Had everything ready to go the night before. Nothing left to chance. Had bananas and smoothie. All calm.
I got there early and on time. Got body marked. Then bit my nails waiting for Team Giant Robot to show up from the city. They did and we all got sorted. My partner was there, which was most awesome, as I could keep warm with extra jacket and things and then hand it to her when it was my time to go.
For warm-up I rode from the T2/Finish to T1 at Alice Lake, doing three interval spurts to 90% max HR and otherwise spinning high-cadence like a monkey. Racked my bike. Then I watched the swimmers go. Brr!!
From my practice runs I knew the following: 4 laps up the 2km hill could be done in the big ring at lowest/second lowest gear, with cadence not dropping below 80 and HR peaking at 175. I knew that dropping into the lower ring popped up my HR so big ring at lower cadence was more efficient. So I had the climb down to a science. I also knew that I should be hitting the first climb at 75% effort, and then 100%+ effort the last three times. In theory. I also knew my max downhill speeds on the course (about 58km/h) though that's from trial runs with traffic concerns.
Race time. I watched our swimmer hammer it, only to get smacked somewhere out in the lake with a foot in the face. This set her time back 10 mins. This meant I was coming out of the T1 behind all other relay racers, which is already behind the men's and women's pack. This meant, as I know I'm pretty fast, that I was going to have to fight through the pack.
This I did. Coming out of Alice Lake, I was given screams and arm-wavings of concern from the course volleys as I hit the hairpin corner (where folks crash every year) at speed. However I knew exactly how fast I could hit it, and moreover I have technique. As I approached Hwy99, it was a pleasure hearing the course officials yelling "COURSE!!!" with mad urgency as I crossed the highway topping 60km/h. That was fucking sick.
The dump truck run on the course to Government Road is a fast and rolling descent. By now I was passing people. Christine had warned me about the Triathlon. "Yell at people", she said, "be vocal". This I did. I had to aggressively pass folks who were simply not moving over and technically blocking (which is against ze rules). Most folks didn't seem to know that this course, as it ran on the LEFT side of the (closed) road, required keeping to the left. It was insane. As I headed down Government Road, things got seriously mad with cyclist traffic. I had to call one guy out for blocking right as I was zooming past the T2. People were noticing and yelling at cyclists to make way for me. I was passing at over 60km/h riders doing half the speed, in full aero tuck, dodging and swerving. In the end, for safety's sake, I had to pass on the inside as some folks seemed completely thick as to the scenario. I wasn't going to slow down for them. This is a RACE.
First time I hit the uphill I was so stoked and high that I hammered it in record time, even as I tried to slow down a bit, thus completely destroying the 75% effort philosophy. Fuck it. It was all out. As I crested the hill and prepared to turn left around the dump truck run again, I stood up and belted it, earning cheers from the corner crowd. It was also part of my strategy, as I knew that folks would be slow at the crest before the downhill, and this was a good passing tactic that allowed me to get even more speed on the long down. I had practiced reserving enough HR to be able to crest in a standing sprint.
I did this three more times. I passed loads of people on the uphill. I watched some folks explode. Others had flats. I passed some very competitive *looking* riders with the big tail helmets and ultra-aero bikes, always enough to put a grin on your face. I only got passed once, by a solid rider whom I had passed the previous lap. On the third uphill I ate two ShockBlocs in aerotuck. This made me giddy with energy. My HEED was probably enough, to be honest, and eating reduced my O2 intake. No eats next time on a 37km TT. It's not necessary.
On the 4th uphill, I hammered it with everything I had. At the top, I was still standing up for the corner but I felt dizzy and on the verge of vomiting. This is good. It means I had hit the limit but not the wall. I still had energy to pedal through the downhill at max speed.
I came into the T2 fast and skidded to a halt on the dismount line, shouldering the bike in cylocross style and running into the transition to seat the bike and tag my runner. I had passed most of the relay riders and many triathletes who started out some ~20 minutes ahead.
The only good photo of me on course is as I come in to a screeching stop at the T2. Sorry.
Final time — 1h:01:44s
. I was 4th overall in the relay riders, and 1st in my age cat
. Of the three riders ahead of me, two were ahead only by 15–45 seconds. The top rider hit 55 minutes which is close to a course record. Our team did awesome, with a middle of the pack finish. Not bad for our first relay triathlon. And Squamish is a decently competitive and nonstandard course with some very fit athletic folks (as well as actual Olympians!).
I definitely want to do more of these.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2015 03:06PM by slacker.