Friday, July 20, 2012

Race Report: Amica Ironman 70.3 Bike

Welcome back to the World's Longest Race Summary! Glad you've made it this far. When I last left off, I had just jumped out of the very warm Olney Pond and onto my bike for a nice, 56 mile jaunt.

I did this entire bike course without any knowledge of my speed. Upon dropping my bike off at transition the day before, I had been dismayed to find that my cycle computer wasn't registering any movement at all and did nothing but display the time (which was even 9 or 10 minutes still worthless in that regard). Although I worried that I wouldn't ride fast enough without this knowledge, I knew there wasn't much I could do about it and simply resolved to race aggressively. Map of the course, not that it's very legible:

It was a nice course with some rolling hills. the only one that really stands out to me happened around mile 42. It was long and steep and at one point I felt like I was crawling! I started to wonder if it was just me until I turned the corner and saw a line of probably 10 to 15 other riders, all struggling like I was. That made me feel a little better.

The one thing I will say, though, is that there were parts of the course that were very rough. There were certain hills that I'd descend, reach probably 22-25mph, and then encounter patches of uneven pavement and potholes. I was very nervouse that I'd either flat or crash. A flat would most likely have meant the end of the race for me, because I didn't bring a spare tube. And a crash...well that could have resulted in many flavors of disaster. Happily, I avoided both.

I spent the last 10 or 15 miles battling it out with another woman that I started referring to as "Pink" in my head because she was wearing a pink helmet, pink top, and had a pink camouflage Quintana Roo frame. Pink would pass me on the flats and downhills and I would catch and pass her on the climbs. It was good motivation and I even managed to pull into the finish a few seconds ahead.

What I loved about the course is that it ended in downtown Providence, very close to the finish line. I absolutely loved making a grand entrance into the city and even having lots of spectators for the last few turns! I pulled into T2, parked Artemis (my bike, in case I haven't mentioned by name), took off my crap and turned my number belt around, changed my shoes, and scurried to the run start because I saw Pink fly right through transition and beat me there.

My worries about not knowing my speed were unfounded. I even think it may have helped, as a lack of knowledge has also helped my running in the past. I finished the bike in a little over 3:29, which was 24 minutes faster than my time at Bassman.

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