Over a year after the race I am finally ready to write about the downfall of my whole race, the bike. The bike is my favorite leg of triathlon and I was so upset with how it went. With that bit of info lets dive into it.
After leaving the changing tent I ran to the bike corral and a volunteer handed me my bike. I ran to the mount line. Mounting my bike was interesting to say the least. I am used to small races, 500 people max, and being in the first group on the bike course. Trying to mount with 20 plus people was a wee bit freaky, but I was a successful. I went by my cheering squad again and was beyond excited that they moved to the start of the bike course. After exiting the res I dropped into aero and began the race.
My biggest fear on the bike leg of a triathlon is getting dinged for drafting. Most races I have done are too small for this to be an issue, but racing an Ironman with 2800 other people leads to a lot of congestion. I did my best to make sure I was not drafting. Thankfully the course thinned out and I was able to find my space to bike in.
The first 30 or so miles is an area that I know well, so I expected to do well. I felt good until the climb back up St Vrain Rd. It was at this point, mile 15ish, that I start a bonk. Having a chest cold meant that my body needed a lot more calories than normal. Usually on the bike I only need about 200 calories an hour. In typical stubborn Chelsey mode I only grabbed water at the aid stations. So my speed dropped and I felt really sluggish. I was upset that I couldn’t enjoy the beautiful course. Normally the downhills are my favorite and I pedal as hard as possible. Coasting down was all I could manage. Around mile 40 I took a Roctane electrolyte pill, hoping that would help. It helped a little, but not enough. I kept pedalling and counting down the miles to special needs.
I was really excited to get to special needs because it was right in front of my step-sisters neighborhood. I filled my jersey pockets with M&M’s and jerky; put sunscreen on my face; got sunscreen in my eyes (that was lovely); and hoped back on my bike. Then I was off on the second half of the bike course. I saw my step-sister and her family cheering for me. That gave me the pick up I needed for the next big hill.
I tried to eat my jerky, but it made me want to puke. Awesome. Back to pure liquid fuel I go. I got to see my step-sister and family again. Which really helped after my jerky experience. At the next aid station I grabbed a banana thinking that would be better than jerky. The banana was quickly denied by my body. I took 2 more Roctane pills and really hoped that would help. About this time I saw J and two of my friends. I stopped and got off my bike to tell J how bad I was feeling. He gave me a pep speech and sent me on my way.
It took about 20 minutes, but the Roctane pills finally started working. Around mile 70 I started feeling better and finally was able to take in fuel. My speed started going back up and my mood got so much better. As I turned West and started my trek back to Boulder. Going West and seeing the mountains always makes me so happy. This was also the point at which I saw my mom and step-dad for the first time. My mom was clicking away on her camera, so I had to smile.
Around mile 80 J and my friends showed back up. They had gone to the store to get my apple sauce and green juice to help me get fuel in. I refused the amazing offer because I was afraid a referee would DQ me for taking outside help.
Around mile 100 there is the hill of doom. I was in my lowest gear and just barely moving. Once I got to the top I was so excited. I knew it was downhill all the way to Boulder High. I flew through the last 12 miles and made sure to take in enough fuel and water to give me a good start for the run.
When I got to the dismount like at Boulder High, I hopped off my bike and took off running to T2.