Today was a big day which meant we had to start pretty early. We were out the door at 6:15am for a social run to get our daily minimum 10k run in. Newsom found a route that was a gorgeous dirt road, but unfortunately it had a ton of climbing. It was also extremely cold that early in the morning, so most of us were bundled up quite a bit. We did see four horses out on their morning run as well. They looked like they wanted to come party with us, but a fence kept getting in their way. I forgot my camera; otherwise, I would I taken a pretty cool picture. Bummer. Other than that, the run was pretty uneventful.
Breakfast was simple, and we were out on our bikes by 8:30. Today's route was 190k, so the pace was super mellow. There was a short climb to get out of town, but even that was reasonably tame. The group stuck together pretty well too. The first 60k until the first aid station flew by. The scenery wasn't too amazing (by comparison - still amazing of course.) As soon as we turned off the main highway, the road quality went way up! It was pretty wonderful to ride on some of those back-roads.
One of the best parts of the ride was going past Green Lake. It was a really huge lake, and it was like glass. The pictures I took don't do it justice. After the 100k aid station, the group continued to roll along. Around 150k we had this really wicked descent down into the valley. It was about 10k long, and I probably averaged 50mph down the entire thing. The road was smooth with no potholes, and I was only limited by my lack of body weight and compact crank. Lunch was just around the corner after killing it down that hill. Just after having lunch, we rode at a "gentlemen's pace" (requested by Molina) the remaining 30k into town. I put in a good pull of about six miles at a steady 220-240 watts. Nothing fancy, but I'm trying to keep the pace mellow since people complain when someone hammers hard at the front.
After getting our rooms, I was pleasantly surprised with the beautiful lake not more than 20 feet from my bedroom door. A 3k swim was on the schedule, but after being down only a small bit yesterday in the yellow jersey race, I decided that I would do a 6k swim. It ended up taking me 1:35 to do the swim which I think is reasonably fast. My Bia watch said I averaged 1:29/100yds. It seemed like I was out there for a long time. My shoulders weren't too tired, but I was starting to get pretty thirsty. While this might not be *the most* beautiful lake that we've swam in this week, it is definitely the best lake for open water swimming. The water temperature was just perfect: Not too warm, not too cold. Quite a few people actually went swimming without wetsuits, but of course it's easier and faster to swim with one. One of our support crew, Dave, was kind enough to make me some delicious almond milk smoothies after the huge bike and huge swim.
We had dinner at Painted Turtle. I had ordered salmon ahead of time which was great because that's exactly what I had a taste for. And lucky for us, the restaurant was right on the lake. The view during dinner could not have been better.
The yellow jersey also changed hands once again today. Adam B had a pretty huge day with a two hour run, 220k bike, and 6k swim. I'm not sure how far ahead he is, but that'll be hard to match.
I'm still feeling pretty great though. The bike ride tomorrow is reasonably short at "only" 110k, so tack-on options will be available.