3:30 am is really early and early wake-ups are one the aspects of endurance sports I despise. I understand why we have to get up early, I really do. But I hate it. Not only is it early, it is cold. And I don't like the cold, either. It's also dark. Now a clear picture of why I don't leap into triathlons is forming in your mind, isn't it? "Hey, let's get up at 4 am, freeze in transition, squeeze into a wetsuit, stick our faces in murky, 60° water before the sun is up, climb out of the water with numb feet and hands and try to walk to transition to change clothes - hell no I don't want help getting my wetsuit off because it is keeping me from going hypothermic - to ride for a few hours while shivering in wet clothes with still-numb extremities." You get the point... But up at 3:30 I was.
Not being a morning person, my brain is not firing on all cylinders that early. Wisely, I don't trust myself with the stove, so I had a Cliff bar for breakfast. That's right, I start my LOTOJA with a Cliff Bar, some water and a meager cup of coffee. Dave and Vaughn show up and we are road borne in no time. I'm sure more went down but I can't recall. Because it was morning.
We met up with Jared in the Walmart parking lot with the intention of riding the couple of miles to the starting line. And Walmart has great bathroom facilities which was awesome because I was sorely ready to give birth to poop #2. Nerves? Don't know but I was glad to not be in a Porta John.
Riding to the line, I was glad to have brought extra layers. No snow was in the forecast, unlike '05, but it is cold in the Cache Valley in the morning. I dressed in Mavic bib shorts and a softshell Mavic jacket, Pearl Izumi arm and knee warmers, DeFeet base layer, Bohemian Brewery jersey, Outdoor Designs cycling gloves and Enve Swiftwick socks. I was chilled, but plenty warm. I honestly don't know how anyone wearing less could avoid violent fits of shivering. We motored along most of the way in excess of 26 mph. Totally unsustainable for me. But in the group, I could hang. It always amazes me how much faster you go and how much less it hurts on race day.
It was on the way to Preston that I encountered the first of many dipshits I would encounter this day. I'll call him Sock Armwarmer Guy. Now Sock Arm Warmer Guy looked like he rode a lot. Trouble is, he looked around a lot. A LOT! A no no in pack riding. And try as I might, I could not get away from this guy. Luckily, as we came into Preston to feed, he kept going.
But I am not. More next time. In, say, 4 months...