One of the best things I did was get familiar with the bike course. On Friday morning my wife went on a long run and the kids and I drove the bike course. I didn’t know the area but I followed the course map and tried to remember key points along the road. I remembered distinct building and vineyards before hills so I would know when to save energy and when the road was flat so I can push. One thing I did notice is that there are a lot of false flats.
I came out of the swim extremely happy with my time and ready to get into my comfort zone on the bike. I ran out of the water towards my bike and looked for my wife out in the crowed. The plan was to give her the bad from T1 so she can take it to the car but that never happened. Because I got out of the water 7 minutes earlier than expected she wasn’t there to see me off. I got my wet suit off, packed my nutrition in my jersey, snapped my helmet on and headed towards bike out. As I was running to bike out I spotted my wife, I yelled Yuli! as I raced towards the little hill outside Johnson’s Beach. Quick tip do not clip into your bike until you are on top of the hill, plenty of people fall there.
So once I was atop the hill I clipped in and made my way to the main street. I let myself settle in before taking my first GU. I wanted my heart rate to level out before I started to work in my nutrition plan. There is so much excitement leaving the beach you could get a little over excited and forget you still have another 69.1 miles of racing left. At about 5 miles in you make a sharp right and head into nice road where your rolling hills start.
The rolling hills are nice and you can easily be distracted by the views of all the wineries you are passing. The fields of grapes and open roads can be distracting but its important to stay focused on the game plan and race your race. I was cranking away and doing better time than I anticipated. Legs felt great and I felt confident on the course. There was a guy who I kept seeing, although he wasn’t in my age group the competitor in me wanted to keep hammering to beat him. I had to remind myself that I have to keep my own race and stick to my game plan.
At mile 40 you make a right into Chalk Hill Rd, do not be alarmed the climbing doesn’t begin until mile 43. The truth is That Chalk Hill is nothing to be worried about, If you’ve trained hills you’ll do great, just keep spinning and work your way to the top. There are plenty of spectators cheering you on along the hill. I guess the only thing that is annoying about Chalk Hill is that it’s so late on the ride its annoying to see once your legs are tired. Keep in mind that you don’t want to gas yourself out, you still have a half marathon to run.
I made the last right turn onto Windsor Ave. and started spinning my legs to get ready for T2 and the run that was about to come.
Nutrition on the Bike:
1 – Cliff Shot Blocks
4 – GU Energy gels
1 – peanut butter Cliff bar
1 – 16oz bottle Gatorade
1 – 20oz bottle water