After the briefing last night, day 3 was looking like it would be a little lighter, and after looking around the room, it seemed like it was needed. The schedule for today would be a 3k or 6k swim (first 6k swim option of the camp,) 10k run for the daily minimum, and a 105k bike. The first van full of campers rolled out at 6:45am. My goal was to do the 3k swim and run back to the hotel to get it out of the way before the ride.
We did the swim at probably the most beautiful lake I've ever seen. The only way to really describe it would be heaven for swimming open water. Initially it looked like the water was going to be frigid, but it was comfortable seconds after getting in. For the first half of the swim, I was swimming mostly alone. Apparently I missed the memo that everyone was keeping close to the left shore because I was way out in the middle of the lake. After what seemed like quite a while, I caught up to someone a bit farther up. We stopped for a moment to check our watches. Mine wasn't showing the distance at first, but Phil asked, "Do you have 2k?" Oh crap, I did! Apparently I ended up swimming out 500m longer than intended which meant today would be a 4k swim instead of the planned 3k. I started swimming back pretty hard because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to run, and thankfully I came out with David and Douglas which meant I would have some running buddies for the way back. We casually jogged back at ~8min/mi pace while having a good chat as well.
Since we had a pretty short ride, breakfast and packing was all pretty mellow. You could tell that people were starting to get tired, and this was reflected in the initial roll out of town. My legs even took a little bit longer than usual to warm up. The group mostly stuck together until the road started pitching up. There were even a few dirt sections that we had to navigate (this made me happy since dirt is pretty exciting for a road bike.)
Due to a recent mudslide, there was a chance we were going to have to divert the route for the day, but we ended up getting lucky. The road had just opened up. About five miles before the slide, Petro (Mark) started yelling at me (ok perhaps it would just fatherly advice.) Apparently he didn't like that I would surge ahead and then soft pedal to let the group catch back up. He also didn't like that I wasn't tired enough. I have been "sitting in" too much, and instead I should be burying myself every single day. I knew he was just trying to get into my head, but I bit anyway. I put in a pretty huge effort and gapped the group significantly on the next climb. Sadly, the effort was wasted since Glen came blazing past about five miles later and just before the mud slide and rest stop.
The rest of the ride was mostly uneventful. We had a really good paceline going into a stiff headwind. Glen was like a semi truck and took pulls way longer than he should have (although very much appreciated!!) Unfortunately it was not his day since his rear derailleur ended up suiciding with him being forced to ride a single gear into town. The remainder of the group started to split once we turned off 99 towards Clinton. By the end, it was me, Petro, and Zach. Zach took off, and instead of going with, I pitied Petro and pulled the old man into town.
We got to Clinton pretty early, so the rest of the afternoon was nice and chill. After dinner, Scott Molina presented the jerseys at our nightly briefing. Newsom in yellow, Petro in red, and Zach in polka dot. As you might have read, I'm bummed that I'm not wearing polka dots, but I intend on fighting until the bitter end.
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