Last weekend brought me up to Madison, Wisconsin, to participate in WIBA (Wisconsin Brick Adventure) and finally tackle the Ironman Wisconsin bike course. The weekend provided several revelations (the good kind) and opportunities (the bad kind) for enhancing my racing acumen.
1. The course. I really liked that course. The three major hills, often referred to affectionately as “The three bitches,” provided a challenge, but not one as grueling as it has been built up by others. I am going to credit races such as Rev3 Wisconsin Dells and Triple-T as being the reason for me being able to take these in relative stride. I also really liked the scenery on the course. I figure that if I can enjoy the course the way it is now, then it will be a blast in six weeks when I have my friends and family cheering me on.
2. Buttonhole cream. I have heard athletes talk about Buttonhole cream and Chamois cream for years and never tried it until this weekend. Holy cow! Never again will I do a long ride without this stuff. It kept me feeling good for miles (100 to be exact) where normally I would be feeling it way earlier. That cream literally kept the course from kicking my butt!
3. What to wear. Thanks to the revelation of the Buttonhole cream I learned that I can be comfortable on the bike wearing my EPIC Endurance tri kit. That settles the debate of whether I should change or wear one thing for the bike and run. I’ll go with the kit!
4. Brats are delicious. I already knew this, but it warranted mention since I got to have one midway through the run course. I also learned that you can blend a margarita on a bike!
5. I need new tires. I started the 100 mile ride with a bulge in my tire. Though I had it checked out at a local bike shop, I was advised it would be fine for a while more but I would have to replace it soon. Wrong. By the end of the ride I had worn a hole in it. The good news is I already have replaced those tires (I had about three seasons on them). The bad news is they cost me around $160. (I went with Continental GP-4000 S, which came highly recommended by my fellow EPIC athletes).
Triathlon really is a ravenous, blood-sucking monster always wanting more.