The bike never worried me I was most confident about this section of the race. I mean it was the one aspect of training I had done the most work on even if most of it was done indoors on a stationary bike. I know some people travel the course and prepare a plan of attack but I am not that type of person. I mean let’s be real what was I going to plan? Save energy here, push there, relax on this or that section? Never going to happen my goal was to finish.
I started the bike ride and the very first part is a little weird you are leaving the transition area and have to get on your bike and the space you have to do it in is not that wide and people are waving at you to go in the right direction and someone is shouting keep it in a low gear and all you want to do is click your damn shoes into the peddles. Honestly I have no clue how the Ironmen pro’s have their shoes already clicked into their bikes. No way I can do that yet anyway. I’d probably fall on my ass. Click, click and away I was in a low gear because the hill you have to go up to the start of the race is a real bitch of a climb I can tell you.
Then to be honest it wasn’t that tough from there on in. I had mentioned it before but because I was done with the swim I didn’t have a problem anymore I basically figured what’s the worst that can happen? Either I fall off which means I probably cut myself but I can get back on or I get a flat again in which case I’d probably fall off and then have to repair the flat and then get back on. Basically what the fuck I had to do it and that was my train of thought. Although this is easier said than done because there are hills. And don’t ask me how steep or the gradient or the range or any of that crap cos I don’t know and wouldn’t be able to tell you, I can just say there were steep climbs, believe me during that race if it wasn’t a descent then in my eyes it was a hill. Now the best piece of advise I can give anyone is to understand it’s in your head. The race regardless of how you train is in your head it’s all psychological. I am sure others will tell you that as well and talk about mental toughness etc. I won’t talk about that now but I will tell you how you envision your journey will help and if you ever do a race I suggest you do the same. Just remember one key thing and that is “what goes up must come down” oh and stay hydrated but “what goes up must come down” why is simple when you see a big fuck off hill in front of you there are a few ways to react one is fuck me this is going to hurt or as I did and that was “nice a hill I love it” people me people love the hill. The hill is your friend. You start loving hills and you will understand. I did it and I loved it and actually recorded my fastest time on a 40km. Basically what I am saying is don’t moan and groan about the hill love and enjoy it. And just remember when you get to the top of that hill you will have one hell of a downward ride to recover and relax or go fast but the main thing is it will be a great feeling and that’s what I did. Going up the hill I could barely maintain 15km per hour but going down it I was pressing the brakes and hitting upwards of 55km. It’s a great feel it’s that feeling when you want to scream and shout and yell until you eat some flies and bugs and relax perhaps this isn’t the best source of protein for the race. I managed to finish the bike section and even slowed down the last couple of kilometers to let my legs recover before the run and I couldn’t have loved my bike more. I know a lot of people do the races on fancy expensive bikes and maybe one day soon I will get a TT bike but for the time being my Madone treats me just fine.
So my advise embrace the race and enjoy the hills because no matter what happens “what goes up must come down”