I proclaimed it the hardest course of any distance that I had ever done. Now I can proudly say that it is the hardest course that I have ever done at any distance... twice. The bike course is sick, and the run... well the run is the same for the two races today and the Half tomorrow, and it's just a cruel, cruel joke.

So here is my photo race report for race 2/4 of the Triple T

Here I am donning the wetsuit. This race definitely merited the full suit.



And off to start the hardest race ever...

The swim was great. I love this course. The time trial start makes it relatively contact free and the lake is like glass. The consistency is a little nasty, but as long as you don't mind swimming in pea soup it's all good. I think I took around 24 minutes for the 1500 meters



Coming out, SOOOO excited to hit this bike course (NOT!)



The bike was hilly. Big Thompson hill was grueling as always. You start the hill at 18% from practically a standstill after a 160 degree turn. The first 50 meters are 15-18% and then the remainder is about 9%. It's not a fun thing to do when you know you have a hilly run in your future. But the field is much stronger this year. Last year I saw several people walk up the hill. This year most people took it with no difficulty. The bike course took me in the ballpark of 1:25. Close to what it took me last year.

Here I am starting the run:



The run was really, really tough. It is never, ever flat and quite steep for much of it (all trail). The humidity when we started was 88% with a high of 87 degrees. I absolutely wilted in the heat. There were several times where I took 10-20 step walk breaks up the steep hills. My HR stayed around 180 for the majority of the run. When I started to get the chills towards the end of the run it made me a little nervous. But the last 2.5 miles is all downhill, so it is quite the mental boost after the crazy climbing.

Here I am coming into the finish. I think I did the race in around 2:46, a couple minutes slower than last year, but for this course and conditions it's fine with me!



One of the toughest part of this race is trying to recover between races. There isn't much time with the starts at 7:30 and 3pm. This is my strategy...

Step one: Ice bath



With Peanut butter bagels (I choked down 2 between races):



Then step two is sitting with my legs in the air for 10 minutes. Lets the blood flow out:



And finally TP massage! I can't say my legs feel awesome, but I think I'll survive the afternoon. No telling about tomorrow though...



The next race is in a couple hours and features a Bike - Swim - Run. It's always fun getting the wetsuit on in transition. I bring a sleeveless for this race because it's easier to get on. I can't believe I have to do that run 3 more times. This is a sickness....