Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're Here - Pre-race Report

We finally arrived late night Thursday (actually early am Friday) after a 12 plus hour drive from Richmond to Meredith, NH. We'll have to plan our return trip a little better since we hit NYC at peak rush hour and then proceeded to drive through construction site after construction site in CT, MA and into NH. We also had luck (not) getting behind a 20 tractor trailer caravan of wide loads escorted by no less than 8 police cars as we neared Boston. It would have been a serious blocking penalty in the sport of triathlons.

The town of Meredith is quaint and beautiful. Here are a few pics from our hotel room at the Inns at Mills Falls over looking Lake Winnipesaukee.

We slept late yesterday, checked some work emails and headed off to a yummy brunch at noon. After chowing down and browsing the shops near our hotel a bit, we headed to Ellacoya State Park to check out the transition area, meet up with TG Kate to hand off her bike and do our practice swim. The ride to Ellacoya started to put doubts in our head as to the terrain of the bike course as we headed up and down and up and down the hills over to the park.

The transition area is huge. . . probably twice as big as White Lake. On either side of the transition are two beaches. Based on the course maps, it appears start our swim on one beach and return from the other. I will have lots of time to watch and the pros should finish the swim well in advance of my wave start.

The beaches were roped off and there was boat traffic all along so we put on our wetsuits and swam several times back and forth down the length of the beach near the buoys to get used to the water, current and swimming in our wetsuits for a change. The water temp is perfect, cool but not cold and the water itself is pretty clear. We will definitely face some current and maybe some small swells depending on boat traffic. It felt odd swimming in my wetsuit again - a little constricted and definitely different body positioning. By the end of my short swim I was sighting well, my wetsuit felt comfortable and it was time to get out and head to Gunstock.

Here is TG Kate and I post swim.

We drove up some more hills to Gunstock Ski Resort to packet pickup. I had heard that Timberman had great goodie bags and they were right. We got awesome TYR bags, long sleeved race Tshirts and hats plus an assortment of samples, and a triathlon magazine (unfortunately a back issue I've already read). The best item for me however was the portable sample size chamois cream. I had meant to pick one of these up to put on my bike for the race just in case, but had forgotten. Now I'm covered.

Post packet pickup we drove the bike course. The work on this course is definitely going to be during the first and last 13 miles. The are not for the timid and I will need to remind myself on race day not to be discouraged by them. There are definitely some longer climbs, some shorter steeper ones (including the Monster) and some twisty high speed descents. As I told Bart, I'm going to have to put on my big girl pants tomorrow and take some of these descents outside of my comfort zone in order to make up some time from the hills. TG Lynn and TG Fave are going to love them. The back half of the course is more typical of the triathlon. Some up and down but predominately flat. We even found a yummy ice cream stop - too bad we can't stop and enjoy during the race. The course is definitely doable, but it certainly will be a challenge. I just need to remember to race my race, not someone else's and have fun.

Despite our ice cream snack, at dinner time I was starving again. We ate downstairs in our hotel at Lago. It was fantastic! I had grilled pork tenderloin with a blueberry, raspberry and strawberry salsa, rosemary mashed potatoes and green beans. I learned from the waitress that the blueberries had been picked that morning and delivered to the restaurant by a local. Yum! We also had a few glasses of vino to celebrate our arrival and race weekend.

Back at our hotel room we capped the night off cheering at our TV as Michael Phelps won his 7th gold medal by .01 seconds. He is simply amazing!

This morning we tested our bikes out on the roads around Meredith and got a little taste of what our first 12 miles will be like tomorrow - hilly. Although scenic, the road we took from the hotel was anything but flat. After about our 5th hill climb,14 minutes of riding and taking a look at the next huge descent I turned around and headed back towards town. My legs got their requisite warm up and the rest of the day they can relax.

On tap next? Lunch with my mom and dad who should arrive soon, race meeting at 3 at Gunstock and then off to rack our bikes for the night.

Tonight, think good thoughts for the 15 of us racing from Richmond and pray we have a safe, fun and fast race tomorrow.


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Kate said...

Hi Bethany, sounds like a wonderful race venue. Now you know you have trained for those hills, so make those hills your bitches.

We will be anxiously awaiting your results. Have a great race!!!!!

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Thanks for sharing the pre race low down - the course sounds challenging - but you are ready to make it yours!

And the food sounds fabulous!

Rest well and wishing you a wonderful day tomorrow!

OrangeBugly said...

Best of luck to you and Bart tomorrow! Can't wait for the report. :) Parker

Michelle @ Diary of an Aspiring Loser said...

By now you're out there and successful already!! Can't wait to read the race report about how you conquered those first and last 13 miles :)