Monday, September 16, 2013

On the ground in Tahoe.....OMG!

Super nice trip on the way out here to Tahoe.  I got up at 3:45am and was on the road by 4:05 to PHL.  all checked in with my bike coffin and my wheel hardshell by 5:00am.  Flight was aloft at 6:55am and I was on the ground at 8:45 PST in PHX hacing slept for 3 hours.  Off again, after a short delay to Reno and landed at 11:55 PST.  all my bags out promptly and in the rental by 12:30pm.  At the Squaw Valley Village at 1:15.  I did a quick unpack to see if any major damage occured to bike and equipment and the initial prognosis was all good!

I proceeded to head down the 15 mile trip to King's Beach with the intent of determining how much of an impact would the 6200 feet of elevation have on my swim.  I arrived there and was confronted with the physical reality of a very strong S/SW wind blowing towards the northerly shore that King's Beach resides at.  I saw another IM soul exiting the water--she was about 28-30 and heavily tattoed.  she surely could kick my ass--for sure on sunday IM-wise, but moreoever if a general hand-to hand battle were to break out.  I asked her about the swim and she was waxing eurphoric about it.  She was from Marin and she swam all the time in San Fran and thought this was lovely water to play in.  No wetsuit for her.  I asked here if she had ever done another IM and she said yeah--just one, St. George, which she had done 3 times, and she also told me she was 1 of only 80 or so folks who had ever done so.  She told me that IMs were not that interesting from a challenge perspective generally to her and that is why she only picked the hardest.  I asked her about IMLT and she seemed geneuinely enthused....great!

Anyways, I did make my way down into the 3-4 foot waves blasting up on shore and absolutely loved my swim.  Of course, the wind chop was a challenge but on race morning this should be gone.  The lake itself was delightful, about 63-64 degrees which I think is perfect for an IM.  The water spectacularly clear.  And the biggest discovery is, at least for the 15 minutes I swam, the altitude was pretty-much a non factor.  Maybe I was swimming too easy because of the waves but I'm pretty confident I can swim a descent time and keep the whole O2/altitude thing under control.

I then proceeded to drive a lap of the bike course.  OMG!  all bets are off after seeing this.  My objective in this race will have to be to be safe and make sure I finish.  This will be unquestionably the hardest IM bike leg I've ever had to deal with--by quite a bit--it may even be the hardest single bike ride  I've ever had.  Tremendous cimbing and scary desents combined with 6000+ altitude.  I could be looking at close to am 7-hour bike leg....

Back at the hotel, i was successful in seting up my bike and I intend to get up tomorrow on the two major climbs (which we do twice) and see how much of a challenge they will represent to my bike riding skills...also, an early morning swim and a bit of the run-course on tap for tomorrow.

I'm well positioned and very pumped.  I'm also convinced that this will be the hardest triathlon that I've ever competed in....ok--fair enough, bring it on!!!!   I'm ready!

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