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Ironman Coer d'Alene - The Bike

Out of the water and onto the beach and there they are, yes! Strippers! I love help getting my wetsuit off. I pick a male/female team (kinky, I know) and shimmy my suit down around my hips, lay down, they each take a leg and boo-ya! Like that, my suit is off. I stand up and they say "booties, too!" and take my booties off - while I stay standing - these volunteers rock!

Grab my bag, into the changing tent - WOAH! It's dark in there! And FILLED with people. So instead, I pick a spot outside of the tent and get on my socks, race belt, etc. good thing, too, cuz sitting outside is Ross and they boys. I got constant cheers from them while I.... change? I think the kids thought this was the coolest. Oh to be 6....
Snapping on race belt in transition
Shoes on and off I go!
I get changed, get my bike and out on the course. The course is technically two loops, and each loop has 2 out and backs. Confusing, I know. Anyways, the first 16-mile "loop" is rolling hills along the lake and it feels GOOD. I am going fast (for me) and having fun. You start off through town and see everyone. I mean EVERYONE. I circled back through town and saw Ross - yay! (the boys were there, but too short to see).
Melissa caught me riding through!
Then, the climbing started. The new course goes basically up 20 miles with 4 climbs - turnaround - and then basically down for 20 miles with 3 more climbs, but not as much. I actually continued to feel good through it all while climbing up, up, up. I felt relaxed and energized and kept my heart rate in check the whole time. And, a strange thing happened, I was passing people. Like, lots of people. I am  sure this a combination of my slow swim time (putting me behind a lot of people) coupled with the fact that I climb a lot here in Colorado, also coupled with the fact that I was probably doing more than I should. But, it felt good at the time. So off I went.

As I was climbing, I made friends with those around me as much as possible. It was quite a happy bunch and for that, I was happy. As you climb, you are on a divided highway with all the traffic on the "other" road - this was nice - and I heard a semi slowly plugging up the other side of the road. I put my arm up and did the token 'tug-tug' with my arm and he honked for me! It was awesome!

Got to the turnaround at mile 36 and from there it was down. Thank goodness!!! I like descending. As I was going down, though, I could feel it in my legs like maybe I had gone out too hard. I will slow down for the second loop I told myself.

Got back to town, more people. Yay! I had 8 miles to special needs. What did I need? I thought. Got to the special needs and the volunteer had my bag ready. Two Rice Krispy treats please and ka-bam! there they were. I devoured one right there and took one for the road. Man, real food and substance do taste good in the middle of one of these things!

Back through town. Yay! Yay! Yay! Lots of cheers for me and my RMTC jersey!
Now to the climbing part of lap 2. Take it slower. Yes, ma'am. That really wasn't an issue, as the wind had picked up. A lot. So off I went. Climb, climb, climb. The first climb is the steepest, but, by golly, I don't think it is the worst by any means. You climb for 2 miles. Flat - downish for 1, then descend for 2. After this is all over, you still have about 12 miles of pretty steady up, up, up until the turnaround. THIS was the grueling, "just-get-there-already" part. Add in the wind and, oh boy, this made for a longer 2 loop. I think I have never been so happy to see a turnaround in my life!

Down, down, down I go! And this is where I feel "really cool". One guy had complimented me on my descending on lap 1 and asked what I topped out at. I had never really checked. This time I peeked at my watch at some point and it read 39.2 mph. I smiled at myself. (My garmin read I maxed out at 0:23/mi - still trying to figure out what that converts to for mi/hr.) As I was going down one descent, I yelled "on your left", the guy didn't move or acknowledge me, so I yelled again. He yelled back, "just pass!". As I was going by him, he yells again, "Is that a girl???". "YEP!". Just to note: he didn't pass me back.

After you bottom out, you still have a few miles back to town. Some of which are slightly up, but nothing too bad. I was just glad to be there.

I arrive towards town and see Ross and the boys there at transition just smiling - and it makes me smile, too! No matter how the day turns out, I had a pretty good bike for me. That was one mother of a course and I felt like I did a decent job on it. Looking at the results, I passed almost 400 people, so I must have been doing something right (or maybe it was just my slow swim....).

Either way, into the changing tent for me!!!! Only 26.2 miles till I am an Ironman!


Jan said...

400 people! Oh my goodness!