Saturday, May 4, 2013

Angels Camp - Practice No. 2

I am happy to report that Hot Stuff fixed the issue with my bike. It's amazing that such a small thing as a loose wheel could cause such big problems. And when I say "loose wheel", it's not like it was wobbling all over the place, there was just a little bit of movement back and forth.

Pretty Baby II - Fixed and Ready to Ride

Swim, Swim, Swim

The Angels Creek boat ramp area was closed, so we met over on Angels Creek Access Rd. and walked to the boat ramp. James showed us where transition would be and where the run would start (great, another hill!).  Mojo and I put on our wet suits and James strapped on his David Hasselhoff swim buoy.  James had decided he didn't need the wetsuit.

Coach Hasselhoff
Personally, I like the buoyancy and warmth of the wetsuit and I dread the day I have to race without it.  The water was cold on my arms at first, but I eventually warmed up and then it wasn't so bad.  James pointed out a couple of "sticks" across the water and told us to use those for sighting.  He said that it was probably 1/2 a mile all the way across...WRONG!  

I started swimming and focused on long, relaxed strokes.  The water was calm and smooth and the swimming felt so much better than it did during the race I am not supposed to talk about anymore ;-) James told me not to get too far ahead, so I would swim for a bit and then float and relax.  

At one point, some big bubbles floated up from the depths of the water and I wondered what creature was swimming underneath me.  Someone at work told me that snakes swim on top of the water.  I don't know if that is true or not, but I prayed that snakes were smart enough not to come way out into the middle where we were. (I need to work on staying focused and not worrying about sea creatures.)

Our swim.  The white line is .67 miles long.

We finally decided to turn around and swim back.  I had been fiddling with my goggles and had worked my caps loose (I had 2 on for the swim).  Ever so slowly, my caps filled with water and started squeezing their way to the top of my head.  My bangs were exposed and every time I put my face in the water to swim, they would get in the way.  It was very annoying so I'm going to make sure my caps are on correctly for the race and I'm going to leave my goggles alone.

As we neared the boat ramp, I could see two people walking down the ramp.  All I could think about was that they were going to take our stuff and steal our cars, bikes and phones.  We would be stranded in Angels Camp. As it turned out, they were there to swim too, and they were also in charge of setting up the swim course for the race. They gave us a tip about having some shoes at the bottom of the boat ramp for the run (ha ha) up to transition.

Climb that Hill

After the swim, we walked back over to our cars and changed into our bike gear.  Once on the bikes, we followed the race route over to Glory Hole Point to use the restrooms.  One quick peek (and whiff) inside and I changed my mind (I knew I should have went in the lake).  We continued on the route and I was pleased when my bike made it up the first short but steep hill.  Last week, this same hill is where I first noticed the problem with my rear wheel.

When we finally reached the big hill, I was scared.  My legs were fresher than last week, and I knew my bike wasn't going to be a problem, but I was still worried.  I started up the hill in my lowest gear.  To my surprise, I kept climbing.  About 1/2 way up, my legs felt like they were on fire.  I looked behind me and I didn't see, or hear, the guys.  I kept pedaling and then looked for them again.  Did they stop?  Was this some sort of cruel joke just to make me climb this hill?  I decided to stop to see where they were.

I finally saw Mojo and waited for him.  Unfortunately, I had stopped on a steep part of the hill and there was no way I was going to get my bike going again.  So I did what I did last week and started walking my bike up the hill.  Mojo commented that I was walking my bike almost as fast as he was riding.  Could be a strategy for the race ;-)

We turned around at the highway and made the descent.  It was better than last week and I only made my brakes squeal one time, at the bottom of the big hill.  My total time for the ride was about 52 minutes, so I am hoping to improve next week at the race.

Angels Camp - Practice 2 by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details