The bike, amazing! I never thought that I could go that fast on a bicycle! When the speedometer hit 43 mph, I said to myself, “omg, I hope I don’t blow a tire!” It takes total focus to keep the bike pointed straight down the hill and to not swerve very much especially considering the amount of cross wind that hits you from time to time. I did learn that I could have pushed myself harder earlier in the bike portion of the race. Being my first Half-Ironman, I was unsure how hard to push and when. I also learned that I didn’t need nearly as much water/electrolyte prior to the first water station as I thought. This minor miscalculation did add some unnecessary weight but it gave me something to perfect for next time.The funniest thing that I saw was a fellow athlete eating a full homemade sandwich out of a plastic baggy about 2 miles in to the race. It seemed a little silly and it gave me some early comic relief – to each their own I guess. But overall, the bike portion of the race was breathtakingly beautiful, with snow lined roads, mountain and lake views, this ride is definitely a must regardless of whether you’re seeing it on race day or if you’re just out for a pleasure cruise.
The run, slow. The running portion of Pacific Crest 2011, taught me something… I’m a mediocre runner. Normally, running 13 miles is not that daunting. However, running 13 miles after swimming 1.2 miles and riding my bike for 58 miles presented a whole new challenge. The mental and physical exhaustion started to add up but the determination to finish and finish strong helped keep me going. It’s amazing how hard you can push your body, mind and spirit on race day. I guess that’s what Triathlon racing is all about – when you think you can’t go any further, you somehow find the strength to keep going.
Pacific Crest 2011 definitely lived up to the hype. The run is where you make your money and if I were to do it all over again, I would have focused more of my training efforts on the run by doing more major brick workouts. While brick workouts were a regular staple on my training calendar, I don’t think my body was quite ready for the strain and stress that the run portion presented.
Overall, Pacific Crest 2011 was a wonderful racing experience. If you’re a beginner like me, definitely put this race on your list of ones to do. It’s absolutely beautiful, the course is wonderful, the fan support is amazing and it’s something that you will talk about with your racing buddies for years to come.