While I have no doubt that the weekend will be fun and memorable, I am a little nervous about the race. It is known for being a very challenging course, mainly from the hilly bike and run. I've talked to a bunch of people who've done the race before and have heard mixed responses. Most, however, have alleviated some of my fears, saying that the hills on the bike seem so hard mainly because they come in the latter half of the course when you're already tired. Others assured me that while the climbs were significant, there was a decent amount of flats and descents to make up some time and cruise. There's one hill in particular that I'm pretty nervous about, ominously called "Nasty Grade". The four mile hill comes at mile 41 and is unmistakeable on the elevation profile. My only goal is to make it to the top still on my bike!
The run is 40% road and 60% trail, and from what I've heard, possibly more challenging than the bike. This worries me a bit because I know my legs will be pretty trashed from the tough bike course. The run leg is usually the one part of the race I never worry too much about since running is my thing, but this one has me a little anxious! I have no problem hiking the steep hills, but I guess I'll just have to see what race day brings : )
Since this is obviously not a PR kind of race, I plan on treating it like a long training day and try and enjoy the whole experience rather than worry too much about time. I want to work on pacing, especially on a hillier course, and work on my mental game by staying relaxed and focused I want to practice my fueling and hydration, and since it could be a warm one, this is crucial! I recently bought and installed a new hydration system (Speedfil) that holds 40 oz of fluid and has a tube that comes up through the handlebars for hands-free drinking. It also allows for on the go refilling with bottles from aid stations. I haven't tested it out yet, but I'll be taking it on a short pre-race ride tomorrow morning to make sure it works. I'll post a review later!
hopefully I don't hit myself in the face : /
More than anything, I'm excited to share this experience with my teammates from Team One10. I'm staying with a few others at a rental on the lake and look forward to competing with and cheering for everyone over the course of the weekend. It's sure to be an adventure and make for one heck of a race report - see you on the other side!