I start the bike on the biggest high of my life and I’m not even drinking wine. It’s a high that would only intensify throughout the day. This is the point where I think my high altitude training and hill climbing really kicked in. Cruising along at 18 mph even with a head wind is effortless. This bike course is a triple “F”: fast, fun and flat.
Sharpie’s voice goes through my head, “Okay, bitch, dial in your nutrition on your bike or the rest of your race will suck balls,” or something like that. My race bottle is already full of Powerbar Perform lemon lime drink (the drink I’ve trained with the past 4 months) and I start drinking that immediately. In total, here’s what I ate/drank over 6 hours on the bike (in no particular order):
5 GUs (orange and vanilla)
2 packets GU watermelon Chomps
1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich
1 Honey Stinger Waffle
~100 ounces of Power Bar Perform drink
~40 ounces water
~5 Salt Stick tabs (I had also taken some before the race and after the swim)
I know I need 1,600-1,700 calories and I think I met that. See, Sharpie? I listened.
I expect to have a low point on the bike, maybe at 75 miles when I am feeling tired and my crotch needs a break. Not the case. I never hit a low. In fact, I keep getting more and more energized. Every time I blow by some dude with fancy schmancy race wheels and contraptions I do a little dance inside.
Clearly I really love to wave when I am on the bike.
Then…I get in trouble. There is a group of us trying to pass some riders. Right then, the race police come up on a motorcycle and tell me I have a 4 minute penalty for drafting and have to go to the penalty tent. They must like me the best, because I am the only one they penalize. This is at mile 80, and I have not been off my bike in almost 5 hours. I try to put a positive spin on the whole thing, telling myself it is good to stop and stretch my legs and pee.
So, like a rule follower I go into the tent a few miles later. The lady sternly hands me a timer and tells me not to touch the buttons and to stand there. I ask if I can go to the bathroom and she says, no. So I just pee on her shoe (kidding). I am the only one in the tent and as I watch the other racers go by, I feel like I am in a time out. I am such a rebel! I remember the quote “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Thank God I have that going for me.
It is 6 or so hours into the race and I have not seen my family and friends yet. They probably went back to bed. I look for their obnoxious orange shirts everywhere. Right after I get out of my time-out, I turn the corner and there they all are!
This is probably one of my favorite pictures of my lifetime. My dad, Big Jim. He doesn’t follow the rules either (a side story about my hilarious dad: the night before, we were having a huge spaghetti dinner. I had a Ziploc bag of my Powerbar Perform drink mix on the counter. I looked over and my dad was putting it on his spaghetti, having mistaken it for parmesan cheese. Big Jim likes some electrolytes with his pasta).
The last 30 minutes of the bike I stop eating solid food in anticipation of the run. I go into a smaller gear to spin my legs. I had promised myself that while I was in each event, I would not think about what was coming up. For just a moment I let myself digest the fact I have to go run a marathon. I try to convince myself it is okay by saying things like, “But, you LOVE to run! It’s what you do! You’ve run marathons before! For shit’s sake, you have a blog about running!”
Yet, I still know the run is going to kick my ass. I know this because every single run I did in training after a long bike ride was a suck fest. And, none of those runs had even been over 7 or 8 miles. I am not sure how I am going to get through it, but I know I am going to get through it because that is what I do.
I cruise into transition ready for the next challenge. In the transition tent a volunteer named Lori screams out Shut Up and Run!! She changes out my shoes and socks (I love her, I know they smelled like ass) and sends me on my way.
Bike 112 miles: 6:04 (including the penalty) – 18.43 mph average
Next up – the longest freaking marathon of my life as I try not to puke up 1,700 calories (did I tell you I hate puke?).
PS: If you are late to the party, you can read Part #1 (the swim) HERE.