First tri of the season! Boom. (Shakalaka).
After wrapping up my volunteer duties at the Fairfax CASA Run for the Children Saturday morning, Miss D was kind enough to pick me up in Fairfax and drive us out to Charlottesville and Lake Monticello. Traffic was stupid crazy on I-66 but we persevered. In fact, we persevered so intently that we kind of forgot to check what would be the quickest route. D was pretty excited to be heading back to her adopted homeland of Central/Western VA and so we weren’t really paying the best attention, got a tiny bit lost, and went more than a tiny bit out of our way.
No big, it was a beautiful day and there are worse ways to spend those than driving through beautiful mountain countryside in the springtime.
Once we made it to the general Charlottesville area we headed straight to Lake Monticello to pick up our packets and knock out some pre-race workouts. Since this was a small race (capped at 500 people total between the Half and Olympic), it was just a simple pickup with no expo. Good for avoiding pre-race stress, bad for my dumb self who still needed to buy a race belt. The whole race was held at Lake Monticello, which is a private community around…yeah, Lake Monticello. There was also a pool in the community and the whole pool clubhouse was open to racers for restrooms, changing rooms, showers, etc., which was super nice, especially for the next morning.
Because we were running behind, we actually had to skip our pre-race swim. Turns out this may have come back to haunt us a bit…more on that in Part 2. We hopped right on our bikes to check out the first few miles of the course with some nice quick pickups. And good thing we did, so we could be fully warned about a crazy steep descent into a sharp right turn, only about a mile into the course. Riding it in traffic was slightly terrifying. Luckily the intersections were protected during the actual race (although the course was otherwise open to traffic).
Next up was our pre-race run. I would say we may have run our pickups at slightly faster than the prescribed Oly pace. Ok, actually a lot faster. D is speedier than I and I let her push us along, because why not. After a taper week, it actually felt really good to get a little speed in my legs on both the bike and the run. I had felt a little sluggish for the last couple days but I realized that my legs actually felt pretty well-rested so it put me in a very good head space to race in the AM.
We then packed up and headed back to Charlottesville with plans to make it to Cville Bike and Tri before closing to get me a race belt! I was not about to be messing with safety pins or some such nonsense in transition. Luckily, Cville is a great shop and so not only did I buy a belt (and we both resist the urge to buy 10 pounds of Stinger Waffles for immediate consumption), but we learned all about these crazy IZIP electric bikes that are apparently becoming all the rage…at least in one bike shop owner’s personal circle.
With belt acquired we checked into the glamorous Cavalier Inn which threw D way back to the days of her UVA hijinx. The hotel is right on the UVA campus so it was a prime location for relaxing an wandering about the BEAUTIFUL grounds on our way to a delicious dinner. Of course D could recommend all the best places to eat, so we walked to “The Corner” for some delicious Christian’s pizza.
I knew my stomach would not be happy if I dairy’d it up the night before a race, so we were very good and ordered a whole pie with NO cheese, with spinach, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. I got spicy chicken on my half. We were so freaking hungry by this time that we pretty much decimated the thing within 5 minutes. It was AH-MAHHHH-ZING. Crispy crust, perfect cooked veggies, and yummy spicy sauce. Perfection.
Our walk back to the hotel took us by Arch’s frozen yogurt, another Cville standby.
D needed her some gooey brownie so I went in for some dairy free sorbet. It’s now a weigh and pay, which is hands down the greatest invention to ever hit the dessert world amiright? We trekked back to the room and enjoyed our respective frozen delights while packing up our transition bags for the morning.
Before we knew it, Tony Bourdain (*sigh*) was lulling us to sleep with stories of delicious eats in Colombia.
To be continued…(with the good stuff!)