I started freaking out a little bit last week about how I only had 3 weekends left before my HIM, so my husband suggested that we drive up to Boulder Saturday afternoon so I could ride my HIM course. I was more than thrilled! So, Saturday after my husband got back from his long bike ride, we loaded up the boys and all our stuff and headed to Boulder. We got to the reservoir, where the course starts, and my husband got my bike ready while I went to change. The first thing I noticed when I got out of the car was how HOT it was! It was about 99 degrees and I instantly started sweating. I had to change in one of the port-a-potties and it literally felt like a sauna in there! Ugh!
Pretty soon I was ready to go. I gave my boys and husband kisses and hugs and took off. My husband wanted to take our boys to play in the reservoir, but he didn't want to be there for 3 hours, so they took off to run some errands and we agreed to meet back up at the swim beach when I was done.
Here is the profile of the course:
St. Vrain Road is actually a beautiful road. I passed by mostly farms and lots of horses that were some of the most beautiful horses that I have ever seen. But, it was HOT and I really didn't feel like eating anything. There is not a lot of shade on the bike course, which I didn't expect there to be, and I was going through my bottles very quickly. I had my aero bottle filled with water, a bottle filled with a 1:3 Gatorade/water mix, and a bottle of water with Nuun in it. I thought that would be enough, but after drinking 1 1/2 bottles before I even made it to the second loop, I knew I was in trouble.
I felt great on the first loop and was ready to do it again. This time around, I knew what to expect, so mentally it was a lot easier. But, when I turned back onto HW 36 and started climbing again, my legs felt so tired. I knew I needed to start taking in more nutrition or else I would be toast! I started climbing and got passed by some guy that literally looked like he could be in the Tour de France. He just flew by me! But, I kept him in my sights and that really helped me pick up my pace, dig deep, and make it to the turn off. I got to the downhill and just flew! My max speed at one point was 36.4 MPH!
With about 30 minutes to go I ran out of water. I didn't really know what to do because I was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farms. I seriously thought about stopping at a house and asking for some water, but decided against it. I just kept going and knew that I would be finished soon. My speed slowed down a little at this point because I was so thirsty, but I still felt pretty good heading into the home stretch.
I was so happy to make it back to the reservoir and my husband and boys were waiting for me at the swim beach with icy cold beverages! Ahhhh :)
There was an out and back section of the course that I didn't do, so I ended up riding a little under 54 miles in 2:44. I was thrilled to see that my average speed, with a couple of stops, was 19.6MPH! I can only hope that that number will go up when I'm actually racing! Although, who knows what I'll feel like coming off a 1.2M swim.
Overall, I felt great and it gave me a nice confidence boost for my race. I am so glad that I was able to ride the course beforehand, so mentally I know I will be prepared for it come race day. One thing I know for sure is that I will definitely be taking advantage of the aid stations on the bike course this time around. For my first HIM, it was 50 degrees out and I didn't even need 3 water bottles. But, I know it's probably going to be super hot on race day and I need to stay well hydrated if I don't want to collapse on the shadeless run! Plus, hot bottles of Gatorade and Nuun are just not that appetizing! :)
Oh..I almost forgot! To celebrate having over 100 followers (woohoo!) I am doing a fun giveaway sometime this week! Yay! So, look for it in the days to come! :)