5430 Long Course Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Boulder, Colorado
United States
5430 Sports Corp.
Total Time = 6h 23m 30s
Overall Rank = 857/1250
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 73/
Pre-race routine:

I stayed at a local hotel FBO the extra hour's sleep, it was really nice to wake up at 4am instead of starting the drive then. Had a breakfast sandwich, packed the car, and headed to the Boulder Res. Right when the car started, "Taking Care of Business" kicked off on the radio and set the tone for the day.
Got into the Res just before 5am, hauled gear to transition and got set up, body-marked, and did all the other stuff. Met Kath2163, Zionvier , and trimama530 for a photo (below) before transition closed.
Event warmup:

Not much (swimming a mile+ seems a decent warm-up for the rest of the day), swam out to one of the floating platforms and watched the jumpers come down - the guy with the flag missed the beach by about 10 feet and did a literal splashdown with Old Glory. Then watched the Pro waves start, swam back to shore and joined Wave #5 on the beach. Did some stretching while waiting to get in the water.
  • 33m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

Just as we got to the start line, the sun came out about 35 degrees to the right; I decided to focus on sun and pack sighting, and less frequent buoy spotting. Had a good start, went a little faster off the horn, and had to do a little extra kicking to shed vigorous swimmers trying to come over the top. I was able to stay right of the pack, keeping caps close to the left and staying just inside the buoys to the right. I gradually increased the stroke count between buoy checks since the sighting was going so well. In fact, I was so spot-on course that at one point I lifted my head just in time to collide with the center of the 600m marker - how's that for staying on course?!
Sighting was harder after the 1st turn, but there was a pretty good blending of waves by this point, red along with white, orange, and green caps all mixed together...it was like swimming in a bag of M&Ms! There was much more body contact on this swim, it was necessary to squeeze between people at several points because just like me, lost of other people can't swim a straight line. I did not visit the boat harbor this time, nor was I encouraged by a safety kayaker on the fringe of the course that I was doing great. The last 300m I tried to pick up the pace a bit, and spotted another red cap from my wave that was moving a good pace so I stuck with him into the beach. I stood as soon as fingers touched sand, and had enough in the legs to jog up the beach chute and into transition.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing to change here, this was all relatively good.
Transition 1
  • 03m 47s

Once again I'm on the far side of transition from the swim entrance, and running on gravel parking lot makes me think they should do away with the teaser strip of old carpet between the park and the transition entrance. Either carpet all of transition, or stop teasing me.
I'm not really sure what I was doing for almost 4 minutes here, aside from thinking this is a very small part of a very long day. My longest T1 for my longest race ever does pose a certain symmetry, though...

What would you do differently?:

Hmmm...same gear organization, same changing sequence with all the stuff...just move a little faster I suppose.
  • 2h 55m 53s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.10 mile/hr

Kath2163 was leaving T1 the same time as me, we exchanged words of encouragement breifly before the mounting line, and a few times additional on course.
The reality of what I was doing came home early into the bike; soon after the turn onto Jay Road, there's the 30 mile marker. Yep, you're doing this loop twice. Kath2163 was also the 1st of several women to 'chick' me on the bike, good to get pwn'd by a friend :)
Throughout the ride I was mindful of choosing gears that didn't strain the legs too much, which worked out pretty well. Played cat-and-mouse with a 1/2 dozen other riders throughout the course, and mostly ignored the faster folks flying by on carbon TT bikes.
The bento box nutrition setup worked great. I tried to eat something every ~10 minutes or so, rotating between chunks of Bonk-Breaker bar, Clif shot Rox, and gu chews. I also consumed all the fluid I carried despite the cloud cover, three bottles worth. At one point I was ready for plain water, but I lack the hand-eye skill needed to grab a stationary bottle at 18-20mph - bless the cheerleaders for trying to help me though, if it was a carnival booth I'd have won the little consolation bear - 0 for 4 at one aid station. I got out of my shoes ~1/2 mile from the park entrance because my toes were bugging me and there was enough traffic I didn't want to try close to the T2 entrance and cause a wreck.
What would you do differently?:

Do serious hill work more frequently if training time allows.
Transition 2
  • 03m 37s

I was really surprised that there were only a few bikes already in my rack row when I got in. The initial change into run shoes went well, I grabbed the Nathan pack and mesh hat and headed to porta-potties to take care of business; wrestled with a stuck door for a few seconds before a guy emerged from the one next door. As he exited, I said "good job" since I'd been hearing it on course the last three hours, and realized I was already mentally fatigued. Then I exited the porta- and headed for the wrong transition exit, halfway to the Bike Out before I turned around and found the run course.
Gonna be an awful long run...
What would you do differently?:

Pay attention to what I'm doing...
  • 2h 47m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 45s  min/mile

My first ever half marathon. Helluva way to go about it...
The cloud cover that was around all morning disappeared around 10am, and the day heated up quick. Right away I know I'm in for a trial, there's a guy in front of me shuffling along out the park road and I'm watching his feet thinking, "thats pretty slow" but I can't keep pace with him. I could see the 1st mile marker the 1st time I broke stride, then did so again when I reached it. At each aid station I opted for water in mouth and down my back, put ice in the hat, and grabbed a cold sponge. I'd frozen a bottle with diluted G2 Orange, that lasted through mile 3. At mile 4 I took a cup of regular G2 and thought I would toss it back up, so at mile 5 I refilled my bottle with water and ice. Also discovered I had dropped the gu gels I was carrying somewhere behind me, and later while crossing the dam I thought I'd look for them when I got back there on the 2nd loop. So there's discards all over the course, but if I find on open gel pack on a dirt road it'll be ok to eat from...good thing I forgot about it when I went through there the 2nd loop.
There were so many people that appeared to be in the same state of fatigue that I was, or worse, it all seemed OK. I fell into a natural pace group, just slowly cat-and-mousing with the same 1/2 dozen or so shirts for most of the miles. I was surprised how many people were stopping to stretch, or just lean over and catch their breath, but at the same time I also thought about climbing down to the canal to soak my feet...the Certain Death sign-age was a good deterrent though.
This was really an exercise in short efforts, endlessly repeated. "I can make it from here to that sign up ahead, then walk again a bit". Somewhere early on the 2nd loop I filled the bottle again, mouth was getting a little dry. All the volunteers and spectators on course were a huge motivator, lots of funny and encouraging stuff happening to keep you moving and mentally in it. Finally back to the park road, down the hill, and into the finish chute, where I saw the wife and kids at the fence line; that made it easy to smile for the camera crossing the line :)
What would you do differently?:

Run lots more, maybe with a club or a running coach. It won't feel any easier next time, but the performance is bound to be better. Right?
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around with the family a little, headed toward the food tent but got into the short line for the massage tent instead. Looked at the food but had no appetite, so grabbed stuff from transition and packed the car, changed into dry and clean clothes, and found the family again. Also talked to McGilmartin and Trimama530 after, had 1/2 a beer, and headed for home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

A shortage of endurance workouts. Longer rides, longer runs, and more bricks. Maybe carrying 15-20 lbs less would help too...

Event comments:

This is a great race, a beautiful course, and a terrific and supportive crowd - participants, volunteers and spectators all. IMHO The only thing handicapping this from being a five-star event are all the logistic and PR missteps by WTC. Sure hope they get their act together...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-12-20 12:00 AM
00:33:12 | 2112 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 216/1250
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction
Course: Triangular clock-wise course. 800meters out, 500meters across, the back in to the beach
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:47
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:55:53 | 56 miles | 19.10 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 789/1250
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Two lap clockwise loop around the farms and ranches of North Boulder
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:37
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:47:02 | 13.1 miles | 12m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 957/1250
Performance: Below average
Course: Two clockwise laps around the reservoir on dirt and gravel roads, plus a little pavement in the park.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %3
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4