Out of the water, I felt good running up the beach. Reached behind to lift the zipper of the Roka and split the suit so the upper half was off. (Little did I know I’d forget the rest of it!)
It was a long run to the Transition Zone, and thankfully they had laid carpet on top of the extremely hot cobbled surface that was there the day before during bike check in.
Transition 1 (a.k.a. T1)
Saw the majority of the bikes still on their racks, which was a good sign that most people were still in the water. I had a relatively smooth transition. Maybe too smooth, because I didnt realise I still had the bottom half of my Roka swim skin on during the bike leg! Doh!
Mike was a welcome sight at the bike mounting line. Somehow dropped the Clif bar I stuffed in my back pocket as I was running through. Mike yelled out “leave it!” and I was more than happy to, but a helpful volunteer came by and passed it to me. Shoved it back into the rear pocket and climbed onto the bike.
Lesson: Make sure everything is taped on. Pockets suck.
Adrenaline was still going and I managed to find Jeremy ahead of me after a bit. The enthusiastic volunteers really helped, with their cheering and bright smiles. I maintained 30 – 32kph pace in the lead up to the 3 loops. Not sure what Roro was doing at transition, but he eventually came by after a few km and was off in the distance pretty quickly.
In the first loop, Aylwin came by too and I managed to tail him till the second loop when I started to feel the legs slipping away. Still, seeing and hearing all the TriEdge folks made it feel much less lonely.
At approximately 60km, things just fell off a cliff. I hadn’t managed to keep to 1 gel every 30 minutes as I just felt too full. Only grabbed an extra bottle on one of the laps. Didn’t feel like I needed that much liquid either. That may have been a mistake as the cramps started to come at the end of the bike ride.
With all the messing about with my seat, seat position, aero bar position and even cleats in the past weeks, it would take a miracle for me to escape unscathed from this 90km. No miracles that day. I had to get my ass off the saddle every 5 minutes or so to ease the soreness in my inner quads and sitbones.
Lesson: Get a proper bikefit. Early. (Better yet, get a TT bike AND get it fitted)
I saw the lead I had from the swim over most people fizzle away as many of them passed me. The crosswinds also picked up as the day passed,so it just got progressively more miserable. Practically crawled back to T2.
I’m not sure what exactly is wrong with my riding, because even with the hours I’ve put in on the bike, the improvement doesn’t seem to have materialised. Not enough hours? Bike not fitted properly? It’s been very frustrating trying to fix this piece of the puzzle.