Well, I did it. I'm still not sure how well I did it because no results have been posted and I never checked at the end of my race. Where do I start?
I drove down to Horshoe Lake State Park on Saturday and set up my camp for the night. It was hot, but I stayed in the shade and kept hydrated. I pretty much read and stayed off my feet. The night was hot as well, but I feel like I slept well leading up to the race. This whole camping thing may have been a mistake, but I don't regret the decision right now. I was racing on a budget and $8 seemed o.k. My next one won't be on a budget.
I was up at 5:30 on race day and tore down camp. I had some cheerios and yogurt for breakfast and drove the 20 minutes to Fairview Heights. I was there to register at 6:35. After pisking up my bag I began setting up my very first transition area. I kept it simple: 1 towell; a cooler to keep my 3 bottles(2 Heed, one water) cool; my bike shoes and a headsweat in my helmet. This transition was pretty easy. My run-bike-run race will take a bit more organization and thought.
I then got ready to roll. I stayed calm and kept my warm-up to a minimu because of the heat. Race time temps were already nearing 90 deg. The run was decent enough with one big climb. It made me apreciate my runs I've been doing at Bradley Park. I finished the run smooth and calm and that's all I wanted from it, to get through and make it to the bike.
After a very smooth/fast transition I was off on the bike. I took the first 5 minutes easy, letting my legs come to me and then I started to fall into a groove. I felt like I was moving well and was passing a lot of people. Unfortunately, my computer wasn't workin so I have no info about my bike leg except that I felt good throughout. I felt really strong all the way through the 15 mile mark. I didn't bonk, but I did drop some speed. My pace stayed steady though. At about 2 miles out, I went across some tracks and it screwed with my rear der a bit, unfortunately at the base of a climb. The climb took some wind out of my sails. I got passed by a few people after the climb, but I sson fond my legs again and finished strong. I even managed to out-sprint two guys at the finish.
All in all. I had a blast. I raised my confidence. And I'm looking forward to the next one in September. I'm back at the drawing board today putting a plan together.