Thursday, April 2, 2015

Historic McKinney Kiwanis Triathlon Race Report: Bike

Cyclists were already returning to re-rack and head out for the run. It made me chuckle. I took my time at the transition to make sure I had everything I needed and walked my bike out. I’m still a bit awkward getting my second toe into the cage, but I managed and set off. I stopped less than a mile in because I was parched and my hydration pack bite valve wasn’t working. I’d used hydration packs for foot races before and tested the new bladder at home, but it was determined not to cooperate on race day. I had to pull off the valve entirely and sip straight from the tube. Whatever.
On the road again . . . The course began with a slight but not unpleasant incline for most of the first 2 miles with a lane closed entirely for cyclists in the first mile and police officers at each intersection to hold traffic and wave us through. The first turn carried me out of city traffic and onto empty country roads. The weather was PERFECT: the night’s low had been 42°F and the afternoon high climbed to 82°F. leaving a perfect morning breeze once the sun came up. There were several blind turns, but few houses and zero traffic on an early Sunday morning.
One hill at the end of mile 4 was a bit difficult, but I made sure to take a lot of speed into it and actually passed another cyclist on the up! Badass. I maintained that lead for almost 3 more miles until a long, pleasant decline over most of mile 8. I wasn’t used to carrying a lot of speed, but I did enjoy myself. Turning around and huffing back up mile 9 was less fun, but it was all downhill from there back to the high school.
I had no reference to gauge my level of exertion on the bike compared to running and swimming, but it was the easiest leg for me that day. I pushed myself to comfortably middling exertion, knowing I’d need to maintain it for an hour and not wanting to kill my legs for the run.
At the transition area, I switched to an 8-ounce handheld water bottle since I knew there would be aid stations at every mile. I had brought toe shoes and an extra shirt to give myself the option of changing, but for a mere 5k, I can tolerate sneakers, so I wore the same shoes as I had on the bike. I walked out to the course start, which was kind of weirdly across a section of grass instead of using the existing paved trail but I suppose minimized collisions for all the fast people who’d already finished.

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