I’m competing in the “Spine Center Back to Health Triathlon” this Sunday. It’s an Olympic Distance [1500m (0.93 miles) Swim, 40K (24.85 miles) Bike and a 10K (6.2 miles) Run] Triathlon. This race takes place at Taylorsville Lake State Park, which was also the site of the Half Ironman that I did last month. So while I was familiar with the area, the bike route for this weekend’s race only shares a few miles with the race from last month.
If possible, I always like to bike and run the course before the actual race. This way not only will I know where I’m going and what to expect, but I know if I can push it on early hills, or if I need to hold back based on what the rest of the route looks like.
This morning, I loaded up my bike and headed down to Taylorsville around 5:30am. Sunrise is officially at 6:19am, but I know that it’s light enough about 10 minutes before that to ride. What I didn’t plan for was the fog! The fog was so dense driving down there that there were several times I hit the breaks just because I couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front of the car! Early morning rides mixed with fog are not a good combination. So I had already decided that if it was still foggy when I got there…I would just wait it out.
Buy the time I reached the boat ramp (where the bike portion will start), the fog had dissipated quite a bit. I knew that it would take me 10 minutes or so to get out of the park onto a main road, so I decided to go ahead and take off.
Visibility through the fog was not an issue, if fact, it was just a little hazy by the time I made it out of the park. The biggest problem I had was the moisture that was still in the air. Everything on my bike (including me) was soaked in just a few minutes. After about 5 miles into my ride, my glasses were completely covered with a film of water. I couldn’t see anything…it was like trying to drive a car without windshield wipers. I know what your thinking – just take the glasses off. However, riding without glasses is a bad idea. Not only could bugs fly in your eyes, but the wind is brutal on your eyes when you are going 35 miles per hour without any protection. So I had to go the rest of my ride with my glasses half-way down my nose. Allowing me to see the road, but still somewhat protecting my eyes.
I accomplished my goal of riding the bike course, and it’s going to be a tough one. I didn’t push it too hard this morning, but there are lots of hills. I ran my RunKeeper app on my iPhone during my ride – check out the profile: (my speed is in blue, the red line in the background is the elevation)
10 minutes of drills (single arm, catch-ups, fist swimming)
15 minutes of swimming at race pace
Total Workout: 1248yd in 25:08 (35:26 min/mile pace)
15 minutes while I waited for the rain to stop so I could run! Did a little chest, arms and shoulders.
First 30 minutes at easy pace (approx 8:15 min/mile pace)
Second 30 minutes at race pace (approx 7:45 min/mile)
Final 20+ minutes at easy pace
Total Workout: 10.14 miles in 1:21:27 (8:01 min/mile)
24.90 miles in 1:21:19 (18.37 mph)
Avg HR = 134 bpm