Sunday, May 18, 2008

Galena Hills

First time in Galena. I have heard its a great weekend get away.
I called Rique and confirmed I would arrive around 3pm.
I also heard from Jim's buddy Eno whom I met last year.
Eno called me while I was in route and mentioned they had a 5 br home.
He asked if I would be interested in renting one of the rooms.
I told him I would pass. I like my privacy and don't want to share a bathroom.
As I was driving in I had to call into a conference call for work.
It started late and I was not enjoying the discussion so after an hour and a half I hung up.
If its important my boss will fill me in on Monday.

I checked in and headed to registration.
Once at registration you take your bike to T1 and setup. I noticed the bike route was the road I just drove to get to registration. It was very hilly, I had heard the course was hilly but these were hills I had never ridden. Anyway on the way back I found T2 and dropped of my running shoes and other gear. By the time I was finished it was 6pm. I called Rique but no answer.
Then I called Eno and he said he was waiting for the rest of his friends. He said they would probably go out to dinner after 7 or 8pm. I told him I was going to dinner now and would see him at the race. I had a healthy dinner at a nice restaurant. It was not crowed for a Friday but the food was great. I had some healthy pasta with roasted vegetables and lots of water.
Got back to the motel and noticed my start time was 9:48am. I had forgotten the race did not start till 9am. I was in wave 17, curse of being old and racing. At least everyone is mature and friendly.

Parked my SUV in some parking lot and the shuttle took us to the lake. I arrived at T1 around 7am and bumped into Dave and Kevin of EBC. Then I took the bike out for a test drive up some hills. Right away my HR was in Z4. I racked my bike up and found Rique. He is an X-Marine and likes to talk a lot. This is fine with me because it helps the time pass. I was drinking lots of fluid so I do not have issues with cramping. Cramping is a big problem with me and races. I do not know if it is due to hydration or muscles not getting enough blood. In any case I was prepared and took my endurolytes and calcium supplements. I decided to test the water and boy was it cold. Temps were around 59 degrees. Terre Haute 3 years ago was very cold and shocked me when the race started. I did not want to have the same experience, so I swam till I was somewhat use to the cold.

Then the race began and before you know it my wave was up. I position myself in the back so i do not get clobbered. I guess I was not the only one with this idea. I swam towards the right, away from the pack. I notice I had caught up to the lead pack but was to far right. I had to draft for a while but taking my time. I had a talk with Coach Brett before the race and we went over my pace and other strategies.
I kept my cool when I was with the lead pack. I could have gone faster but wanted to make sure my HR was not high. I get out of the water and notice I am 3rd out from my wave. Later some of my wave would catch me on the bike.
I look at HR and it is low. I needed to pee before the swim leg but could not go in the water. I jump on my bike and off to the hills I go. They were hard but I climbed them one at a time. I still had to pee and had a conversation with some tri-mates about peeing in a race while on the bike. I guess I needed to experience that for myself. Finally I was going down hill and it was fast. I was enjoying the downhill when my front wheel started vibrating. I had to apply the brakes. I wanted to play it safe and finish. I guess next year I will not use my zipps. My HR was high and I could not control due to hills. When I hit the flat areas or downhill I would allow my HR to come down. I needed to save energy for running. I heard there were hills on the run too. Off the bike and onto running.
I had a fast T2 and was on the road quick. I notice lots of people walking up the hill. I started to run but then I notice my HR was going into Z5, so I walked. Then finally the hill leveled out and I started to run in Z4, trying to gain time. After mile 2 I decided to kicked up a notch. I was in low Z5 until mile 3 and I took it up another notch. I had caught up to some of the cyclist that had past me and now I was passing them. High Z5 for the balance, most of the balance was downhill and it was fast. My knees could not handle full speed so I had to slow down a little.
I ended the race with some energy in the tank.

After waiting around I got my gear and headed home. Great race, I will do it again next year in place of Terre Haute.