The week before the race was not ideal for me as it was also finals week. I spent nearly all of Monday through Thursday holed up studying for my economics final and the rest of the week was spent writing papers. I also came down with a cold on Wednesday that left me exhausted. To top it all off I received an email Friday evening saying the swim had been cancelled due to high bacteria levels in the lake. Since swimming is my strength I wasn't too happy to hear this news. I threw myself a ten minute pity party and then bucked up and got over it.
Race morning started with a 4:30 wakeup call despite the race only being 15 minutes from my apartment. Between the swim being cancelled and the pre-race bike racking setting up my transition area was so much less hectic. I basically only had to lay out my helmet and put my bottles on my bike. It was a pretty cold race morning with temps in the upper 40's so I waited as long as possible to get body marked.
The race officially started at 7:15 with the final wave going off at 8:30. I, of course, was in the last wave so I got to wait around from 6:30-8:30 before it was time to go. The nice thing about starting last was getting to see the other waves start and the temps had warmed up some by the time I got on the course.
With the swim being cancelled the new race format was a 100m dash from where the swim would have finished up to transition before starting on the bike. I debated back and forth between doing the run to transition with sneakers or without and ultimately went without them. Who knows which method was better/faster.
The bike course features some big climbs at the end so I tried to not overdo it during the beginning so I had enough to finish strong. After settling in on the bike I planned on starting to take in some nutrition only to find out all of my shot bloks had fallen out of my pocket during the run to transition. I had a minor freakout but figured since I had a bottle of gatorade with me it wouldn't be a big idea. Except I accidentally switched my bottles and left my gatorade in transition. Cue major freakout.
I made sure to drink a lot of water and as soon as I finished biking I grabbed my gatorade and got to work on it. My legs didn't feel too bad coming off the bike until I hit the first hill. The run course definitely lived up to it's really hard reputation. I've done hard run courses before so I planned on taking the uphills easy and pushing the rest. Except my quads started cramping whenever I tried to run uphill. I don't know how this makes sense since normally they cramp when running downhill. Either way I ended up walking nearly every uphill and running the rest.