If you haven’t yet, please read Triathlete’s Ruin, Part 1, or this won’t make ANY sense.
Sunday, I woke up much as I feared I would, groggy and vaguely nauseous. I have never been so attuned to my own body and my own state-of-being as I have been training this year, and so not only was I very slightly hungover (after ONE drink!) but I was very slightly hungover in High-Definition.
I took the kids downstairs for breakfast, had a bagel and some cereal and started hydrating like it was going out of style. We had gone to Thursday night church, so mercifully I was spared having to swing right into “get ready for the day” mode.
We had a sitter coming at 11 a.m. to let Trimom and I head out to Elkhart Lake to bike the race course and jump in the lake. I was feeling better about 10:30 as I loaded up the bikes and got changed and ready to go. We drove out to the resort that hosts the race, parked in the lot, consulted the course map Trimom had printed off and set out.
The course is pretty nice – there’s only one really busy road and only two county road crossings, which I’m sure will be controlled on race day. There are fewer hills on the course than last year, but the only way there could be more hills is if the transition area was at Everest Base Camp.
We started off together, and I may have ridden a teeny bit faster than Trimom, because all of a sudden I realized I couldn’t see her behind me. I stopped at one of the turns and waited for her to catch up. We did one final review of the course, and then we took off. Again, my rate of speed may have been a smidge higher than Trimom’s, because again, I lost her. I felt a little guilty and then thought, “no, she has the map and she has her flat kit – she’ll be fine.”
I had a great ride – in the drops, head down, legs pumping, good speed. There were two killer short climbs, but nothing major. I finished the out-and-back course and was just getting back into the village of Elkhart Lake when I spied Trimom ahead of me. I knew she hadn’t passed me, so a number of bad possibilities flashed through my brain.
Bad possibility number 1) She got a flat after I was out of sight, had to change it and decided to head for home instead of finishing the course. If that had happened, it would the second time in a row that we had ridden together and she had gotten a flat.
Bad possibility number 2) She was pissed because I rode “too fast” and decided to turn around. In this case, she would be in a sour mood when I caught up to her.
Bad possibility number 3) She had gotten badly lost and had barely made it back to town.
I came up behind her, and her look was more of surprise than seething rage, so I felt like none of the above had happened. What HAD happened is that she accidently cut the course short by a mile or so by turning one road too early on the out loop.
We both had good rides. I averaged 14.7 mph, which is short of the 15.8 mph I need to average to meet my race goal of 47 minutes. I may have to revise that goal a little bit, but maybe the adrenaline and being prepared for the course will help on race day.
Coming up next, the conclusion of Triathlete’s Ruin; The Freezing