Well this ultimately was a fun race. It was very scenic and very challenging for me. All I can really say is HILLS! So Bass Lake is located up by Yosemite National Park at roughly an 3,400 feet. Going into this race mentally I wasn’t prepared and I certainly wasn’t physically prepared either. I’ve been riding that fine line between fatigue and happiness. The show goes on though and in 3:02:00 I pulled out a first place finish by more than 20 minutes. The triathlon itself is a very small field and it’s a small locally put on race which made it feel relaxed and a good small town race. So here is the report for my second Olympic distance triathlon.
The Swim: 26:50
It was in Bass Lake and it consisted of 2 loops, I was not happy about having to get out of the water and then run all the way through the exit arch only to run back into the water. For once it was nice to not have the taste of salt water in the mouth and the water temp was so great I regret wearing the wetsuit. I was drafting behind another guy in my wave who started out strong but slowly lost his energy before the first turn around so this is where I ended up leading and not being able to find another draft partner but over all I felt like it was a solid swim at a decent pace. There was a 1/4 mile run up from the lake to the transition area so I stopped and completely got out of my wetsuit to run up. It was at this point I could start to tell that the gulp of lake water wasn’t going to go well.
Did I mention hills? So right off the start you climb uphill and it wasn’t an easy one. As I started to settle in I could start to feel my left hamstring tighten up but I kept a solid pace and tried not to put too much effort to keep speed going downhill cause I knew after mile 9 it was going to be an uphill battle…! Right around mile 10 I was switching gears and I dropped my chain which made me even more frustrated. Thankfully it took me about 30 seconds to get it back on but having to climb from a stop just sucked. The upside is that this course was extremely scenic going through the mountain side and on the lake. During the ride though I kept fighting back the fact that I had to pee and my stomach was not happy with the lake water and the mixing with my usual carb drink. Rounding the final turn thankfully was downhill but at this point it was just about enduring the hills of the run. Into and out of transition in about 1 minute.
The Run: 1:04:14
Running out of T2 I was looking for a place to take a leak but to my surprise there was nothing! This was a 2 loop run course as well, so I already wasn’t happy about having to run through things 2 times and endure the hills 2 times! By this time my left hammy was tight and I kept to a what seemed to be sluggish 10:30 mile and I kept thinking that this sucked and why am I not able to maintain a much faster pace, oh yeah HILLS! Around mile 2 a fellow triclubber who was just finishing up his race mentioned that he’s hurting with the hills so all I could do is just think… if I’m having this hard of a time the 2nd place guy has got to really be hurting! Every time I would start to settle into a pace I’d encounter another hill and during the 2nd lap my left hammy said enough and cramped right up. I walked it out and didn’t have to come to a stop but my pace slowed to about an 11:00 min/mile. Everyone on the course though was friendly and the Team Challenge people that I knew cheering me on helped out a LOT! Of course at mile 5 all I could think about was having to pee and after crossing the finish line with just over 3 hours I was a bit disappointed in myself.
Conclusion: 1st Place Clydes and the proud winner of a huge salt rock!
It was a very challenging race for me because I don’t really train hills. I absolutely hate them, and part of that is because it’s not easy getting 220lbs up hills. I kept comparing my performance this time around to my first Olympic distance at SD TriRock. I shouldn’t be, simply because TriRock is flat and fast so I probably would have had a much better time. I don’t think I’ll be back next year since I want to do Escape from Alcatraz. What I am taking away from this race though is that I need to really do more brick workouts after long bike sessions and get my legs used to it all.