Ironman Boulder - Triathlon

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Boulder, Colorado
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
93F / 34C
Total Time = 15h 26m 30s
Overall Rank = 1700/2769
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 45/94
Pre-race routine:

Due to the way the race was set-up with 2 different transition areas, I made myself stress out way too much over the 5 bags I was given to fill with my race stuff: Bag 1: Morning bag that I would put my clothes and shoes in before the swim; Bag 2T1 bag with bike gear; Bag 3 Bike Special Needs; Bag 4 Run gear:; and finally, Bag 5 - Run Special Needs. On Saturday morning I woke up sick because of all the stress I had placed on myself. I emailed my coach and told him I was having GI issues and the thought of doing my pre-race workouts at the Boulder Rez where all the egos and craziness was happening was making me vomit. He told me to do what was comfortable and then after my workouts go eat 2000 calories for breakfast.

I did a portion of my swim at Lifetime Fitness but ended it 1,000 meters early because my stomach was a mess. I did my 30 minute bike and 15 minute run in the area around our house. Then, after my shower we went to Mimi's Café where I followed my coach's directions: I ordered pancakes, eggs, and bacon. My husband ordered some omelet and it came with a muffin. When he asked me what kind of muffin I wanted him to get the waiter looked at me and said, "Wait, you’re going to eat 3 huge pancakes, 2 eggs, 4 slices of bacon, and a muffin?" My husband said, "No, she'll probably eat all that plus my potatoes because tomorrow she's going to become and Ironman!" Btw, my husband ate one of the pancakes for me and I had to take the muffin for later. ;) Really, I have no idea how I got that food down and how it stayed down because my stomach felt like it had the dancing hippos from Fantasia.
After breakfast we drove to the Boulder Rez so I could check in my bike, Frankie, and drop of my T1 bag. We parked and had to walk a bit before we got to T1. Before we got there I had to stop and visit the port-a-potty (from here on out it’s called the litter box, k?) After I finished and I was waiting for my husband to exit his litter box two of my friends came up. I was leaning over my bike, trying not to die or puke in the heat and was sipping Gatorade. My friend told me I looked like I was going to puke. Sigh…
When we finally got to T1 they made me stop so they could take a picture of Frankie before I entered the area. Ummm..okay but why??? Security?
I finally found the row where Frankie would be spending the night and walked all the way down to the end where I found my race number. Seriously, it was all the way down at the far end, very close to the bike out so it was actually a great spot – easy to find and by some litter boxes! Oh, and by bike support so I could easily pump my tires back up in the morning.
I left Frankie on the rack and told him to behave himself over night and that I would see him in the morning. I also took a picture for his scrap book. ;) I then went to T1 bag drop-off and had to move a few bags so that my bag could go between 1136 and 1138. The bags were already smashed together and 1135 and 1136 weren’t even there yet. I was told not to touch the bags so I explained to the volunteer what I was doing and why. She just looked at me like I had 3 heads. At this time 1136 showed up so together we scooted the bags down a little with the help of another volunteer so there would be room.
With that task done we walked back to the car and then drove over to Boulder High School where T2 was located. We located a parking garage a few blocks from the high school that would be easy to access at 4 am the next morning, parked, and walked to T2. T2 was located on the track of the high school and I left my T2 bag in the correct spot. After that we went back to the car and drove home, although we were staying in a hotel in Boulder that night and Sunday night as well.
When we got home I finished packing my special needs bags, took a little nap, and then we packed up the car again and drove the 30 minutes back to the hotel in Boulder. You’re probably wondering why we stayed at a hotel when we live 30 minutes away. Easy – it gave us 30 minutes more to sleep in in the morning, but more importantly, it was a 5 minute walk from the hotel to part of the run course so my mom could go back to our room to rest if she needed. My sister and her family, plus my mom were all staying in the hotel on Saturday night as well so we met up with them for dinner. Okay, they all ate dinner and I borrowed French fries from my niece’s plate.
We went to bed at about 9 so we could wake before the butt crack of dawn at 3:00 am. I fell asleep easily since I had gotten up so early this morning. However, at about 10 the AC unit got really loud, in fact to me it sounded like it was playing music. It would wake us throughout the night. In the morning my husband was complaining that it sounded like the AC unit was playing the drums and a bass. Hmmmm…

Event warmup:

I was awake a bit before the alarm went off so I got up, took my pre-race shower to wake up, ate breakfast (which tasted like sawdust) and we were out the door by 3:45. I dropped my special needs bags off and got on the bus to the Rez all by 4:15.
On the bus ride over I got on the Boulder Ironman Facebook page to discover that the official water temp was 78.1. While I was mentally prepared for either a wetsuit or a non-wetsuit swim it still kind of took a little steam out of my engine. Okay, I freaked a little but quickly got it out of my system. Everyone around me was saying they were wearing a wetsuit anyway so they could save energy. I had a decision to make but still time to make that decision.
When we got to the Rez I pumped my tires to 105 in the back and 100 in the front and loaded up my bike with Gatorade, water, and nutrition. All around me the women in my AG were putting on wetsuits and I just couldn’t do it because it to me it would feel like cheating. I talked to a few of the men I’ve swam with at LTF the last year and both told me I didn’t need the wetsuit. I had emailed my coach asking if I should go with my wetsuit or change into my swim suit. I couldn’t swim in my tri top because it was too baggie and would create too much drag. I hadn’t heard back from my coach on what he wanted me to do so I just put on my swimsuit and placed my tri kit in my T1 bag, knowing that it would cost time in T1 with the change but at least I could swim in it without drag. Throughout the pre-race time I sipped Gatorade.
I handed my morning bag to my husband over the fence just as the announcer came over the speaker and said, “Please do not hand items over the fence to family members”. Oops! I then headed out to the swim start to find my place.

  • 1h 21m 2s
  • 4699 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

As I exited the T1 area I met up with some of the guys from LTF and they guided me on where to go. At this point I no longer had my glasses on so they had told me they would find me and act as my seeing eye people.
The swim start was to be a self-seeded rolling start- you seeded yourself according to what you anticipated your swim time to be. Originally I was going to start with the 1:00-1:15 group because I knew I could swim well below 1:10 if I were in my wetsuit. However, since this was now a wetsuit optional race and I wasn’t wearing a wetty, I was going to self-seed at the 1:15-1:30 group. They guys I was with argued with me because they obviously have more confidence in my swim ability than I do. They won and dropped me off at the 1:00-1:15 group. 1:15 was my goal if it was a wetsuit optional so I just went with where they put me.
Those who were wearing wetsuits were supposed to line up after the non-wetsuit people went. It was legal for them to wear the wetsuits, but they would not be eligible for a Kona spot or an AG awards including the Roka first out of the water. The officials would take note of what time the wetsuit racers went off and would track that with their timing chip details. However, there were several people in wetsuits who snuck up into out groups so basically they cheated.
The cannon sounded and the under an hour group took off. We moved very quickly down the boat ramp and soon it was my turn to take off. I saw my friend get pushed under the water so I hesitated before taking off. Everyone who had done this rolling start last year said it was the most calm and controlled start they’d ever had. This was completely opposite! It was hell. I thought that it would break up in a few 100 meters but it didn’t. I was hit, kicked, and my legs were grabbed. In turn I hit a few people with my amazing recovery stroke and kicked at those who grabbed my feet. I also drank some of the water. A lot of the water because you couldn’t turn your head to breathe without getting hit, kicked, or drowned.
Half way to the first turn buoy it actually got worse as the fastest wetsuit swimmers caught up with us. They ran us over and pushed us under. I swallowed more Rez water. A little past the first turn buoy, a guy ran into me at my legs. As he swam over me he pushed me under and hit me in the face, knocking my goggles off on the right side. But he didn’t keep swimming- he just sat there on me. It was at that point I’d had enough so I grabbed him and threw him. I was pissed and I let him know it. I decided here to just go out wide to the right and swim on the edges of the boxing ring.
So that’s what I felt like while in the boxing ring. Out of the boxing match my stroke felt great, with a really good catch, pull and finish. I concentrated on using my core and my rotation. I also kicked, which I haven’t been doing in either my wetsuit swims or just plain free in the pool. I felt really good. Most importantly, outside of the melee I felt really calm and confident!
At the half way point my watch said I was at 35 min with a 1:39 pace. This is about where the colder water started and The Limb (my left ankle and foot has a chronic injury and nerve damage and my coach and I call it The Limb) did not like that so I laid off the kicking for a bit. I knew at that point I was probably not going to make my non-wetsuit goal of 1:15 but that was okay. I just relaxed and did what I trained to do. My sighting was horrible and I did make sure I told each kayaker thank you when I swam up to them thinking they were a buoy. (The head kayak/swim safety volunteer said he actually groaned when they gave them life vests that were the same color as the buoys knowing we would sight off of the kayaks instead of the buoys.)
I was happy with my swim at the time, and still am because I not only didn’t wear a wetsuit (they have since said only 950 athletes swam without a wetsuit) but I relaxed and came out of the water ready to get on to the bike. Going sans wetsuit was definitely the right choice as the water was really warm with the exception of some spots. I drank way too much water and that worried me but I was still ready to take on the bike.

What would you do differently?:

You will see that I didn't swim 2.4 miles but rather 2.67. No one I know swam only 2.4 mile. Most had their watches saying they were between 2.6 and 2.65 miles - and that was with straight lines on the Garmin maps! I know mine was long because I couldn't tell the difference between a buoy and a kayaker. There's nothing I can do about that because I can't see. (if the picture shows up you'll see why I couldn't tell the difference between a buoy and a kayaker!)

My AG ranking at 12 does not factor in those who finished ahead of me who wore wetsuits. We were told they would have an asterisk placed next to their names but that hasn't happened. I know of at least 6 who finished ahead of me who wore their wetty.
Transition 1
  • 12m 34s

I had to have a volunteer help me find my bag because I couldn’t see the numbers. He finally found it between 1130 and 1132. That is not where I put it on Saturday. I got into the tent and a volunteer grabbed me to “help” me. I had everything organized: socks in correct shoe, arm coolers rolled up so I could just roll them onto my arms, glasses in helmet, etc. While I was putting on my tri shorts the volunteer took my socks out of my shoes and put them somewhere. She then unrolled my arm coolers, making it really difficult to get them on my wet arms. Then she gave me my regular glasses instead of my sunglasses. She looked for my socks as I put my gloves and helmet on. I was about ready to go without socks when she found them back in the bag. Hey, I was her first customer so I was cutting her some slack! It did give me time to eat some Chinese takeout that I ordered while she was looking for my socks. (I actually had an applesauce pack). I thanked her and headed out of the tent. (I didn’t get my suit back – only my goggles, cap, and the one ear plug that survived the swim)
As I ran by the port-a-litter box I decided to try to get rid of some of the Rez water. I was wishing my body had already processed it, trying to save my stomach from the Rez cooties. Not only did that not really happen but there was a spider in the port a potty so I left really fast!
Before I got into the bike area I stopped and had one of my volunteer friends pull up my arm coolers for me. Finally ready I ran way down to the opposite end where my bike was. Grabbed my bike and headed toward the bike mount line with no problems.

What would you do differently?:

Just skipped the volunteer who helped dress me.
  • 7h 02m 11s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.92 mile/hr

About 3 weeks before the race, a close friend and Denver fire fighter, Johnny, was critically injured while fighting a fire. Although he was released from the hospital, he suffered a pulmonary embolism caused by his injuries and passed away. Johnny was an avid biker. He also liked to eat a lot and he had a triglyceride problem. When Quaker Oats was doing an “oatmeal for breakfast to lower cholesterol” campaign they used DFS #8 as subject members. They tested the fire fighters cholesterol and this is when Johnny found out his triglycerides were too high. He could never say triglycerides correctly so he just called it a tricycle ride. Johnny’s wife asked me to wear his uniform patch during the race and the bike became a 112 mile tricycle ride for Johnny.
Throughout my training this spring and summer I heard over and over again “you haven’t done 112 miles yet? How are you going to do it in the race?” Ummm.. trust my coach, my training, and my determination?
The bike was the scariest of the three. Not because I hadn’t done more than 72 miles, but because there are so many variables, such as wind, mechanical, wind, nutrition, wind, other athletes, wind. I trusted myself but was nervous about everything else. Those nerves, however, left as soon as I started pedaling.
The course was made up of two 43-mile loops with the last 26 miles consisting of a few fast sections and two roads with big climbs. I took the first 8 miles are a climb so I took them at a relaxed pace. I kept a good cadence in an easier gear than I usually take going up Jay and onto 36. I was still in the big ring, just easier. I still passed people and was also passed. My HR monitor wasn’t working yet so I went off feel and occasionally looked at my speed which was around a slow but steady 14-15 mph. Bike traffic was really heavy as we hadn’t spread out yet so I was careful of those around me. As I was passing one lady, some bozo came speeding up from behind and passed in between us. He then kept swerving in and out of car traffic and in between other racers, continually passing on people’s right. Many yelled at him and he would yell back that we weren’t supposed to ride side-by-side. Hey idiot, we were passing on the left like we’re supposed to. I decided that karma would probably take care of him on the second climb of Nelson or on the top of 52 or Lookout, hehe.
On 36 I first noticed both big toes were going numb and I attributed that to making sure my shoes were tight enough. I wiggled my toes around to see if that would wake them up.
Soon I got to Mile 9, Neva Road, and just decided to relax as I hate the curve at the top where we turned off of 36 and onto Neva. I did slow a little but not as much as usual! I told my bike we had to do that one more time in a few hours and the rest of the ride would be cake! My speed was good, I was in aero, I was eating, drinking and I was happy. Very happy!
Mile 15 found us at the bottom of our first real climb –Nelson Road. Nelson is a 4 mile climb and we got to do this climb twice! First time up Nelson was good with a good cadence and comfortable effort. From the start of the bike to the top of Nelson I was right at 1:08 which was a little slower than what I wanted but was okay with that. I still had a few miles to ride, right? Back onto Highway 36 was a short climb then a section of a downhill to our next turn onto highway 66. I kept my speeds up and continued to smile and take in what was happening.
At mile 33 I stopped at the third aid station to refill my water, Gatorade, and grab a gel. Yes, I stopped. I’m not comfortable with the grab and go so I stopped and I wasn’t the only one doing this! A volunteer poured water into my torpedo while I poured the Gatorade and then I dumped water over my head and onto my arm coolers. I was out of there in 90 seconds and was okay with that.
Throughout the next 5 miles I noticed both big toes were still numb so through this section and back to Nelson I kept moving my toes. This must have loosened my shoes enough as the toes came back to life and I had no more problems with them for the rest of the ride.
At around mile 33 we turned back on the lower part of Nelson for a nice downhill stretch before turning south which would lead us over various roads back to Jay Road so we could do this loop a second time. At about mile 37 a guy that I had been playing leap frog with suddenly pulled over in front of me and stopped. As I rode by I asked him if he was okay and he said he was perfect, just taking in the beautiful scenery. When he caught back up to me on a downhill I apologized for the slight haze that was covering the mountains but he didn’t care as he still loved the view.
On one of the corners we had to take there is a little house that has a famous pig named Winston. Winston loves to great us while we’re out on training rides, but alas he wasn’t out today because of the heat. There were many of us that called out to him and then we had to explain why we were calling Winston’s name to those who have no idea how famous Winston is. Hey, he has his own FaceBook page!
I didn’t stop at the next aid station as I still had plenty of Gatorade, water, and food instead I just made the turn onto the Diagonal for the last few miles of loop one. The Diagonal had a headwind which was a little stronger than the last section so I went a little slower than I wanted.
Turned onto Jay for the second loop and saw that my average speed was at 17. I was hoping for over 17.5 but was okay with what I was doing. I was comfortable, eating, drinking, having fun, and living in the moment. My speed did slow down to 13-14 going up Jay and onto Neva. I also saw a lot more people having mechanical issues but my bike was working so well that I was no longer nervous.
I skipped aid station #2 because I knew I had frozen half of a Diet Pepsi (I know, I know!!) and a bottle of water and placed it along with my peanut butter and honey sandwich in my bag. I was ready for something other than bonk breakers with Base Salt. A good friend, Jen, was working Special Needs and knew I was coming so she had my bag ready for me. Unfortunately the water wasn’t thawed and the Diet Pepsi was only partially thawed so I didn’t really get to enjoy those as much as I wanted. I had a hard time eating my sandwich so Jen started pulling it a part, taking off the crust for me. Another volunteer changed out my empty baggie of Bonk Breakers for the full one and put more gels in my jersey pockets and I placed the remainder of the frozen water bottle in my cage. I took way too much time here – 10 minutes. I had wanted to be out of there in 5 but because I couldn’t swallow the sandwich I took more time. Also, because my water bottle was still frozen (really?? it sat out in the sun in a black bag for how many hours and it was still ¾ frozen??) I had to stop at the aid station at the top of Nelson for more water and Gatorade. I also poured more water over my head, arms, back, and front.
The sandwich gave me more life but my average speed was now down below 16 because of the stop. I knew it would be difficult to get my goal time of 6:30-6:45 but once again I was okay with that. I had hit mile 56 in 3:25 and was okay with that as well. It was getting hotter, the wind was getting a little stronger, but I still felt really good. While I knew the next 30 miles would be easier I also knew I had starting at mile 90 I had the big climbs on 52 and Lookout, plus my least favorite section of the course – any and all parts of Jay Road.
The next 30 miles I tried to work harder to bring my average speed back up. The headwind had increased just a little and I knew that when I got to 52 and Lookout that headwind would become my favorite, a crosswind. I still felt really good going over 36 and on 66 and was alternating between sitting up and aero to stay comfortable.
On the turn at mile 70 I was suddenly aware of how warm it had gotten (about 95) and made the decision to stop for more water over my head at aid station #3. My original plan was to only stop at aid station 3 on the first loop, second loop at special needs, aid station 4, and 6 if needed. When I turned the corner by aid station #3 I noticed no one was riding past it at that point. Everyone was stopping and the volunteers were just pouring water on people. One volunteer would pour water on us while another would fill our water bottles/speedfil/torpedos with whatever we wanted. I also grabbed a GU for later. I got going again and it was about this point in which I noticed that I was working harder but going slower. The inside of my right knee was sore at this point so I went to a smaller gear going the next little climb at mile 71-73. I then went back to the two biggest gears where I’m more comfortable.
There is a set of ponds at about mile75 and my nose always runs as I ride past them. It was here that I decided my goal on the bike for next year was to learn how to blow a snot rocket like the guys were around me. I was a little jealous of that talent. I continued on my happy way but decided to stop at the next aid station right before the Diagonal, even though it was going up a little hill at mile 81. Once again no one was riding past the aid station but everyone was stopping. I had yet another GU and grabbed one for later and refilled my Gatorade. I was so sick of Gatorade at this point but was forcing myself to drink it. Lick of Base Salt, sip of Gatorade, sip of water to wash the Gatorade down. Turning onto the Diagonal I once again went to an easier gear because my knee was sore again and I was a little tired. Once I got to mile 83 or so I went back to the bigger gears.
Other than turning off of 36 to Neva, the other part of the course I was nervous about was a pedestrian path that took us under the Diagonal highway and turned us north where we would end up at Highway 52. I went sloth-slow and the guy behind me originally complained because I had slowed him down. They had made this a no-pass zone so the poor guy was stuck behind me. As we got under the Diagonal he actually thanked me as it was giving him as excuse to rest. When I got to the Diagonal on the other side I expected the guy to zoom past me but he didn’t. In fact he had stopped and was at that point puking. Great, I probably smelled so bad at this point it made the guy behind me puke. ;)
A few minutes after getting back on the Diagonal my right thigh immediately cramped from my knee all the way up. It was fast and it was fierce! I immediately said a few choice words to my leg and told it that it wasn’t going to ruin my race so stfu!
It didn’t listen.
I began to take in more Base Salt, Gatorade, and water. Instead of every 5 miles for the Base Salt I did every few minutes. When I got to 52 and the climb up the road, the cramp had subsided a bit but was still there. Going up 52 it got worse and worse. There were so many people right here that were just stopping and falling off their bikes and I was not going to be one of them. When I made it to the top I stopped at the aid station and poured water all over my head, arms, back, front, and everywhere else.
The cramp subsided a little as I coasted down the hill for the next mile. When I got to Lookout and started this 4 mile climb I immediately just went to my small ring. I usually wait until half way up the first hill but today that wasn’t going to happen. As on 52, the entire way up Lookout had people off their bikes, laying on the ground or puking. There was an ambulance putting two people in the back as I got up the second hill. The cramp in my leg was back and I kept forcing it from my mind but when I finally got to the top it was bad. I stopped at the 303 tent and was terrified that I wasn’t going to make it those last 22 miles. 303 triathlon had an aid tent here and were giving Skratch snow cones. A guy handed me a Skratch snow cone and then just started stuffing my torpedo with Skratch snow cones. Someone else poured plain shaved ice down my back and held some to the back of my neck. There were several of us getting the same treatment.
After a few minutes I took off again determined to finish the bike and get to the run. I debated stopping at the last aid station to use the port-a-potty but decided I could wait until T2. I knew I wasn’t dehydrated because I did have to pee. I watched my bike computer turn over to 106 and I did a little happy dance in my head knowing that in 6 miles I would be completing my longest bike ride ever! Jay sucked as usual. After turning off Jay for the last time and onto 26th, I got up to 30 mph between there and the high school. I also noticed my bike computer said I was still on mile 106. At that point I had no idea where I was or how much further I had to go so I just went as hard as I could.
Suddenly I was at the bike dismount line so I got off, grabbed the bottle of water I had placed in my cage at one of the aid stations and tried to run around the side of the high school. That lasted about 10 seconds. I walked until someone grabbed my bike from me. I smiled at my family and tried not to cry because I was so excited that I’d just done 112 miles! My brother-in-law was one of the bike catchers and he handed me an ice cold bottle of Iced Tea and I drank that as I grabbed my T2 bag and walked to the changing tent.

What would you do differently?:

While I would have like to have been faster and not stop at every aid station from mile 71 on, I'm okay with what I did. There were a lot of people who had their race end on the second half of this bike and I didn't want to become one of them. I played it safe and it worked for me.

I loved almost every part of the bike course – from watching people slow down to look at the scenery to the encouragement we were all giving one another. The spectators were great and put life back in when you were getting tired. With the exception of the cramp from mile 90 on, I never really felt bad. I was comfortable on the saddle, worked my legs, did a little spinning when I needed to, and I had fun. 52 and Lookout are usually my favorite part of the course because I like climbing those hills. I do wish today that would have been the case, but I was able to work through it and finished mentally strong.
Transition 2
  • 10m 46s

The volunteer for T2 was great. She grabbed my bag, took out my shoes while I took off my bike shoes. She changed my socks for me, handed me a Kleenex because my nose was so runny, cleaned my sunglasses, put my hat on my head, and even tried to tie my shoes for me. Then as I got up my leg cramped again so I sat back down. I refused to give up at this point and after a minute I got back up and hit the port-a-potty. No spider this time so I was very happy! Upon exit I had them plaster sunscreen on my shoulders and arms but that was too little too late as the sun damage was done.
Finally, onto the run!!

What would you do differently?:

T2 added a lot of distance to our overall 140.6, I never run with my bike shoes on because of The Limb and I'm not allowed to run without shoes so walking is what I did. I'm okay with being a sloth here in T2.
  • 6h 39m 57s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 16s  min/mile

I need to back track to a few months ago before I continue with the run comments. On May 17 I did a half mary in a pair of Hoka Conquests. I loved those shoes but this race was at the end of their life. I bought the new Conquest 2 and was excited because I finally had purple shoes! Hey, everyone knows purple makes you run faster.. I immediately began having shin pain in both legs. On June 13 I did the Boulder 70.3 and my legs cramped from minute 2 in the run until the finish. It felt like even my Achilles were cramping and my ankles were locked in place. The pain never went away, but instead grew more intense. I hid it from my husband and coach, well everyone actually. Then a few weeks ago I did a Stroke and Stride with my coach. He finished his 5k and doubled back to run me in. I could no longer hide the pain from him. At the end my right Achilles and calf were so tight it scared him. With The Limb, my left leg, I can ignore almost all pain because I deal with it every day. On good days every step feels like a hammer is hitting my foot. On bad days it feels like Miley has lost her wrecking ball and The Limb has found it. But, like I said, I'm used to it and can run through it.

But this was different and it was not just The Limb but the right leg as well. and now my coach knew about it and soon my husband would as well. I was sure my Ironman race would never be. However, a trainer at LTF posted an article from Runners World and the symptoms they listed were what I had almost to a tee. It said that going down just a 2 mm drop could be the cause of the problems. I immediately got on the internet and researched the Hoka Conquest 1 and 2. Sure enough, the Conquest 2 had changed the drop and it was 2mm. I sent my coach the article and asked him if I was just reaching for straws. His response was no. He said that by changing the drop the shoe was no longer a Conquest. It would be like Ford making a new Mustang but it looks like a motorcycle. He called a friend who is sponsored by Hoka and he said the same thing. I got on Runners Warehouse and bought a pair of the original Conquests on sale and had them overnighted. I was 2 weeks from my first Ironman and would be breaking in a new pair of shoes. But that was better than blowing my calf or Achilles in the Conquest 2.

For the last few weeks of training my coach had me lay off the running quite a bit. While the pain never went away in those 2 weeks, it did diminish greatly. I knew that I wouldn't be able to run the entire marathon but at least I could get to it and through it. Moral of this story is, if you buy a new pair of shoes, even the same brand and model, and you begin experiencing pain you've never had before in your foot, shin, calf, or Achilles, check the drop. Or better yet, check the drop before you buy the shoes!

Now, on with the race!

I felt amazing the first two mile! I ran until 10 seconds before each aid station. During those seconds I would take 2 licks of Base Salt and down a GU. In the aid station I grabbed a water to drink, a water to pour over my head, and a Gatorade. My average pace for the first 2 miles was 11:30, even with the walking in the aid stations. I was really happy!

The crowds were amazing and covered almost the entire run course. At mile 3 I backed off a little because of pain in the limb and I was mad! I tried to pick up the pace again but couldn't. Around mile 4 there was a brief rain storm that cooled us off. Unfortunately it was still hot and now it was humid. We don't do humid well in Colorado, hehe.

The first 5 miles of the run course followed the Boulder Creek downhill. But then there was the turn-a-round and it was uphill. Somewhere around mile 5 I started to become really nauseated. I knew I wasn't dehydrated because I had to use the litter box at mile 2 and again at mile 5. At mile 5 I grabbed a Gatorade and my stomach was really cranky! Water was okay in sips but Gatorade became a no-no.

Mile 6 my coach caught up to me and asked how I was doing. My timing strap was really tight on my now really swollen Limb so he loosened it for me. I told him I was nauseated but feeling good other than that. My average pace had dropped a lot because I would run and my stomach would complain. I was getting frustrated because my legs and mind wanted to run but my stomach wouldn't let me. He told me to do whatever I needed to do and he sent me on my way.

Mile 10-12 were really frustrating. At one aid station I grabbed a cup thinking it was water but instead it was chicken broth. Boy was that a shock! They had accidently put it out too early and I had accidently grabbed it. After the shock though, it went down really well and I was looking forward to it at future aid stations.

I hit my special needs bag earlier than I wanted because I wanted my regular glasses. I did a hug-my-husband and handed him off my sunglasses (Hey, the prescription alone is $750 and I wasn't about to lose those!) The volunteer at special needs just handed my husband the rest of my bag as well.

A bit before mile 13 I got to where my coach was again and he made me walk. I was really upset because I wanted that first 13.1 in a 2:30 and it was going to be a 3 hour split instead. I wanted more and my stomach wasn't letting me. He pointed to people around me who were puking or laying on the course and asked if I wanted that to be me. Point taken.

For the next 4 miles I did a run-a-little/walk-way-too-much, but I kept moving forward. Mile 17 I was mad! I made my stomach stfu and I ran. My pace was back to 11:30 where I had wanted it to be and I was happy. I walked the mile 18 aid station and tried to run again but couldn't. I counted my steps while I ran and played the "just 24 more steps" game. At mile 19, which was a 5 minute walk from our hotel, my family was waiting with signs for me and I was able to smile. I tried to run again but was unable to run more than 2 or 3 minutes.

On that turn-a-round I decided to ask my sister for the room key when I went past them again. However they had already headed towards the finish line so I couldn't get that key. Hey, I needed to use the litter box and the hotel room had a clean potty. The port-a-potties were disgusting by this point and running past them made my stomach turn even more!

Mile 20 I mentally did the math and figured that if I ran I could do the last 10k in 90 minutes. The more I ran the faster I would finish, right? At this point I was on a 2min run/2 min walk and that wasn't even holding. My coach caught me again at mile 22 and asked how I was doing. I told him the truth - I hadn't had more than a few sips of water or chicken broth since mile 18. I was also wheezing at this point and my throat was scratchy. Coach told me I only had 3 miles and at this point I would make it even if I had no more fluids. He told me to put ice chips in my mouth if needed. He walked with me until mile 23 and the entire time I was sure I was going to puke on his shoes.

The next 2.9 miles were up in a section that had no lights and it was really dark. I had a headlamp and so I made a few new friends for that last section. When we got out of the section we were so lost and had no clue where to go. The crowds had thinned out and other than signs, there was really no one telling us where to go. My coach popped up out of no where and gave us directions to the last few turns before the finisher chute.

It was at this point he hugged me and told me he was really proud of me but now I needed to run like a spider was chasing me. So I did!

I crossed the finish line with a huge smile. My two main goals were to finish and have the time of my life throughout the race. Mission accomplished!
What would you do differently?:

Not let my stomach win
Post race
Warm down:

I sat in the cool-down section and had many family members and friends come in to sit with me. Most had volunteered at some point during the day so they just put their volunteer shirts back on. My niece handed me a box of Dunkin Donut Munchkins but I couldn't eat them or the other food at the finish line. Instead I sipped a Diet Coke and tried to stand up. My coach pushed me back in the chair because I was pretty wobbly. We all hung out for another 30 minutes or so and then I just wanted a shower. When my husband and I got back to the hotel I tried to eat but still couldn't so I just showered and tried to sleep.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training was there. Mental ability was there to keep pushing and suck it up. My stomach had other plans for the run...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-11-15 12:00 AM
01:21:02 | 4699 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/94
Overall: 781/2769
Performance: Average
Suit: nonwetsuit
Course: triangle
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 12:34
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:02:11 | 112 miles | 15.92 mile/hr
Age Group: 41/94
Overall: 0/2769
Wind: Some
Course: Two-loop with a third section
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 10:46
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:39:57 | 26.2 miles | 15m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/94
Overall: 0/2769
Course: Two loop course called the "Flux Capacitor" as it looks like the Flux Capacitor in Back to the Future.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]