Unfortunately, after racing in Raleigh the weekend before, I found that I actually like how I feel waking up just a little earlier than I used to before races. In Raleigh, I had to set my alarm for 3hrs before the race start (7am) in order to prepare my T2 and get on the bus for our 40 min trip to T1. What this allowed for was a full cup of coffee, and an ample number of time(s) to pee and not feel like i had to go at any point during the race. It also allowed me to eat my 200 calories of plain oatmeal mixed with 100 calories of natural peanut (its like a peanut butter oatmeal cookie for breakfast) two and a half hours before the race start. This seemed to work a lot better than trying to get it down 2 hrs or less before a race, which left me feeling a little more bloat and tasting the oatmeal during the swim. It also pushed my Generation UCAN protein drink intake (180 calories) back to 45 mins before the race start. This combination of sugars and proteins provides the perfect balance to keep me satiated throughout a race as i supplement more electrolyte sports drink and gels to keep the fuel pouring in as i burn it up. The last thing i do now, 15 mins before the race, is take a caffeinated gel and electrolyte capsule for the amount of sweat I intend to lose. Once the race starts, depending on the distance and weather i supplement more fuel and water and electrolytes to try and keep up with the loses.
So back to Holly, i got up at 5a (8a race start) and went through my routine. By the time the gun went off I had a chance to talk with Murph, and MIke and Ben from tritofinish, and Chad and John and a few other friends who i hadn't seen in a while. As well as help a few other Hamburg Fitness Team members get ready for the event.
I wasn't sure how the legs were going to feel after Raleigh and a tempo run on Thursday, and 4x20 min intervals (275+) on the bike on Friday and another 33 mile ride at 245 watts on Saturday. Well, after getting chicked in the water i jumped on my new ISM saddle (3rd ride on it) and had a fantastic bike. The saddle felt awesome! I just fell right into place and experienced no discomfort. I also peddled at 300 watts for 57 mins despite probably being a little to far forward. I had tried my best to set it up, but after a few tweaks i think i will stop hitting my knees on my elbow rests and find the right position for the saddle on my bike. I was surprised that your body will find the right position on the saddle, and it is a matter of then getting the saddle in the right fore/aft position to make sure your reach is comfortable and your leg angles are efficient.
Another new race day item were my Rudy Project Noyz glasses with photochromic lens. Wow, i don't have to wonder what lens to pick out for race day, now that i have ones that change with the lightness/darkness/sunshine/shade.
I also have to praise Profile Design for coming up with the perfect aero bars and new pads that make them so much more comfortable than previous products. The new t4 plus carbon aero bars have found the balance of not having too straight of an aero bar nor too upright of a handle. For me I don't even have to think about my wrists being bent uncomfortably one way or the other.
Ok, back to the race. Holly Recreation area is one of the many beautiful state parks here in Michigan. Tons of hills and turns and twists and turtles! (yes, 3 giant snappers were trying to make there way across the road during the race. fortunately no one or animal was hurt). Then the run was even hillier if that is possible. Just as beautiful on tree lined dirt roads with great support from the volunteers.
All in all a great experience. Especially for HFCC tri team members Claudia, George, and Iris: all of whom earned age group awards.
Well, back to the office for a week of real training as i have no race this weekend before traveling to Syracuse for a race on the 23rd.